Bipartisanship achieved in blocking of Dodd bill
by John Allison III, editor
There’s been so much clamoring for it since January 2009, and so little of it accomplished in that time.
But today, finally, after more than a year of partisan vote after partisan vote, Democrats can claim they have achieved bipartisanship since one of their own leaped the fence to join Republicans in voting against cloture on a bill by Senator Chris Dodd to place taxpayers on the hook permanently for bailing out poorly-run private companies.
Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska abandoned his party’s herd of Jackasses to join Republicans in voting against cloture on the bill. According to CBS News, “Nelson said he couldn’t support moving to debate on a bill he hasn’t seen.”
Which apparently means a lot of Democrats DID vote for a bill they haven’t yet seen!
Republicans have criticized a measure in the Dodd bill that will set aside $50 billion for a future bailout fund. Though the $50 billion would be collected from the financial firms covered by the clause, Republicans rightly point out those costs would be passed onto consumers and investors.
The demand for the fund also demonstrates Democrats’ commitment to the no-longer-novel idea of government agencies choosing winners and losers in the private marketplace. With the American public adamantly opposed to additional bailouts under any circumstances, Democrats aren’t willing to cede Uncle Sam’s newly found power to prop up failing firms.
But conservatives opposed to increased government interference with the operations of the free market shouldn’t view the vote as an outright victory. Instead of pointing out the role of Congress and government regulations in fueling the conflagration that defined the recent economic meltdown, GOP lawmakers are instead tweaking the regulations written by Dodd and his Democrat cohorts to invent their own designer set of handcuffs to restrain the industry.
“All of us want to deliver a reform that will tighten the screws on Wall Street,” says Mitch McConnell (R-KY), leader of the minority party in the US Senate.
McConnell and the Democrats made no mention of the mountains of regulations that already exist to prevent crises such as that we saw begin in late 2008. Nor did they mention the recent discovery that SEC regulators passed their workdays viewing porn on the government computers they should have been using to keep tabs on the financial giants that crashed.
Neither did they reference the role the quasi-government companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played in nearly crippling the US economic system. The contributions FNE and FME to the crash of 2008 were made possible by none other than Demo-Socialist Congressman Barney Frank of Massachussetts.
Frank blocked every Republican effort to reel in the dangerous practices of the two mortgage giants earlier in this decade. The Massachusetts moron virtually forced the companies to guarantee loans to customers they knew couldn’t be counted on to repay.
The blame for the near collapse of our financial system lies as much (if not more) at the feet of our incompetent legislators and their bureaucrat underlings as it does at the hands of the CEO’s who steered their ships as they ran aground.
Democrats have scheduled hearings to highlight the recent fraud charges brought by the SEC against Goldman Sachs, but nobody mentioned documents the financial firm released that it claims repudiate the charges of fraud leveled by Democrats.
Neither did we hear anyone from either side pointing to the politics involved in launching the government’s fraud suit immediately before the unveiling of Dodd’s bill.
It seems inevitable that our fumbling, bumbling elected elite will pass a more burdensome regulatory scheme that will increase costs and reduce efficiency in the financial markets before November. And it will likely enjoy bipartisan support.
Not because it’s best for the country, but because leaders of both parties want more control and to claim credit for preventing some future crisis.
Tags: Obama, Obamacare, Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, Finance, Economy, Financial Regulations, Regulatory Reform, Reform, US Senate, Republicans, GOP, Mitch McConnell
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Hat Tip: America, You Asked For It!