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Category Archives: Orrin Hatch

Financial Regulation Bill Will Hurt Main Street

Posted by: Orrin Hatch in Untagged  on May 19, 2010 Print

The following originally appeared as an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune. -Staff

The words of Hatch will be in white, mine in red. This op-ed of the senatorial equivalent of Mr. Ed, explains why we are doomed unless we can get these jack-holes out of office.

The U.S. Congress should be forced to take the same oath that doctors take to “first do no harm.” Yeah, except doctors have to go to school and be certified competent to practice medicine, and you just have to be rich and willing to sell your soul. Because more often than not, under the guise of “fixing” a problem, Washington  You are “Washington”, 33 years of sucking on the taxpayers teat, the corporate teat, and the lobbyist teat. You are everything that makes Washington not work makes things much, much worse for hard-working middle-class families and small businesses.

That’s precisely the problem with the financial regulation bill that’s before the Senate right now. I was powerless to interject anything, or draft anything of my own. Instead of strengthening our financial system, this legislation will stifle (regulate) economic growth and job creation, (regulate) strangle critical credit, send U.S. jobs overseas and add more burdensome, costly and misguided regulation onto the backs of struggling businesses. It will be more of the same stuff I have been going along with for 33 years.

Thus, instead of the Obama administration’s promise to “fix” Wall Street, we’ve got a bill that squarely takes aim at Main Street instead. The careless overreach will have a lasting and negative impact on small businesses across Utah and America. We should do nothing, and trust the corporations that got us into this mess, to get us out. I mean if they didn’t know how to run a bank, they wouldn’t call them bankers, right?

Let’s be honest, Wall Street is going to have armies of accountants, lawyers and experts figure out a way to get around any of the new rules in this bill. Let’s be honest, I am one of  only 100 senators for the most powerful nation in history, this makes me completely powerless to make any effort to close up loopholes these guys use, so that I can protect you. I would really like to, but again let’s be honest, you don’t have the cash in hand to make it worth my effort. No wonder Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of the New York investment giant Goldman Sachs, said “that the biggest beneficiaries of reform will be Wall Street itself.” I quoted him, because Goldman hasn’t dropped any loot into my campaign funds for several years. Luckily, I have been doing quite well with health care industry contributions. That’s a luxury our small businesses in Utah can’t afford when they’re saddled with this legislative monstrosity. I like to use monstrosity and any other word that gets you to think about big, out of control government. It is much more logical to think that a piece of legislation dealing with massive unregulated transactions of huge amounts of money across international borders, at the electronic speed of light, should be able to fit on the back of a napkin, you know, keep it simple, stupid.

Furthermore, at a time when public trust in Washington is at a record low, the White House and its Capitol Hill allies grab more power for federal bureaucrats at the expense of states and our judicial system. Yeah! Power grab, that gets um every time. They are grabbing your right to be financially sodomized away from you. Now you may not like having your 401k disappear, but it is your right, to let it happen to you.

When companies get in trouble, bankruptcy courts should be in charge to ensure transparency and accountability. Instead, the bill creates “expedited liquidation authority” that permits the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s politically appointed bureaucrats to take over large, complex, intertwined financial institutions. Yes, politically appointed, how else would they be appointed? Again, the logic of it is too complicated for the federal department in charge of finance to handle it. The bankers know the best way to do it. It is like saying that nobody knows more about booze than your alcoholic Uncle Billy, so he knows just what to do to stop drinking. In addition, the bill contains a provision that would allow the FDIC to play favorites — and give more money — to certain creditors if the FDIC determines a particular creditor poses a systemic risk. Any financial institution that takes undue risk, regardless of size should be given less free reign to ruin my 401k. Doesn’t this put the large banks at an unfair advantage over smaller institutions?

The White House is pushing for a new consumer protection agency. Why a big new bureaucracy? The real solution lies in taking a closer look at why these agencies failed to protect consumers and fix the problem existing within the system. Yes, the right solution,  2 full years after the collapse, is to form a committee to discuss and debate the issue for another 4 years, by which time we should be ready for our next financial meltdown, because we haven’t regulated anything. We do not need to add more layers of regulators that will make it more expensive and complicated to get a car loan or credit card. Maybe because you and your cronies gutted the ones we have, maybe because this is a whole new area that needs to be regulated, maybe because we the regular people have to pay for the shit you get for free.

But the worst part of this legislation is what it’s missing — reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These two mortgage agencies caused the financial crisis by backing loans to people who couldn’t afford it. But that certainly didn’t stop Uncle Sam from bailing them out and continuing to bail them out at a cost of $145 billion to the taxpayer. Yes that is the worst part, not the banks or the corporations, certainly not the system of modern serfdom created by the credit card companies. It is the people who wanted a house, and were told they could live the american dream and get one. All these people knew was they were told yes, signed a bunch of stuff, and then had two years of bliss before the clouds rolled in. The bankers and real estate agents got what they wanted, the people got the shaft, and the mortgage agencies did what they were told to do. They didn’t start it, they just went along with it. They backed the loans the banks sent them.  Just like you do Mr. Hatch, on everything your corporate masters tell you to do.

Why is it that people don’t know how much debt these two agencies are piling onto the backs of our children and grandchildren? Well, that’s because the Obama White House decided not to put their debt on the books where it can be seen. Now if that isn’t outrageous, I don’t know what is. You are outrageous, you have piled debt onto the backs of the american people for 3 decades. You do everything you can to produce bombs, and tanks, and jets, but fight tooth and nail against help for the poor, the sick, and the undereducated.

We can’t hide from this problem. Which is why they created this legislation. This administration has to stop propping up Fannie and Freddie with taxpayer dollars while refusing to push significant reform. Utah families have had to make tough choices; it’s time these Washington bureaucrats did, too. Can one of those choices be that you drop dead?

Does our financial regulatory system need reform? Absolutely, but this legislation is a prescription to make things worse for Main Street all in the name of fixing Wall Street. Again, my master likes when I bark at the dark, so that’s what I did. Have I come up with anything to reform the financial regulatory system, well no, because sometimes your friends and bosses do things you don’t like, but you just look the other way and pretend it isn’t happening, and pray to God it doesn’t happen again. The worst thing in the world is to have to say harsh things you don’t mean to your friends in public, so that you can protect yourself and your friends from the public.

Lets be honest, to borrow a Orrin phrase, I always say politicians are politicians are politicians. The reform bill in the Senate is pathetic, it is weak, and it is too late, but at least it is something. To side with Wall Street is the height of hypocrisy. Orrin Hatch, you are a cancer to the American People.

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