Economy & Budget

Warren ideal candidate to lead CFPA

With Congress on the verge of establishing a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Elizabeth Warren, Harvard law professor and chair of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel (COP), stands out as the right candidate for the bureau’s first director. Families deserve someone with Warren’s intellect, charm, vision, credibility, independence and energy to be their cop on the consumer finance beat.


GOP failing to help those who need it (Rep. Sandy Levin)

At the end of May, federal emergency unemployment compensation began to dry up. Since then, each week, thousands of Americans have lost their unemployment insurance — putting additional strain on struggling families, communities, and making the pain felt by unemployed workers even worse.

As of July 9, more than 90,000 Michiganians and 2 million Americans nationwide have lost their unemployment benefits.


Reforming the financial services industry: Dodd-Frank would bring back commonsense lending rules

The financial reform bill — formally, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act — marks a sea change in how our nation views and implements oversight of financial providers. In many ways, it’s a return to the commonsense lending rules that built a thriving financial system respected throughout the world. That would be a welcome change from the economic turmoil of the last three years.


Rejection of U.S. deals and jobs undermines goal of doubling exports

To speed up economic growth and job creation, President Obama has proposed expanding federal assistance for businesses that export, working toward a national goal of doubling U.S. exports within five years.

Why then has one of the federal government's most useful trade-promotion agencies, the Export-Import Bank, had such a difficult time approving projects that could deliver billions of dollars of exports business and thousands of jobs to companies in the United States?


Financial reform a must-pass bill for retailers and consumers

Interchange swipe fee reform is a critical issue to the grocery retail industry and one that the Food Marketing Institute has championed for over a decade. Because of its importance, we are urging that Congress pass the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act containing significant swipe fee reforms. It is the right thing to do. It will help keep businesses — both large and small — in business and helps all consumers.


The Democrats' spending spree (Rep. John Campbell)

When you woke up on June 30, you may not have realized that you were waking up to a historic day. However, this was not a day that marked American achievement, innovation, or recovery. It was a morning that witnessed a $166 billion single-day increase in American debt. That would be the third largest deficit hike in American history and, shockingly, we reached this extraordinary mark in just two years of wanton, unchecked spending initiated by President Obama and carried by this Congress.


Updated financial regulatory bill misses the mark on reform (Sen. Mike Johanns)

Since the economic meltdown, momentum has been building in Washington to implement a reform bill that, above all else, would prevent our financial system from ever again failing us in the way it did in 2008. Yet amazingly, after two years of debate, the version agreed upon late last week by House and Senate conferees misses that mark by an astounding margin.


Funding the war: There ought to be a rule against this kind of rule (Rep. Alan Grayson)

Last week, for three hours, the House debated whether to appropriate $33 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There were passionate arguments on both sides, with thunderous words from those who seek withdrawal from Afghanistan, and forceful warnings from the other side against undercutting the Commander-in-Chief.

I can say with certainty that the passion that was expended, the loud urging to vote "no" or "yes," actually did not influence anyone's vote. They couldn't influence anyone's vote.


Myths about the federal budget deficit

Jeff Faux, EPI founder and Distinguished Fellow, submitted the following written testimony to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform:

The Commission on Deficit Reduction has an opportunity to make a major contribution to both economic policy and democratic decision-making in our country. To do so, it must confront the myths that dominate the debate over the projected federal fiscal deficit. To fail in this basic task would be a major disservice to the nation.

The current national debate -- as reflected in Congress, the media, and polls -- is driven by an assessment of our economic crisis which misdiagnoses it in three ways:


Congress must extend unemployment insurance

Our nation today remains mired in one of the worst labor markets since the Great Depression. There are currently nearly 14.6 million Americans unemployed, with the unemployment rate hovering at or just under 10 percent for nearly a year. At the end of June, nearly half of those unemployed (45.5 percent) — 6.8 million workers — have been out of work and actively seeking a job for at least six months. Currently, there are nearly five workers actively searching for work for every job available, compared to just one and a half job searchers per job opening before the Great Recession began.