Chamber Of Commerce Opposition Underscores Need for New Regulator
by RDemocrat, Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 06:20:10 PM EDT
Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.
One way you can tell whether something is a good idea is to see exactly who opposes it so vehemently. On the Public Option you see the Corprorate Republican Party and their enablers in the Democratic Party opposing it and trying to get Corporate Welfare which asks the shrinking middle-class to sacrifice. Likewise, now that new regulations are being discussed on the folks that irresponsibly crashed our economy into a ditch and got bailed out by the outgoing Bush Administration while the rest of us suffered, the Chamber of Commerce is fighting it tooth and nail.
It seems to me that these folks have little to complain about and are opposing measures to protect us all from their own greed, greed which has already been proven disasterous to our country and the world economy:
Though virtually every cause of the nation's recent financial crisis was rooted in weak consumer protection, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is leading the fight against the proposed agency on grounds that it would make credit less available and more costly. The American Bankers Association, the Independent Community Bankers of America, and the Financial Services Roundtable also oppose the measure.
Yes, these are folks who despite having to be bailed out for their own greed and incompetence have had plenty of money to buy off politicians and attempt to brainwash the American public:
The Chamber said it's spending about $2 million on ads, educational efforts and a grassroots campaign to kill the agency. It said that the grassroots effort has led to more than 23,000 letters sent to Congress to date.
The Center for Responsive Politics said that for the 2010 election cycle, commercial banks have donated almost $3.7 million to lawmakers -- 54 percent of it to Republicans. Companies that provide credit have given about $1.4 million, 59 percent to Democrats. Mortgage bankers and brokers have given $581,423.
At issue is a new agency intended to protect consumers and the American taxpayer from being fleeced by the credit industry and to protect taxpayers from having to spend hundreds of billions more dollars from the public coffers to bailout an industry that imploded upon itself with it's own greed and took the American economy with it. It seems that anyone who opposes this either must have a short memory or is actually in the industry, or has taken a huge load of money from them.
There is no question that they have run rampant over the last decades and that lax regulation allowed them to prey upon Americans and crash our economy:
Predatory lending and no-documentation loans helped spawn the housing crisis. Weak oversight by federal regulators allowed mortgage bonds to be sold to investors as the safest of investments when they were far from it.
When economic times got tough last year, banks began padding their balance sheets by socking surprised consumers with new credit card fees that were hidden in contractual fine print.
If Americans who lost their house, their tax dollars, or thousands out of ther 401k cannot remember exactly why we need new stronger regulation of this runaway industry so vital to the world's economy Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren sums it up quite nicely:
"The CFPA will provide real oversight over financial institutions and create some basic safety standards. This will make it safer for your local butcher to take out a mortgage or a credit card, but the CFPA is not going to regulate the way he carries out his business," she told McClatchy, referring to a Chamber ad that suggests even local butcher shops would be regulated.
Of course, as with the healthcare arguments opponents of the regulation such as the Chamber of Commerce have no concrete arguments that make sense as to why it should not be enacted, so they will lie and make up horror stories akin to the "Death Panels" dreamed up by Caribou Barbie to try and scare the American public into opposing measures that would protect hundreds of millions of American taxpayers from the greed and irresponsibility we saw in the last decade from the financial industry. They crashed our economy and after recieving their bailout are the only ones that did not have to feel pain for their actions.
And of course they wish to convince everyone that this new regulation is actually harmful by protecting us from them. They hope to keep fleecing Americans with their selfish business practices and care little who it hurts. They do not even worry if their greed brings it all crashing down again because they know if it does they will be bailed out so they win either way.
Indeed, seeing who is so opposed to this legislation just underscores the desperate need to get it passed and signed into law:
Advocacy groups say that the financial sector's opposition underscores the need to act.
"I don't see why people don't understand that this should be a measure of why to pass it," said Barbara Roper, the director of investor relations for the Consumer Federation of America. "If you assume, as I do, that they fear anything that threatens the way they do their business, their ability to profit through the abuse of their customers, then this (legislation) should be taken seriously."
There is simply no excuse for this legislation not to pass. We have seen the consequences of no regulation or regulation not enforced and no matter Republican or Democrat there is simply no excuse for lawmakers not to act, and act decisively. Unfortunately we cannot depend on the Republicans to take any common sense measures to stop greed and idiocy among any corporation and we seem to have just enough Democrats bought and paid for like Corporate whores to endanger any common-sense Progressive change like healthcare, and yes banking regulation.
I just hope the consequences are fresh enough in all Americans minds that they will stand up and demand our Representatives and Senators take action to protect us whether they are paid for or not. The next time these folks crash our economy we may not get as lucky as this one.