IBD editorial on financial reform repeats “bailout” claim, TARP exaggeration; suggests Dems are “bought and paid for”

From an April 20 editorial in Investor's Business Daily:

But Democrats are no more willing to compromise than they were on health reform. They think they can jam Sen. Chris Dodd's “finance reform” down Americans' throats and are counting on their fear of crisis and disillusionment with the financial system to get the measure passed.

“Every day we don't act, the same system that led to bailouts remains in place, with the exact same loopholes and the exact same liabilities,” President Obama says. “And if we don't change what led to the crisis, we'll doom ourselves to repeat it.”

He's right -- which is why the Dodd bill, which keeps the status quo, should be filibustered or killed outright.

Last year, Congress passed a $700 billion TARP bailout based on the idea that our financial system would collapse without it. We later learned that TARP money was used to pay off Democratic Party cronies, buy out failing automakers, force bad bank mergers and cover up big banks' stupid mistakes.

The whole process was corrupt. Early in 2009, TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky told Congress that “nearly 20 preliminary and full criminal investigations” were under way. By June, Barofsky was estimating the total cost of U.S. bailout and stimulus efforts at as much as $23.7 trillion -- an astounding sum to pay for regulatory incompetence.

So granted, reform is badly needed. But sorry, Dodd's bill doesn't do it. Despite Democrats' railing against bailouts, Dodd creates a $50 billion special fund to buy up bank assets if they fail. And if that's not enough, it promises to let taxpayers pay more.

In other words, banks and others that take unhealthy risks at the prompting of U.S. government regulators will still be bailed out - and taxpayers will be on the hook.


As Michael Barone has noted, Wall Street's biggest banks gave twice as much money to Democrats as to Republicans in the last election cycle. President Obama's campaign also raked in millions.

Nothing wrong with that, really. But keep it in mind the next time you hear that the GOP is the party of fat cats. Don't expect real reform from people who have been bought and paid for.


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