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Blog of Mass Destruction

More Than A Dime's Worth

By The Reverend Published: March 17, 2011

George Wallace, Ross Perot and Ralph Nader all famously said that there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between the two political parties. There's quite a bit of truth in that statement.

But it's not the whole truth.

In October, 2010, President Obama correctly pointed out that Republicans.....

“are now beating the drum to repeal all of these reforms and consumer protections.”

As with their intentions to derail and defund ObamaCare, Republicans had not kept their plans to derail the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill...secret.....

Republicans say they will use the House Financial Services Committee to ensure that regulators such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the new consumer protection bureau do not write rules that lawmakers consider too restrictive to the banking industry.

“We don’t want them to regulate capriciously, arbitrarily, without engaging in a cost-benefit analysis,” Representative Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican on the panel, said in an interview before the election.

The Hill...

The House Financial Services Committee unveiled on Monday five discussion drafts that would repeal or otherwise ease provisions of the Wall Street overhaul,

The deeply establishmentarian, Politico....

Republicans clearly want to strike at the heart of banking reform with legislation attacking new regulations on derivatives, credit rating agencies and private equity firms. But their piecemeal approach suggests they are trying to do so without appearing to favor Wall Street over Main Street.

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight met yesterday with Randy Neugerbauer (R-TX) as chair. Republicans argued that the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should be funded each year by Congress rather than by the FED. Republicans argued, disingenuously, that it would be "good governing principles" for the CFPB to fight each year with Congress to receive funding.

Neugerhauer, however,....

...said one of the three top priorities for his Republican colleagues this year is to change that (independent funding) status, making the bureau dependent on prevailing sentiments in the legislature.

Then the money quote....

Only one major federal financial regulator has ever had its budget linked to the Congressional appropriations process -- the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, which oversaw Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the housing bubble and was unable to rein in the mortgage giants' risk-taking in the face of massive lobbying. When asked how the CFPB could perform its duties under such a funding model, Neugebauer said he didn't expect the agency to be able to operate.

"I don't think they'll work at all," Neugebauer told HuffPost late last week. "I'm just trying to get the ground I can get. I don't like them."

"I don't think they'll work at all." And, of course, that's the point. Water down a new commission which protects consumers from bankster sharks.....defund whatever it takes to neutralize any oversight of the financial industry.

Elizabeth Warren testified yesterday.....

''If there had been a consumer agency in place, the problems in mortgage servicing would have been exposed early and fixed while they were still small, long before they became a national scandal,''

The response from Republican Committee members?.....

Spencer Bachus (R-AL)....the agency will probably be ''the most powerful agency that's ever been created in Washington. You have a lot of discretion and a lot of power, but I see very little accountability,''

Sean Duffy (R-WI)....''I look at this Congress. We are the voice of the American people, and when we don't have any oversight of what you're doing, I see that as incredibly problematic.''

The irony is stifling. Any attempt to install oversight over the financial industry is construed by Republicans as an "incredibly problematic" "oversight" problem.

There is a dime's worth of difference to be found in the two political parties. Republicans do not believe that free market players should be regulated.....even when some of those players wreck the nation's economy setting our standard of living back 10 years. Democrats do believe that government regulations must at least try to keep the greed and corruption seen so often in today's multinational corporate check.

Now consider: Other than the Know-Nothing, Fox-Inpiration Channel viewing voters.....all reality-based Americans know that deregulated paper shuffling banks with their fancy credit default swaps and high-falutin' sounding mortgage derivative algorithims....working hand in glove with corrupt and complicit ratings agencies, mortgage brokers, real estate predators, and an orgy of greed....brought our national economy to it's knees with hellacious collateral damage to working American families.

Obama and the Democrats responded with a regulation rewrite. Republicans are now trying to defang that rewrite any way they can.

Republicans....the conclusion cannot be not think that government should have the authority to regulate nation-threatening private institutions.....even when those institutions come within an eyelash of destroying our nation.

There's a difference in the political parties....and it's more than a dime's worth. In the case at hand it's $7 trillion worth.



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