Taking Steps To Improve America’s Economy

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about a bill that was recently approved by the House Financial Services Committee.

The article reports:

With little fanfare and even less media coverage, the House Financial Services Committee recently approved along party lines a bill that would significantly reform the economy-deadening Dodd-Frank law. It’s a good first step toward restoring our financial freedom.

The fact is, the 2010 Dodd-Frank law has been a disaster, responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs and putting a damper on economic growth by making credit harder to come by for those who need it most.

In a recent interview with NPR, House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas made a succinct case for getting rid of Dodd-Frank: “Free checking at banks has been cut in half. Banking fees have gone up. Working people are finding it more difficult to get mortgages,” he said.

He could have gone further. Small- to medium-size banks — the traditional sources of working capital for small business — have been hurt worst by Dodd-Frank’s extensive regulations that impose billions of dollars in unnecessary costs each year. And rather than repealing too-big-to-fail for big banks, Dodd-Frank actually makes it all but certain that taxpayers will be asked to bailout big banks during the next downturn.

Dodd-Frank was passed with the idea that the banks and Wall Street were responsible for the financial meltdown of 2008. Actually, the government and government policy were much more to blame.

The best explanation I have seen of the cause of the financial crisis can be found in a YouTube video called “Burning Down the House.”

Here is that video:

The article at Investor’s Business Daily further explains:

Under regulatory threat from the government, banks made loans they knew were bad, then the government bought them back. When the Fed went too far in raising interest rates in the mid-2000s, the housing market cratered, banks’ balance sheets were destroyed, and a massive credit crunch and the “Great Recession” ensued. The government caused this crisis — not Wall Street.

As we’ve written repeatedly in the past, Dodd-Frank should have been shut down long ago. It has strangled entrepreneurial activity and dampened economic growth, and made it impossible for millions of Americans to get home loans. It’s a major reason why GDP during the Obama years grew at a pathetic 1.9% rate, rather than the more normal rate of 3% or more.

We hope the House will move quickly to end Dodd-Frank, one of the worst financial regulatory laws in modern history.

It is going to take a while, but the damage done to the American economy by the policies of Congress and the misdirected efforts to correct something that did not cause the problem can be corrected. We need both political parties to work together to make that happen. Unfortunately, I don’t think that is likely. Hopefully the Republicans have enough votes to pass this legislation without any Democratic votes.

Representative Campbell, We Will Miss You

California Representative John Campbell announced last night on the Hugh Hewitt show that he will not seek another term in office. (Hugh Hewitt is one of the best talk shows on the air. The easiest way to listen to the show is at TownHall.com from six to nine pm Eastern time.)

This is the statement from Representative Campbell’s website:

Representative John Campbell (CA-45) to Retire from Congress in 2014

Washington – This evening, on Hugh Hewitt’s nationally syndicated radio show, U.S. Representative John Campbell (CA-45) announced his intention to retire from public service next year at the end of the 113th Congress.

Representative Campbell, first elected to the U.S. Congress in 2005 through a special election held to replace former Representative Christopher Cox, will have served five terms when he retires in 2014. Campbell, the Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, currently represents California’s 45th district.

Upon making his announcement, Representative Campbell authorized the following statement to be released immediately:

I have decided that I will not seek re-election to represent California’s 45th Congressional district in 2014. At the end of this term, I will have spent 14 years serving in full-time, elected politics. I am not nor did I ever intend to be a career politician. I am ready to begin a new chapter in my life.

It has been an honor and a privilege to represent the district where my wife and I have raised our children. I look forward to continuing that representation for the balance of the 113th Congress.  I have been blessed to have the unwavering support of my family, friends, and the residents of Orange County throughout these years, and for that I will remain forever grateful.

My passion for the conservative issues for which I have fought so vocally over that span has not waned. But in the future, I will continue the fight for more freedom and a less authoritarian government as a private citizen rather than elected official.

Drive fast and live free.

