Congressional Republicans have been waging a campaign to undermine the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, with House Republicans cutting the budgets of the regulators charged with implementing the law and Senate Republicans obstructing nominees for key regulatory positions. Even though the country is still struggling to recover from the Great Recession — caused in no small part by Wall Street malfeasance — the GOP has gone to bat for the nation’s biggest banks, objecting to common sense safeguards for the financial system.
But to hear Republicans tell it, they are doing the country a favor by letting the banks go back to business as usual. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), for instance, said a few weeks ago that “the less we fund” financial system regulators, “the better America will be.” And the Associated Press noted today that Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY) called the GOP assault on Wall Street reform, “entirely practical” and even “compassionate”:
“What we are doing is rational, it is sensible, it is entirely practical, it is compassionate,” said Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., a tea party-backed freshman on that panel. “So we are doing the right thing, and it behooves the Senate and the administration to follow suit.”
U.S. household wealth fell by about $16.4 trillion due to the financial crisis, of which only about half has been recovered. Home equity is so low “that homeowners on average still own only 38.1 percent of their homes, with the rest owed to banks. This is the lowest share on record going back to 1952.”
At the same time, banks have gone back to making sky-high profits. But Republicans are still attempting to undermine Dodd-Frank using every tool at their disposal, and have evidently convinced themselves that allowing Wall Street to run wild is not only in the best interest of the country, but the best way to help American families as well.