House GOPer accepted bank loan he couldn’t repay

It seems Rep. Tom Graves (R) of Georgia only seems to cross my radar screen when he’s doing something foolish.

A few months ago, Graves was arguing during a television interview that tax breaks reduce unemployment. Asked why Bush’s tax breaks didn’t success on this front, he said, “Well, what we’ve seen is massive job loss that began in about 2008, and I believe that was under Barack Obama.” The congressman apparently didn’t realize who was president three years ago.

This incident is arguably even worse.

While U.S. Rep. Tom Graves was calling for fiscal responsibility in Washington his attorney was arguing in a lawsuit that a North Georgia bank is at fault for issuing Graves a $2.2 million loan the bank knew he could not repay. […]

Graves, a tea party favorite who has been outspoken about his vote this month against raising the debt-ceiling, said he had not read his attorney’s court filings claiming the bank is at fault for loaning him money it knew he couldn’t repay.

This is deeply amusing. The right-wing lawmaker, who routinely claims the high ground on fiscal responsibility, took out a loan with a partner to renovate a local motel. The project quickly flopped. The bank sued Graves and his partner, only to have the congressman counter-sue, claiming the bank was wrong — it never should have loaned him the money since he couldn’t pay the bank back.

I can’t help but get the sense those Tea Partiers don’t understand fiscal responsibility quite as well as they think they do.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.