Last Friday, the House passed critical regulatory reform legislation aimed at preventing the recurrence of the kind of financial meltdown that devastated our economy at the end of the Bush administration.
The lobbyists from Wall Street worked hand-in-glove with the Republicans, and a few Democrats, to try to kill the bill. Astoundingly, the Republicans argued that Wall Street should continue to be free to engage in the same reckless speculation that led directly to 10 percent unemployment and required the taxpayers to inject hundreds of billions into the markets so that the geniuses of private finance would not plunge us all into the abyss of another Great Depression.
With no regard for history — and here I mean the events of only 12 months ago — the Republicans and Big Banks have the audacity to contend that the creation of jobs and a growing economy requires the lowest levels of regulation and government involvement possible.
Here’s a news flash: we tried it your way for eight years. The results: the lowest level of job creation of any eight-year period since World War II; all of the country’s economic growth was siphoned off by the top 2 percent of the population and the financial sector; and the economy imploded. Sure — let’s try that again.
The Republicans even had the brazenness to convene a convocation of 100 Wall Street lobbyists last Wednesday to plot how they could completely kill financial regulatory reform. They failed, largely due to the great work of Americans for Regulatory Reform, House Speaker Pelosi, Finance Chair Barney Frank and intensive lobbying from the Obama administration.