Had the Republicans taken control of Congress in 2008, the country would have sunk into a depression, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), told CNBC Thursday.
“If we had not won re-election and intervened, we would be in a depression,” said Pelosi.
She cited tax cuts for the wealthy, two wars and a prescription drug bill that “gave away the store to the pharmaceutical industry,” under George W. Bush, as partially to blame for the current state of the economy.
Under Democratic leadership of both houses of Congress, Pelosi believes the country is heading in the right direction.
“It is now moving forward to fight for the middle class and then to create prosperity where many more people participate in the prosperity of our country…instead of a system where [we] nationalize the risk and send the bill to the taxpayer if all of it doesn’t work.”
She said the public is in a “bad mood,”because of the widespread unemployment throughout the country. The current national rate is at 9.6 percent, a figure she said would have been at about 14.5 percent had the Congress and the administration not added incentives and programs to boost the economy.
She added that she thinks Americans understand that they need to be more frugal now. “I think everyone has recognized there has to be a nest egg."
Pelosi said she loved business and would be a business woman if she weren’t a politician, even though she is viewed as anti-business, along with other Democrats and the Obama administration, by many on Wall Street.
“We’ve very proud of what we have done on Wall Street reform,” said Pelosi.
“It’s been decades since we’ve had such serious reform. But it’s also never before in history that we’ve had the consumer protections that are contained in the [financial reform] legislation. Not to paint everyone with the same brush, but that recklessness on Wall Street, in the industry, that can’t happen again.”