I remain respectfully,

JOHN CAMPBELL
Member of Congress

Representative Campbell is a regular guest on the Hugh Hewitt show. Those of us who listen to the show appreciate his knowledge of financial matters and the principles he stands for in Congress. Representative Campbell is a CPA and is a very successful businessman. He is a member of the full House Committee on Financial Services.

His rational voice will be missed in Congress.

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One Reason Things In Washington Don’t Seem To Be Changing

The Tea Party movement toward smaller government and lower taxes began sometime around 2009. The Tea Party has elected a number of its members to the House of Representatives in the past two elections. Why hasn’t anything changed?

One clue can be found in an article posted at RedState.com on December 3. The article points out that the conservative Republicans supported by the Tea Party are being excluded from leadership positions on the various House Committees.

The article reports:

Maybe it’s because he’s intent on repealing Dodd-Frank.  Maybe it’s because he wants to use his committee assignment to advocate winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Perhaps it’s because of his opposition to the $1 trillion farm bill.  Maybe it’s because he’s just too darn conservative to sit on an important committee.

Earlier today, we provided a list of those who made it onto the Super A committees.  Well, Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) is a conservative freshman member who was actually kicked off the Financial Services Committee.  Members are rarely kicked off committees unless there is a scandal.

David Schweikert is one of those 2010 freshmen who is actually a Tea Partier in deed as well as rhetoric.  While many freshmen folded under the pressure from leadership, Schweikert was actually removed from the Whip team because of his conservative dissent during the budget battles.

If we have the same President we have had for the past four years and the same Congressional leadership we have had for the past four years, why should we expect things to change?

Politico reported yesterday that conservative groups are protesting some of the decisions made by Boehner’s leadership team.

The article reports:

On Monday, in a closed meeting, House Republicans booted Amash, Schweikert, Huelskamp and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) from plum committee assignments. Retribution for members who voted against Boehner’s team was long discussed in leadership circles. It was low-risk for Boehner — he went after three freshman and Jones, who has long been a pariah in the House Republican establishment.

Huelskamp, who lost his seat on the Budget Committee, was particularly stung. The budget is his main issue, and he sent a blistering statement Monday evening, saying “the GOP leadership might think they have silenced conservatives, but removing me and others from key committees only confirms our conservative convictions.”

“This is clearly a vindictive move, and a sure sign that the GOP establishment cannot handle disagreement,” Huelskamp said.

If we want America to survive, Republicans have only one option–vote out the current Washington leadership and bring in the fiscal conservatives.

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Any Bets On Where This Will Go ?

Capital Building

Image via Wikipedia

On November 15, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) thanking Senator Scott Brown for his introductions of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge, or STOCK Act, (S.1871) which would clarify insider trading regulations that do not clearly identify whether the use of inside government information constitutes insider trading. On November 15, the bill was read and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Hearings were held.

USA Today reported on December 6 that the bill could be voted on by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the House Financial Services Committee on December 14. If the committees vote for the measure, the full Congress could vote on it early next year.

The article reports that there is some opposition to the bill:

New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of Long Island said the STOCK Act could leave lawmakers vulnerable to “a witch hunt.”

“It’s flawed, and everybody knows it,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo. “I hope there’s another way of doing this.”

Cleaver suggested alternative approaches, such as letting lawmakers put their investments into blind trusts handled by professional investment managers, or having the SEC issue guidance letters advising individual lawmakers on what’s legal.

Two Republican freshmen, Reps. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin and Francisco Canseco of Texas, have proposed letting lawmakers choose between a blind trust and reporting financial transactions more frequently.

Duffy’s legislation would require reporting them within three business days. Canseco’s proposal, which would change the internal rules of the House, would require reporting them within five business days after the end of each month.

I think one of the problems here is that for a long time we have expected Congress to police itself, and obviously it has not done a very good job. I am not sure that the current bill is the answer to the insider trading problem, but I can guarantee that doing nothing is not the answer. Congress needs to be under the same laws as the rest of us. It seems as if this bill would move that idea closer to reality.

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