Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Get Confused

(Cross posted at Vim and Vinegar)

I understand that the Republican Party's current platform is essentially "whatever is the polar opposite of what President Obama supports," but how is it possible to, in the course of a week, take both sides of the financial reform debate? That seems to be what Senator Mitch McConnell has done.

On the one hand, is April 8, where, according to this article from Washington Monthly, Senators McConnell and John Cornyn went to New York City "to explain what it means for Wall Street, and how financial executives might help prevent some of [the financial reform bill's] lease market-friendly aspects from becoming law by electing more Republicans." Steve Benen, who wrote the article adds clarity: "Democrats, the GOP leaders said, are going to try to punish the irresponsible industry that caused the crash, and prevent similar crises from happening again. McConnell and Cornyn want to stop these efforts, and need the industry's help -- if Wall Street will work with Republicans and elect a whole bunch of GOP candidates, the industry will be better off without all of those pesky regulations imposing oversight and accountability.

Clearly they were arguing for small government and corporate/fiscal responsibility. in a nutshell, "we know you screwed up and nearly towed the entire nation into complete financial collapse that was staved off by the government's bailouts that have shown in early returns to have been prudent decisions in the long run. But we trust you won't do that again; after all, Wall Street has never had problems before, so it must be a one-time problem and now you know to police yourselves. So vote for us. We need your money."

Now, Senator McConnell went on the record on Tuesday (today, via CNN.com) to argue that the American People don't want oversight or regulations on Wall Street. Because putting in place minimum standards of regulation and oversight to help save the country from potential future financial ruin by the greed and obfuscation of the people in charge of our nation's financial pulse isn't in our best interests: "If there is one thing Americans agree on when it comes to financial reform, it's absolutely sure they agree on this. Never again should tax payers be expected to bail out Wall Street from its own mistakes. We cannot allow endless tax payer-funded bailouts for big wall street banks."

The article linked above goes on to note that the proposed legislation would create a sped-up version of bankruptcy with a $50BB resolution fund taxing the biggest firms (not the American people, so the funding would come from the financial institutions - consider it a form of insurance, maybe).

So on the one hand, Senator McConnell is looking out for Wall Street and trying to protect them from Government Intrusion, yet less than a week later, hes looking out for the American People when he urges Republicans to oppose Financial Reform because it doesn't do enough to punish Wall Street for their excesses, without mentioning that it was in part the lack of oversight or regulations, the tax cuts, increased spending and inability to account for the overreaching during the previous administration that led to the collapse...

Interesting that he can point fingers to everyone except those who in theory were in charge of the country or who were in charge of the industry that (nearly) collapsed...

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