Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Bank Tax Shell Game

With financial reform passed this week, it seemed that Congress had found a way, through the proding and advocacy of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), to pay for major legislation without it adding to the defecit. The bank tax was removed from the bill, and it was paid for by using TARP funds to pay for it, as well as FDIC fees. See Democrats, you can have reform without added taxes! However, we forgot one thing…its the Democrat Congress, you get them to get rid of a new tax, they’ll find a way to put it in anyway.

According to The Boston Globe, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), architect of the bank bailouts, says he wants Congress to resume talks regarding a $90 billion bank tax as a seperate entity. He also used the article to take a jab at Republicans (shocking), saing that if a Republican wins in 2012, reforms would be watered down. His belief is that the large investment firms, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, in particular, benefited most from the bailouts, and should pay for them.

What he forgot was that they didn’t exactly choose to be bailed out. It was a forced loan that the Feds made them take. It was the federal government, under Treasury Secretary Paulson, that forced these two banks to swallow up failing institutions like Bear Stearns and take the loans. Since that point, much of the money the federal government poured into this fiasco has been payed back. So what is the tax for if you got all the money back? At its best it’s a grandstand, at its worst it’s a shakedown. Also, this $90 billion tax will be passed down to customers thorugh higher bank fees and interest rates, so it would hurt the very customers the government is trying to protect.

Don’t get me wrong, some reforms had to be made, and the bill does help regulate OTC derivatives and sub-prime lending, two of the leading causes of the meltdown. Unfortunately, the way it’s being conducted is through added bureaucracy with a new agency, and this bank tax that Frank insists will still be put through before the end of the session will cause a decrease in available credit, which he admits too in the article, which will further retard the growth of businesses and job creation in the private sector. On the back of it, they still have the nerve to call anyone who tries to stop this shell game as being “obstructionist” and against reforms, or even in the bank lobby’s pocket. Perhaps if Democrats could approach more Republicans with ideas and have a cordial discussion with not just the New England Republicans (Snowe, Collins, Brown), but Republican members of the Finance and Banking Commitees, maybe better solutions would arise, and these shell games would stop. But no, the Democrat leadership is perfectly happy with this kind of decision making, as long as it doesn’t interfear with their “government knows best” attitude, and anyone who disagrees is a special interest puppet.

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Our Partisan President

Well, well it’s election time here in America, and unlike most midterm elections, this one has generated a considerable amount of buzz, which in turn will mean large voter turnouts. Also, it means President Obama gets to crisscross the country touting Democrat congressmen and senators and insuting their Republican challengers. His latest stop…. Nevada, to help out his languishing sidekick Harry Reid. How does he help him? By praising him for health care and saying that republicans are the party of no. Same old story.

Hearing the President talk like this doesn’t bother me, because when his campaign involves mostly partisan smears, it’s evidence that he doesn’t have any real laurels to rest on. Health care overhaul? A $940 billion monstrosity passed using underhanded tactics that may or may not be legal, and that many experts, including those in the HHS, admit won’t curb health care costs. Stimulus? $800 billion to “create jobs” that don’t exist and, 18 months later, is only half used, and has failed to provide any real drop to the unemployment numbers. In fact, the last two job reports have shown that less than 100,000 jobs total have been created in two months; compared to 110,000 in April, a figure heavilly influenced by Census jobs. Financial reform? it’s not even reform because the roots of the matter, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, aren’t addressed. Add it up and what do you get? $2 trillion + in spending (and that’s not counting all the other stuff), a mountain of debt and defecit, and we’re no better off than we were in January 2009. In fact, there won’t be a budget this year for the first time in history. Talk about a lack of competence.

So the only way Obama can salvage his majorities in the House and Senate is by going on a partsan rant, saying that it’s Bush’s fault, and the GOP can’t be trusted with the country. In essence, the typical liberal fallback position. Pres Obama, if you really want to do something to help Americans, cut spending, liquidate the stimulus package, and extend tax cuts for small businesses so they can hire more people, which in turn will create more taxpayers, and more tax revenue. Look at the Bush tax cuts, whenever they were enacted, 2001 and 2003, federal revenue rose by up to 40%, or nearly $1 trillion, and continued to go up until 2008, when the crisis occured. Instead, he tries to distract us with what GOP leaders did during the Bush years, most of whom are no longer in Congress, and saying that he’s leading us into recovery, and how Democrats have done so well these past couple of years, as well as personal attacks on GOP opponents (like Sharron Angle in Nevada and Scott Brown in Massachusetts). Sorry Barry, but the facts refute your claims, and considering the democrats had such whooping majorities in both the House and Senate, and still nothing can get done to fix America’s ills, well that’s just a lack of leadership and common sense.

As some gay character on “The Simpsons” said, “We’re Democrats, we don’t know how were going to screw it up, but we will”. And boy have they screwed up.

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