BrokeAndBroker: Congress Wastes Time
An irreverent Wall Street Blog
by Bill Singer
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Congress Tackles Reform: What's the Point?
Written: September 24, 2009
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Maybe I've gotten to the point where nothing that anyone will do anymore satisfies me. In some worlds you reach the stature of a Jedi Knight. In my world, I have reached the stature of a Royal Curmudgeon - and with good reason. I'm just fed up with all the crap that passes for politics these days. Seems like nothing changes and never will. Meaningful reform? Not in my lifetime.
On Wednesday, September 23, 2009, the House Committee on Small Business heard testimony regarding how changes to the financial regulatory system could affect entrepreneurs and smaller lenders. They billed this as a hearing on “The Impact of Financial Regulatory Restructuring on Small Businesses and Community Lenders." Gotta love those fanciful titles that make something seem oh so important. Starting sometime around 1PM -- god forbid our elected officials got up earlier and put in a full day of meaningful work -- the Committee managed to generate some twenty-one YouTube files, which you can watch here http://www.youtube.com/viewplay_list?p=ED4EDFC4F8AB81C5
Isn't it just freakin' amazing that elected officials still have no idea as to what the impact of reforming Wall Street could have upon small business? I mean, geez, are these politicos so clueless and out of touch that they can't imagine the pros and cons by now - you know, this now: the now that's about two years into the worst recession in memory. We need to hold hearings so that folks can come before our Representatives and tell them how bad things are and suggest ways to enact regulatory reform that will help (rather than harm) whatever smaller businesses and community-based lenders are still around?
I guess I'm just a bit dense. I would have hoped that our politicians were fully briefed on those critical recovery issues and that they themselves had long ago formulated ideas to help us all out of this mess. But, once again, I'm wrong. I should have known better than expected folks we elected to pass laws to know that this terrible recession was fueled by failed regulation and incompetent regulators. I foolishly thought that the folks on Capitol Hill had started asking the tough questions months ago. However, you know, a nice afternoon in September 2009 is as good a time to start with the spade work. What's a few more months of this recession anyway?
Of course, this was a serious hearing. Not a public relations ploy. No. Course not. Perish the thought.
And while I now seem to be in full rant mode, do me a favor and look over this list of folks that the Committee planned to call to testify -- starting at 1PM, no less. http://www.house.gov/smbiz/hearings/hearing-9-23-09-financial-services-regulation/hearing-witnesses-financial-regulation.html
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Boy is this going nowhere fast! I don't think Bill needs to troll for clients, and it is well known what he stand for and against.
It was tough in last election deciding which of the poor choices to make.
George W. Bush was the president that we needed at the time. I hope that Barack Obama will be the president that we need now - time will tell.
Speak about domestic policies, fiscal responsibility and income taxes all you want, they have nothing to do with combating terrorism. And they have nothing to do with why we are safe.
I was in Iraq after the initial invasion and at the height of the insurgency. Here is what we came across: Al Quaeda, Hamas, Sword of Islam, Sons of Islam, Fedayeen Sadaam, al-Sadr's militia. Who do you think these people are, if not terrorists - our mandate was not to simply go after Al Qaeda, but to prosecute a War on TERROR. We uncovered plans to kill American journalists abroad (not just in Iraq), plans to attack trains in Europe and planes in Australia.
The war in Iraq may be seen by the American people as a sideshow and at times a tactical blunder, but in the overall war on terror it was strategic genius. What better place to fight terrorists? In a country where the people who are actually trained to fight and who SIGNED UP for it (I'm sure we can all agree that people in the twin towers and on flight 93 didn't sign up for that) can combat terror.
It also allowed us to push forward in a country (Afghanistan) by distracting the world from our actions there. Now that things have been winding down in Gitmo and Iraq, isn't it amazing that people are complaining about keeping enemy combatants in Afghanistan? Have we lost the tactical advantage there? Sure did. But no plan survives first contact, and the fact that my daughter is safe and my wife can feel safe here in the states... I say bless George W. Bush.
President Obama is a good man who means well. But he has yet to truly BECOME President. A true president does what is right, not what the political winds think is right at the time.
Should a lot of the freedoms that the Bush Administration restricted be lifted? You bet. But I submit that they were necessary at the time.
I further submit that the tactics used by our military and CIA to gather information and combat terror are designed to SAVE lives. Torture does work, to a certain degree. Those who say it doesn't work are full of it and have never see hadji sh!t a brick when his face gets smashed with a rifle and then spill his guts about who is using what cell phone, to blow up soldiers.
As for fiscal policies. These horrible policies started in the Clinton administration, thinking that everybody is entitled to a home. I agree with Bill that we need smaller government, less involvement in our lives. We need term limits for Congress. And they need to serve at one-quarter of their current salaries.
We don't need more regulation, we just need the right kind of regulation.