In Other News: Up is Down, War is Peace, Happiness is Slavery

Financial reform is getting all kinds of play lately and by all accounts, the Republicans are doing exactly what’s expected of them: bitching about a provision, getting Dems to drop the provision, then bitching about something else. It would seem Frank Luntz’s talking points, no matter how cynical and disingenuous, are embedding themselves into the Conventional Wisdom in DC. To be clear, the “Wall St. Bailout” talking point is centered on a $50 billion fund that would help defray costs associated with dismantling financial firms that have failed. this money would come from a fee imposed on banks and thus not have to come from the fed (i.e. the taxpayers). Far from being a bailout, it actually would make sure banks themselves were responsible for the costs of getting “too big to fail”.

In reality, what I just explained is moot because the Dems caved again and took the fund out of the bill after Repubs whined about “bailouts” for a week. So now we have another fight in the making, this time concerning a proposed Consumer Protection agency. Dems want the new agency to be handled by the Fed, which would give it much more leeway in dealing with institutions and regulation. Republicans, ever diligent to their corporate masters’ wants, have proposed putting control of the agency under the umbrella of the FDIC. This would ensure that any actions by the agency would be subject to approval by the FDIC, not to mention compliance with various state laws concerning mortgages and finance. If it sounds confusing, that’s because it is.

To help you figure out which party has the public’s interest in mind, let’s just compare the two party leader’s view of the current situation in the Senate.

Majority leader, Harry Reid:

“They’re stalling everything we do.”

Minority leader, Mitch McConnell:

“I must tell you, I don’t think this is a couple-of-weeks bill. It’s not that we don’t want to pass it, but we do want to cover the subject.”

Now, that might sound reasonable to someone who hasn’t been paying attention for the past two years. However, when the Republicans in Congress talk about taking more time to debate, keep in mind that they have voted against allowing debate on every single piece of legislation this session. They don’t want to debate; they want to stall, all the way until November if necessary, just so they can say, “look! Democrats can’t get anything done!”

Boy, even though the Repubs only have one play in their book, it sure does get them a lot of yardage. I wonder when Dems might adjust their defense?

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