Congress Must Act to Lift Restrictions on Consumer Choice and Access to Credit in the Market
by Horace Cooper
Much has been written about the over-reach of Dodd-Frank and the drag that law and its progeny will have on the financial services sector, the economic recovery, and job creation. Evidence continues to mount that the specter of over-regulation is crowding out free market solutions and restricting credit in the markets. Worse, the negative effects of government interference in the financial services industry extend well beyond large commercial banks deemed “too big to fail.” A case in point is credit unions.
Credit unions serve an important source of credit for consumers and small businesses. Historically this has been especially true during economic downturns, when the banking industry either tightened or in other ways limited credit. Read more
With nothing better to do than challenge the patriotism of a private company, Congress members on both sides of the isle blasted Ralph Lauren and the US Olympic Committee for not creating uniforms made in the US.
Harry Reid said, “I am so upset. I think the Olympic Committee should be ashamed of themselves. I think they should be embarrassed. I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile, and burn them and start all over again.”
Rep. Steve Israel, a Democrat from New York went further, “It is not just a label, it’s an economic solution. Today there are 600,000 vacant manufacturing jobs in this country and the Olympic Committee is out sourcing manufacturing of uniforms to China? That is not just outrageous, it’s just plan dumb.”
But hold the phone……is there a reason why companies are outsourcing to China?
Could it be that the American textiles mills are all but non-existent?
Could it be that thanks to NAFTA, CAFTA, and a host of preferential trade agreements with India, China, and a host of other countries, our own manufacturing industry has rendered what few facilities remain, financially impractical?
The NAFTA debacle has the blood of Republican and Democrat politicians alike. Read more
As a rock-ribbed conservative, I support the entrepreneurial dynamism of free markets. I believe entrepreneurs are more likely than government bureaucrats to build successful businesses and provide stable, good-paying jobs. I oppose government interference in the marketplace. I want government to spend less, interfere less, do less, and tax less.
So when a few fellow conservatives criticize plans to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank on grounds that it is just another costly government corporate welfare program, why do I strongly disagree? The answer is simple – the Ex-Im Bank is none of the things some of my fellow conservatives claim.
The Ex-Im Bank assists U.S. manufacturers – small and large – to export their goods to foreign buyers. Typically it facilitates loan guarantees for foreign buyers who want to buy U.S. goods. Whether it is big names like General Electric, Caterpillar and Boeing, or small companies (which comprise 87% of the bank’s transactions), the Ex-Im Bank helps their foreign buyers obtain financing so that American goods are sold and shipped abroad. This means more American employment and more exports. Read more
The dreaded PEST is back with a vengeance.
Post-Election Stress Trauma emerged in the U.S. in 2004 after President Bush won reelection. The symptoms included feelings of sadness, frustration, isolation, bitterness, moodiness and fear. In severe cases it elicited irrational impulses to emigrate to Canada or even France.
PEST in 2010 has mutated into the insidious TEAPEST, which stands for Tea Party Endorsement Stress Trauma. It hit Republicans in the primaries first, but that’s a tempest in a teapot compared to what Democrats face. Read more
Generation Y workers are getting a cold dose of reality during this recession: they’re not particularly special after all. Read more
By J.C. Watts
During my service in Congress, whenever legislation was dubbed “reform” it was especially necessary to analyze the details and consequences. So it is with congressional passage of President Barack Obama’s financial services “reform”– the biggest expansion of government power over banks and private markets since the Great Depression.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the 2,300-page law– crafted by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.– requires no fewer than 243 new rules by 11 federal agencies. “A general attack on our free enterprise system,” is how a frustrated U.S. Chamber of Commerce describes the law that will make it tougher for consumers and small businesses to borrow money.
Critics have focused on the bill’s costs and how it may affect access to credit. They warned that forcing banks to raise more capital will crimp their ability to advance loans, or raise the cost of doing so; tougher derivatives rules could raise the cost of hedging for companies that use these instruments in daily operations. Again, as The Wall Street Journal reports, tougher consumer rules could further pinch credit — especially for people with lower incomes.
By T.R. Fehrenbach
President Calvin Coolidge said that the business of America was business, for which he was castigated or ridiculed by the aboriginal American intelligentsia.
Coolidge was disdained because he didn’t do much in office, but few presidents did unless faced with wars, rebellion, or other crises.
But the fact is, old Cal was right. Business is the thing most Americans do best, even better than government.
Everything that we do well, after all, depends on American business. Good government, military power, employment, charity, standards of living and serving as refuge to failed societies depend on the health of American enterprise. As business goes, so goes the nation. This should be evident in recessions.
The majority of Americans work and therefore eat and pay taxes because they are involved in some sort of surplus-producing private business, from industry to sales to finance to science and agriculture. Enterprises such as charities, education, and government — non-profits in general — are utterly dependent on profit-making business for funding. You’d think people would grasp this when things get rough.
By John Stossel
Something’s happened to America, and it isn’t good. It’s become easier to get into trouble. We’ve become a nation of a million rules. Not the kind of bottom-up rules that people generate through voluntary associations. Those are fine. I mean imposed, top-down rules formed in the brains of meddling bureaucrats who think they know better than we how to manage our lives.
Cross them, and we are in trouble. Read more