Monday, July 12, 2010

Good question

Bob Kuttner asks why the Tea Party is giving a free ride to Republicans protecting bankers.

In today's Huffington Post he writes,
Two years and counting into the most severe financial collapse in nearly a century, bankers still rule. Republicans protect bankers from reform, yet amazingly masquerade as the party of populist backlash. If Democrats let the right play this double game, shame on them. It's only possible because too many Democrats are too cozy with the same bankers.

Kuttner was prompted to write because he's rightly concerned that financial reform may not make it through Congress. What looked like a sure thing a few weeks ago is now in jeopardy because of the death of Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia and the wavering of several Republican senators who previously voted for the bill.

Kuttner tells us

...sure enough, three of the four Republican supporters have gone wobbly. Olympia Snowe of Maine voted for the Senate bill, but is now making equivocal noises about whether she'll support the conference bill (which is weaker in some respects than the Senate's version.) Likewise Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

The always wily Scott Brown of Massachusetts threatened to withhold his vote until the House and Senate leaders agreed to scrap a $19 billion tax on large banks. He voted for the senate bill, but now Brown is warning that
he may vote against the final bill anyway. Apparently there is no honor among thieves. The financial industry was the largest donor to Brown's Senate campaign.
The bill isn't perfect, but it's a desperately needed improvement. Prudent regulation would have averted the global economic crisis. Without it, we may well see another financial meltdown.