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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

December 12, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Vote: Should Obama veto the budget bill?

The budget bill began in shame, with Republicans demanding that Democrats give up clean water legislation and child nutrition in exchange for avoiding a government shutdown. It has degenerated into disgrace.

Buried in the legislation is a provision that would begin gutting Dodd-Frank, the post-panic financial regulation bill that the financial industry has already weakened. Now, the part of the bill that prohibits federally insured banks from gambling in parts of the derivatives market would be eliminated. Indeed, it was drafted almost word-for-word by Citigroup lobbyists.

These hustles played a big role in the near-meltdown of the financial system (and nobody went to jail). And the banksters would sleep comfortably in their many mansions knowing the taxpayers will bail them out (again).

Another odious sneak-in: Pension plans would be allowed to severely cut the benefits of existing retirees. There’s a win for the middle class. Indeed, the bill is full of special-interest corruption.

If President Obama vetoes the budget, the Republicans will surely shut down the government (not all bad: less torture). And you ain’t seen nothing yet: Wait for a totally GOP-controlled Congress in January thanks to the lowest turnout in 70 years. On the other hand, if America had a Democratic Party of old, one not owned by the oligarchs, it would take the case to the people and make the Republicans own this infamous behavior.

What do you think?


This Week’s Links:

Why America’s middle class is lost | Washington Post

Labor union membership and life satisfaction | Economist’s View

Is inequality good or bad for growth | OECD Insights

Second Circuit decision effectively legalizes insider trading | Naked Capitalism

New aluminum foam makes trains lighter, stronger and safer | Wired

The decline in male employment: Look to large trade deficits and small budget deficits | Dean Baker

Economic gains from shale oil and gas | Tim Taylor

China has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest economy | Joseph Stiglitz


Today’s Econ Haiku:

McGinn was correct

Until he made that u-turn

Boring policy


 

I invite you to follow me on Twitter @jontalton


 

 

 

Comments | More in Politics and the economy | Topics: budget bill, Dodd-Frank, Pensions

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