At the height of the recent economic collapse, the federal government stepped in with billions of taxpayer dollars to save the nation's largest financial institutions from going belly up. Today, the financial system is stabilizing, and some banks are even turning record profits. Sadly, the same cannot be said for millions of Americans who are struggling to avoid foreclosure.
Economy & Budget
The next big piece of legislation that Congress will consider this summer deals with reforming our Financial Regulatory system. Similar to the healthcare bill passed three months ago, this final bill negotiated between the House and the Senate is 2,000 pages of bureaucracy in which the people who wrote it don't even know what's in it. In fact, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), the man most responsible for crafting this piece of legislation, had this gem to say about the bill:
Democrats take America’s $9 trillion public debt deadly seriously. We know that a debt crisis would severely threaten America’s prosperity, its national security, and some of its most valued government programs. At the present rate, the day could come when our government could not afford anything beyond entitlement programs and interest payments on our debt.
My constituents want Washington to work for us, not the special interests like Wall Street banks.
That's why I stood up for Main Street banks, small businesses and working families in my home state by proposing the toughest reforms for Wall Street of anyone in either party, including the administration.
One of my reform proposals would make the $600 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market fully transparent where today it is completely in the dark, with no regulation, no oversight and no public disclosure.
The story developing in America’s Virgin Islands is a simple yet powerful one. In the toughest economy in more than 50 years, the United States Virgin Islands is building the foundation for an economic transformation that will bring decades of benefits. One of America’s poorest locations, the territory has spent the past two years implementing a plan to modernize a core and historical local industry (rum-making), generate new revenue, create jobs and help the environment. We have established a template for smart economic policy that benefits Virgin Islanders and the nation as a whole.
There is no better example of this than the sweetheart deals that Britain’s Diageo, the world’s largest liquor company, and Fortune Brands, a major conglomerate that also makes rum, convinced the current Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) to sign. The more U.S. lawmakers and citizens learn about these deals, the more they oppose the schemes.
Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer insight into the biggest question burning up the blogosphere today. ...
Does the Wall Street reform bill do enough to prevent future crises?
Some background reading here.
It's becoming more obvious to the American people every day that this administration was slow to respond to the crisis in the Gulf. And the Democrats don’t have a plan. They don’t have a clear plan to contain the sea of oil in the Gulf. And they don’t have a plan to contain the sea of red ink here in Washington, D.C.
For the first time since the current budget rules were established in 1974, Democratic Leadership in the House has announced that they won’t do a budget this year. It was an interesting announcement made by Majority Leader Hoyer, especially considering Mr. Hoyer’s remarks back in 2006, when he then stated as the House Minority Leader:
“The most basic responsibility of governing” is “enacting a budget.”
We are facing an existential moment on our budget deficit and long-term debt. After 80 years of painstakingly weaving a social safety net, will we be able to afford it in the future? Will our budget simply become dominated by interest on the debt and entitlements? Will we wake up one morning and discover that the world’s financial markets have lost confidence in the United States and we become Greece — an economic basket case? Will we be able to afford the needed investments in education, infrastructure and innovation that have powered our economy?