Jun 242010

If the Senate accepts the House changes, however, one of two things will happen, said Michael Greenberger, a University of Maryland professor and the former head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets. “Either we’re going to have a bill that’s regulation in name only or we going to have no regulation, which means no consumer protection infrastructure, no resolution authority and the whole of the benefits the reform provides,” said Greenberger.

Ryan Grim, Huffington Post

bank crash
Image by Cau Napoli via Flickr

Another sellout of the American people. Does anyone really think we’ll wind up with something resembling real financial reform? The dynamic works something like this:

The Democrats feign reform. Their original legislation lacks teeth, but it does contain certain stipulations that Wall Street opposes. The Republicans meanwhile do absolutely NOTHING to help and instead attempt to block even the meager “reform” offered by the Democrats. The Democrats then respond by proposing compromises that are ostensibly needed in order to gain passage. These new offers further weaken legislation that was already marginal at best.

In the end, we wind up with either legislation with so many loopholes that it really changes nothing or no legislation at all — either way the status quo is maintained.

The Congressional maneuvering is really just a dance to present the appearance of legitimate government. In reality, neither side really wants any change. They have their big money benefactors to worry about. The financial sector spends a pile of money to ensure that Congress meets their needs — over $20 million between the securities/investment and commercial banking lobbies thus far in the 2009/2010 election cycle. Together, their spending is second only to lawyers and law firms.

Real finance reform would not only address derivatives but also force size limits and leverage ratios on the banks. We’re better off passing nothing than this sugar pill.

This same scenario repeats itself on every major issue. Healthcare was ostensibly about providing needed services to Americans without. Of course, the only way to achieve that without deepening the federal debt was to incorporate the public option. But since a public option would have created real competition for the medical lobby, it was quickly dropped. There weren’t enough votes to get is passed. Why? Because between doctors, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, and other healthcare services, there’s been nearly $43 million in campaign cash this term alone.

The sad truth is that the American Congress serves only a very small group of Americans. They are captured by Big-Money, and we will not see any change until and unless The People join together, from both sides of the political debate, and coalesce around the topic of campaign finance reform. Public campaign financing is already working in several states in the form of Clean Elections. And there’s a bipartisan bill in House and also the Senate to bring similar reform to Washington.

With public campaign financing, we just might get our politicians back to work for the people. Actually, since estimates place their efforts spent on fund raising at 20 percent to 40 percent of their time, we just might actually get them back to work — period. Couple public financing with preferential voting, which would allow a significant increase in votes for third party candidates, and we may see a revitalization of government. Add term limits and solid bars closing the revolving lobbyist door, and we just might return to a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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