I’ve been following various Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee as, in anticipation of the GOP gaining control of the lower chamber, they promise to repeal or defund important provisions in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. And if his recent interviews are any indication, these representatives may have a sympathetic counterpart in Rand Paul, Kentucky’s Republican Senate nominee.
Last night, during an interview with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, Paul asserted that his plan for growing the economy and creating jobs is to prevent some of Dodd-Frank’s regulations from coming online:
KUDLOW: In your campaign, what are your proposals to grow the economy and get jobs?
PAUL: Well, my biggest concern right now, and I think it’s not being talked about enough, was the banking regulatory bill…My fear is that a bad recession could turn into a worse recession because of overzealous regulations on banks.
On CNN this morning, Paul reiterated his concern with Dodd-Frank, saying “we need to repeal the things that are preventing us from getting out of this recession.” Watch a compilation:
Contrary to Paul’s assertion, businesses large and small are having trouble accessing loans because the economy is weak and banks are holding onto money (much like large corporations are). Lifting regulations is not going to suddenly make them feel that economic conditions merit making loans, but it would free them up to reengage in some of the risky practices that led to the financial meltdown.
Of course, this fits in with Paul’s wider corporatist agenda, in which businesses could discriminate against customers because of their skin color and safety regulations for workers would cease to exist. But if he winds up in the Senate, Paul will be joined in his push for repeal by Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). Washington’s Republican Senate nominee Dino Rossi has also said that he would like to see Dodd-Frank repealed. Paul is taking it further, though, claiming that the number one thing that the government can do to create jobs is to encourage Wall Street to go back to running wild.
Regulators are already designing some of the much needed rules to govern Wall Street — particularly those having to do with derivatives and the Volcker rule — and Republicans have made clear they want to throw sand into the regulators’ gears (as any repeal effort will in all likelihood be vetoed by President Obama), burying them in paperwork and hearing appearances that take time away from the rule-writing effort. And it seems that Paul would be all too happy to join in that game.