Taxes & Banking (November 2009)

Bust the financial trusts

The concentration of financial power in a handful of mammoth banks is dangerous to our country. It is time to break them up, sell off their healthy parts, and never let another bank or financial institution get so large that it is “too big to fail.”

Innovative bill would temporarily suspend small-business payroll tax

While at first glance the two of us may not seem to have much in common, we have managed to bridge differences in age, region and party to find common ground on the most important issue of the day: repairing our broken economy.

Government interference in the marketplace is trend that Congress must reverse

The turmoil of the past year has caused us to reconsider what we believe to be the reality of the banking industry. Titans of industry, once considered impervious, proved that they weren’t as resistant to crisis as was once thought. While the government stepped in to aid some banks, there were still a great many that did not survive. Even after the second tranche of TARP funds was approved in January, banks have still found themselves in peril, with over 120 failing so far this year.

Back to drawing board for financial reform

Voters in Virginia and New Jersey sent a clear message to Democrats in Washington earlier this month: “Slow down.”  Whether it’s Democrats’ push for a government takeover of healthcare, the White House’s rush to release terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, or the administration’s haste to increase the deficit, the American people are concerned about the decisions being made in Washington. They want Congress to give policies careful consideration before enacting laws that have unintended consequences.

Lenders seem to say honesty too expensive

The banks think we’re stupid. They pounded consumers into the ground with abusive mortgages and credit cards. Now they’re threatening us with even higher costs if Congress tries to do something about it. “Honesty costs too much money,” the lenders seem to be saying. Somewhere, the gods are texting “lol.”

Argument for a consumer finance protection agency is strong, despite criticism

On Oct. 22 the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 (H.R. 3126) cleared the House Financial Services Committee. The bill would create a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) to police credit cards, mortgages and other Consumer Financial Products (CFPs). The success of the bill in the House committee is an important first step. But many hurdles remain, especially in the Senate.