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Look at the Surprise Gifts in the Republican Budget plan for Wall Street

Under the cloak of responsible budgeting, Republicans aim to sneak a giveaway to Wall Street bankers through the House of Representatives. This irresponsible stealth attack on reform insults the millions of Americans still unemployed and evicted from their homes because of banking barbarians.

On March 5, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan introduced a sweeping plan for the federal budget, with cuts in programs from Medicare to food stamps. Wall Street banks, however, come out ahead in Ryan’s plan.

What the Wisconsin Republican calls “permanent bailout authority” is actually an effort to prevent bailouts — a mechanism that, however flawed, is intended to make industry foot the bill for any future failure. Ryan’s “bailout” language is a political talking point based on the advice of a Republican pollster. It does not stem from the contents of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Dodd-Frank authorizes regulators to seize failing firms and sell off their parts. We understand why bankers would be upset by this prospect. We don’t understand why it upsets a member of a Congress purporting to defend taxpayer money from, among other things, Wall Street bailouts.

Congress must not shill for the banking industry under the guise of balancing the budget.


Bartlett Naylor is financial policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch