Obama's challenge: sorry record of Democratic deregulators

(Cross-posted from Think it Through)

President Obama's pledge to bring back some meaningful regulation of the financial markets may be more difficult than he imagines.  The reason:  Senate Democratic leaders not only enabled the deregulation, they were cheerleaders.

In America, unlike other nations, the structure of investor protections against securities fraud stands on two separate legs: Government regulators and private lawsuits.  Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and other Democrats, worked diligently to saw off both legs.

Here is how the people's representatives took the side of fraud defendants over the fraud victims.

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A proposal to stimulate accountability

(Cross-posted from Think it Through)

The house floor in joint session

Accountability.  The Russonello Washington political dictionary defines it as:  an overused term that means requiring those you oppose to do something they do not want to do.

In reality, Websters defines it as: "the state of being accountable... Subject to being answerable to something."

We are hearing a great deal now about making sure the government is accountable for the funds it will spend in the President's economic stimulus package.  The Republicans argue that the stimulus package spending on building bridges and roads, modernizing energy plants, and allowing state governments to keep employees in their jobs teaching children and caring for the elderly lacks accountability because government programs are by definition wasteful.  The Republicans' idea of accountable is more tax cuts.  Yes, they actually argue that giving people more money in their pockets, no strings attached, is the essence of accountability.  Well, I know my brother would take the money and go directly to the Off Track Betting office in Manhattan and my cousin Jimmy would buy more movies on cable.  Brilliant use of federal dollars.

It has taken 25 years for Americans to begin to realize the folly of this Ronald Reagan-inspired doctrine that individual selfishness will produce an overall positive result for the nation.  That is why House minority leader John Boehner's comments this week about the virtues of tax cuts have struck so many people as out of step with reality.

If Boehner wants a real proposal on accountability try this: If you are a member of the House of Representatives and you do not vote to fund a particular program - Head Start, roads and bridges, libraries, meals on wheels for seniors, job training, etc -your district will not receive any of the money for the program.

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