It is not often, if ever, that a government gets the opportunity to track documented events that lead to devastation on a massive scale, and then have tools at their disposal to ensure a horrendous recurrence will never decimate its citizens’ lives again. After the collapse of the financial sector in 2008, President Obama and Democrats took what were arguably critical steps to guarantee American financial institutions and Wall Street could never destroy America and the world’s economy through unregulated use of derivative trading by enacting financial reform. Republicans claimed the steps were vicious government overreach holding back unrestrained banking profits regardless the reforms protected the nation’s economic health and the population’s ability to survive after Bush-Republicans eviscerated America’s economy. Leading up to the 2010 midterm elections, President Obama warned the American people that giving Republicans control of Congress was tantamount to granting them permission to drive the economy into the ditch, and his words were nothing short of prophetic.
Over the past two weeks, Republicans, with the assistance of a distressing number of Democrats, quietly took steps to re-deregulate derivative trading by eliminating crucial aspects of the 2010 financial reform bill (Dodd-Frank) to allow Wall Street and the financial sector to revisit and repeat the precise steps they took in creating the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression. In a typical Republican rebranding to give the financial sector free rein to rape and pillage the American and world economy, House Republicans labeled a deregulatory measure “job creation” and convinced doe-eyed Democrats to help erase aspects of 2010’s financial reform that assured Americans they can expect another economic crash so the wealthy can prosper when they reap all the profits from the next Democratic President’s recovery efforts. Unsurprisingly, main stream media kept the devastating move out of the public’s glaze as corporate-driven media stands to profit from the next financial bailout and recovery efforts while more Americans slip into poverty, lose their retirement savings, jobs, and homes that will dominate weeks’ worth of news’ cycles and headlines for years.
The move by Republicans was part of a slate of deregulatory bills to roll back recent financial reforms and deregulate complex financial products (derivatives) that created the 2008 financial crisis. Unfortunately, the deregulatory legislation targeting financial regulation (Dodd-Frank) had broad bipartisan backing, with one bill passing despite vigorous objections from the White House, leading regulators, and senior Democratic lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee. Nearly two-thirds of House Democrats opposed the measure which aims to eliminate U.S. supervision of overseas activities by U.S. banks, even though nearly two-thirds of them on the banking committee voted for it last month. The good news is that the measures will likely fail in the Senate and President Obama’s veto, but it increases pressure on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to bow to Republican demands because they are wholly dependent on House Republicans for funding.
The Republican deregulatory measure explicitly restricts the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission from supervising overseas swaps trading by U.S. institutions meant to protect government and taxpayers who will ultimately pick up the tab when unsupervised trading leads to the same massive losses the world and nation’s economies suffered during the last Bush-Republican deregulatory frenzy. The Republican move is precisely what President Obama warned Americans would happen if they gave Republicans the keys to the economy again and portends America is bound to suffer another, more devastating, financial meltdown within a few years of the President’s masterful economic recovery maneuvers opposed by Republicans every step of the way.
What should be no surprise to any American with more than an amoeba’s brainpower is that the largest and most powerful American financial groups enthusiastically support, and likely pay handsomely for, the deregulation measures because the secretive swaps trading is among the most lucrative for the financial sector and Wall Street. The banking industry use swaps to hedge their risk and speculate on financial markets’ movements such as on interest rates and creditworthiness to the tune of more than $30 billion in annual profit. Profit, by the way, that flows directly to the wealthy and corporate banking sector that continues Republicans’ thirty year effort of wealth increase for the one-percent as regular Americans continue suffering declining incomes and assets Republicans are systematically transferring directly to their wealthy campaign donors.
Over the past couple of years many pundits attributed Republican economic ideology to insanity borne of “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” but Republicans know exactly what the results of deregulating the financial sector will be. It has been less than ten years since Bush-Republicans deregulated the financial sector that drove the nation into the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, and they are on a crusade to repeat the disaster again to enrich their masters in the banking, Wall Street, and corporate finance industry regardless the catastrophic effects on the American people. As a reminder, the last deregulatory enterprise cost tens-of-millions of Americans their jobs, their homes, and their life-long retirement savings that Republicans are on a tear to repeat as well as transfer Americans’ Social Security retirement accounts to epic failure 401Ks many retirees lost in the last Republican crash.
There is no other way to describe what Republican intentions are in repeating the same deregulation frenzy except to deliberately destroy the American economy once and for all to allow their wealthy supporters the opportunity to step in and buy the United States lock, stock, and barrel. After sitting back and observing Republicans repeat the rest of the world’s economic mistake of imposing austerity during a recovery to devastating effect on growth, unemployment, and social programs, and celebrating a job-killing sequester the International Monetary Fund (IMF) just cited as the reason they cut America’s 2014 growth forecast because of “excessively rapid and ill-designed government spending cuts,” there is no other conclusion but that Republicans want America to fail and are taking steps to hasten its demise.
Interestingly, the IMF specifically cited policy recommendations proffered by President Obama, and rejected out-of-hand by Republicans, to “repeal the sequester cuts and adopt a more balanced and gradual pace of fiscal consolidation” because the “automatic spending cuts exert a heavy toll on growth in the short term, and the indiscriminate reductions in education, science, and infrastructure spending will certainly reduce medium-term potential growth.” Now, it is glaringly obvious that not only are Republicans intent on prohibiting job creation and potential growth, they are Hell-bent on recreating the same environment and conditions that allowed one of their primary funding mechanisms to all-but destroy the nation’s economy in 2008, and have the audacity to give them the same tools to repeat their devastation again under the tired meme of “job creation.”
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.