Lost in the coverage of the tragic murders in Aurora, Colo. was an important anniversary. Saturday, July 21 marked one year since the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted. The law may not survive to reach its second birthday.
Who could possibly want to stop Wall Street reform and consumer protection, anyway? Mitt Romney and the GOP, that's who.
Romney wants to kill the baby in its cradle before it grows strong enough to corral the gang of bankers and billionaires who crashed the economy in the fall of 2008 with their greed and arrogance. While waiting for Romney to come in and kill the reform, House Republicans have crippled the new law by refusing to approve regulations issued by the Treasury Department designed to implement the reform.
There were no birthday bashes with bottles of bubbly in the Hamptons Saturday to celebrate the first birthday of the Dodd-Frank legislation becoming law. However, if Mitt Romney becomes president, there will be plenty of parties on Wall Street to celebrate the law's demise. The bash to celebrate the death of Dodd-Frank will be catered by the same band of banksters who gave us the Great Recession which cost millions of Americans their jobs and then their homes.
The Bush administration and Congress rubbed salt in the wounds of working families when it forked over $7.7 trillion to the gang who caused the problem in the first place with few strings attached. The purpose of the bailout bucks was to give banks enough money to start making loans again to ease the consumer credit crunch and stimulate the economy. Instead the lords of finance used the money for golden parachutes, Caribbean getaways, and the naming rights to the New York Mets' grand new stadium. The new law would make sure that this never happens again.
In the fall of 2008, Washington rewarded the perpetrator of the crime and punished the victims. The federal government stepped up to the plate for Wall Street but no one thought that middle class Americans were important enough to get their own bailout. Mitt Romney supported the bank bailout for his billionaire buddies but opposed President Barack Obama's loans to the car companies that saved hundreds of thousands of middle class manufacturing jobs.
The purpose of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Act, sponsored by Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank, is to prevent a repeat of the collapse of the financial industry and the economy. The new law limits Las Vegas-style casino loans and creates a new consumer protection agency to shield people from abuses in the financial industry.
When it comes to healthcare reform, the Republican mantra is "repeal and replace," although you hear repeal a lot more than replace. When it comes to financial reform and consumer protection, the GOP doesn't even mention replace. Republicans just want to get rid of Dodd-Frank before it does anymore to curb abuses in the financial industry and before the new law disturbs the bankers and billionaires in the financial industry who have opened up their corporate coffers to conservative super PACs.
The 2012 campaign has become a battle between the Democrats who want corporate America to serve Americans and the Republicans who want Americans to serve corporate America. Romney's record as a corporate vulture, the effort to rollback corporate reform, and federal tax giveaways for big business all will play an important role in the outcome in November.