A Permanent Bailout of Wall Street

COMMENTARY Health Care Reform

A Permanent Bailout of Wall Street

Mar 29, 2010 3 min read

Policy Analyst

As senior fellow in government studies at The Heritage Foundation, Brian Darling...

Three cheers for House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) who gave the closing speech against ObamaCare on the House floor on March 21st. It was Boehner’s finest hour as a member of Congress. He showed courage by sticking his neck out to protect all Americans. Still, Congress went ahead and passed a health care monstrosity.

Boehner argued that Congress “failed to listen to America” by passing this unpopular bill. He argued that many Americans may lose their current health care plans. Boehner wondered, “is this really the time to raise taxes, create bureaucracies, and burden every job creator in the land?” Conservatives say “Hell no!”

Boehner noted that ObamaCare allows taxpayer-funded abortions. About the shroud of secrecy used to pass ObamaCare, Boehner said, “look how this bill was written. Can you say it was done openly, with transparency and accountability, without backroom deals, struck behind closed doors, hidden from the people? Hell no you know you can’t.”

Boehner went on to talk about how this heavy-handed process has lead to a breakdown in the bond between constituents and elected officials. The idea of “consent of the governed” has been violated by the manner in which this bill was passed. Boehner said citizens, “are angry that no matter how they engage in this debate, this body moves forward against their will.”

Americans showed up at town halls, protested and called members of Congress to tell them “Hell No” to passage of ObamaCare. Yet the elites in the Capitol ignored and sometimes even laughed at these requests. Inside the beltway types think they are smarter than Americans and they ended up jamming ObamaCare down the collective throats of an unwilling American populace.

Taxpayer Funded Viagra for Sex Offenders

You can’t make this stuff up. Last week, the Senate killed an amendment offered by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) that would have prevented using your tax dollars to give Viagra to sex offenders. The vote, part of the health care reconciliation debate, was 57-42. The Coburn Amendment would have established a fraud prevention system to prevent government-run and taxpayer-funded plans from covering erectile dysfunction drugs for individuals who’ve been convicted of child molestation, rape or other forms of sexual assault. Some Senators are so intent on not changing one word of ObamaCare, they are willing to allow tax dollars to go to some very bad people.

Repeal ObamaCare. Today!

Also last week, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) offered an amendment to repeal ObamaCare entirely. Vitter said of his amendment, “this past weekend, after months of town halls and polls in which the American people overwhelmingly and loudly rejected ObamaCare, liberals jammed through a partisan bill to take over our health care system using tricky procedural tactics. The president has signed into law a bill with a trillion dollar price tag that will place the government between patients and their doctors, raise premiums, drastically cut Medicare, increase job-killing taxes, allow for the federal funding of abortions and create a new entitlement program that adds to our increasing deficit.”
Although the Vitter Amendment was defeated on party lines, conservatives have shown that the debate over ObamaCare will go on.

A Permanent Bailout of Wall Street

Last week, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) jammed his new financial regulation bill through committee on a party-line vote in just 22 minutes. The legislation would allow the financial services industry to be eligible for new bailouts. This legislation effectively allows Washington bureaucrats to micromanage financial institutions. The President and other proponents of financial services reform legislation argue that that the legislation would put an end to the “too big to fail” dilemma. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Just look at history. The Troubled Assets Relief Program bailed out institutions declared “too big to fail.” As a result of those bailouts, these same institutions are even bigger today. The Obama administration’s solution to the problem is to limit executive pay and take other measures to regulate private enterprise on Wall Street. Yet new bailout authorities for the federal government may, if recent history is repeated, make massive institutions even bigger.

The Dodd bill would actually create a permanent, $50 billion emergency fund to rescue or unwind firms deemed to be a threat by the new Financial Stability Oversight Council. Explicit financial support of the largest firms by the federal government encourages risky behavior and skews the market place, resulting in progressively riskier and larger firms.

House Republican Leader John Boehner closed his ObamaCare speech by saying, “Shame on us. Shame on this body. Shame on each and every one of you who substitutes your will and your desires above those of your fellow countrymen.” Americans shall not rest until ObamaCare is repealed, the bailouts end and Washington stops ignoring the will of the American people.

Brian Darling  is director of U.S. Senate Relations at The Heritage Foundation.

First appeared in Human Events

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