Financial Reform and Your Safety

wall street

wall streetI was disappointed today to see all the Republicans in the United States Senate and two Democrats vote to block debate on financial regulatory reform.

President Obama last week scolded Wall Street for the way greedy investors and hedge fund managers lied, cheated, and stole their way to billions in profits and billions more in our tax dollars.  He’s asking Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill to come together to paint lines on Wall Street.

Lines on a street, you see, are regulations.  When I am in a crosswalk near downtown Dallas and the “walk” light comes on, I have the ability to cross the street safely without worrying that one of the two-ton machines on the street might kill me.  The line painted on the street prevents it.  The government just saved my ass.

What happened in our financial services sector leading up to the meltdown and taxpayer bailouts of AIG, Citigroup, and others was big hulking financial machines were able to run over people without any threat of government intervention.  This is the equivalent of the president and congressional Democrats asking Republicans to make it illegal for a car company to sell you a vehicle with brake lines that have been cut.  Any partisan divide on that would be manufactured controversy.

One of the chief arguments against reform has been that those to blame for the financial meltdown are the low income and middle class folks who got into loans that it turned out they could not afford.  Right-wing commentators ask “Where is the personal responsibility?”  Whenever those same right-wingers defend corporate money in politics, their first point is usually that corporations are made up of individuals who have a right and responsibility to speak out on public policy issues.  Ok, well then where is their personal responsibility for cheating and gaming the system to enrich themselves and leave the poor and middle class homeless?

Too often the conversation about these matters is structured in such a way that the only people responsible for their actions are people who were lied to by folks who make billions of dollars while destroying our economy.  Do people really want a system that rewards financial institutions for sinking our boat?

There will be a legitimate debate over how far regulations should go.  But, there is no legitimate debate over whether to get out the paint brushes.

Author: Scott Braddock

With over ten years of experience in radio, Scott Braddock brought his love for broadcasting to Newsradio 1080 KRLD in April 2008. He is the host of Beyond the Headlines, which airs weekdays at 2pm on KRLD. Most recently, Scott served as Chief Political Reporter for Newsradio 740 KTRH in Houston, where he was honored with an Edward R. Murrow award for investigative journalism and received recognition for excellence and fairness in political reporting from members of Texas' Congressional delegation. During his five years in Houston, he covered a broad range of issues with a special focus on education and immigration, two of the most important issues facing Texas and the nation. He also reported on stories of national importance including Hurricane Katrina, the prosecution of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Andrea Yates' release from prison, the death of Enron founder Ken Lay, and the BP Texas City refinery explosion that killed 15 and injured hundreds more. Scott has moderated congressional debates and served as an analyst of Texas politics. In honor of his many years of service to the Houston community, Houston Mayor Bill White declared Scott's final day in Houston as "Scott Braddock Day." A Texas native, Scott began his radio career at the age of 16 in Brenham spinning records (yes, records) and reading school lunch menus on the air. From that point forward, Scott was hooked. He developed a passion for broadcast communication. He was a disc jockey in Bryan/College Station and later transitioned into news reporting in both Washington State and California. Scott was born in Wharton County and enjoys making trips back to his family farm. In his free time, Scott spends time with his son Alex and his daughter Carolyn.

8 thoughts on “Financial Reform and Your Safety”

  1. Note that Harry Reid, as majority leader, voted with the Republicans so that he can call up the bill for reconsideration at a later date. (You have to be in the majority on the vote to make a motion to reconsider.) So Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) was the only Democrat who really sided with the Republicans.

  2. Noted. But, the overall point here is that no matter which party is blocking reform, it needs to get done.

  3. You reckon the Rs have looked to see the ridicule heaped by historians on 1920s R defenders of Wall Street? Their grandkids are sure enough gonna be embarrassed.

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