Strange Bedfellows

2 October 2008 at 2:09 pm 1 comment

| Peter Klein |

One of the interesting aspects of this week’s House vote on the Paulson plan was the coalitions it generated. The Treasury Secretary, the Fed Chair, and leaders of both the Democratic and Republican sides stood hand-in-hand to urge lawmakers to support the bailout. Conservative Republican and liberal Democratic members joined forces to defeat it. What gives? Larry White points to ideology: “Republicans who voted no didn’t like the fact that $700 billion would be taken from taxpayers. . . . Democrats who voted no didn’t like the fact that it would be going to Wall Street.” Maybe, but I prefer Gordon Smith’s suggestion:

Anthony Ha uses the data at MapLight.org (a website dedicated to “illuminating the connection” between money and politics) to tell another familiar political story. Looking at this page, Anthony observes:

Overall, bailout supporters received an average of 54 percent more in campaign contributions from banks and securities than bailout opponents over the last five years. The disparity also held true if you look at individual parties. In fact, the 140 Democrats who voted for the bailout received almost twice as much money from banks and securities as the 95 Democrats who voted against it. (The difference was closer to 50 percent for Republicans.)

Does anybody have data that would permit some quick-and-dirty analysis, say a logistic regression of the House votes as a function of legislator and district characteristics, contributions from the commercial and investment banking industries, and other interest-group variables?

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Bailout / Financial Crisis, Public Policy / Political Economy. Tags: , .

I’m From the Government, and I’m Here to Make You Some Money Ig Nobel

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. scott cunningham  |  3 October 2008 at 11:20 am

    You probably already saw this, but Ayres had a thing in freakonomics yesterday showing that the No’s mostly came from people who were coming up for re-election in November. Not entirely, but about 70% of those who were coming up voted No, and the vast majority who weren’t at risk voted Yes.

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