When You Can't Beat Them, Defund Them


going broke

You got to hand it to the cagey tenacity of the Republicans. When they don't like a bill. They vote against it. If somehow it still passes, the vote to defund it. Use the Affordable Care Act as a prime example.

This isn't the first time they've gone to this method of killing a law -- using funding as their weapon.

Over the past few years, new and improved regulations have been instituted on Wall Street and banking. The Republicans and their Tea Party faction don't like it, but these rules and regulations did get passed. These are protections for the consumer from fraud, speculation and undue fees charged everyone of who uses a bank or credit card.

Now to prosecute a banking institution you need to catch the banks red-handed. To do that you need the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to press charges. They're our watchdogs. They, by statute, have the authority to bring about legal actions on the public's behalf.

So last year we learn of a multi-billion dollar international banking speculation scandal, referred to as the London Whale case. In that one, JPMorgan/Chase is said to  have lost about 4 Billion dollars in bogus speculation. And who's left holding the bag? You and me. Unless... this money is recovered in actions brought about by the CFTC.

Thank God we have them. Well, we have them, but we don't fund them.

Thanks to the GOP, they voted down the necessary funding required to run the CFTC. Add to that the other cuts forced by sequestration and now we, the public, are going to be stuck with no one to recover the lost money for us, as well as prosecute the guilty. So they receive a get out of jail free card and we get $4 billion in losses. Sounds about right for the Republicans.


The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has decided not to press charges against two traders in the "London Whale" case partly because it is so strapped for cash, its former chief enforcement officer, David Meister, told the Wall Street Journal.

House Republicans, as you may know, have made it pretty hard for the CFTC to do its job lately. They've repeatedly rejected requests for more CFTC funding and most recently turned down a raise for the agency to $315 million from $195 million. Of course, the agency's budget was already squeezed by the automatic spending cuts of the sequestration.

Republicans seem to think that the CFTC's budget, up from just $111 million five years ago, is more than enough. But as Bloomberg Businessweek pointed out on Friday, the markets under the CFTC's jurisdiction have gotten more than ten times bigger. (And as the WSJ notes, CFTC fines have paid for the agency's $195 million annual budget many times over.)

So the GOP wants to cut funding of a program that protects us from fraud AND more than pays for itself, if funded.

Yes, that's our Republicans at work. Shut down the government which costs us $24 Billion and yet refuse to pay for a division that can do good and make money. Isn't that what the Republicans are known for -- making money?

I think it's time for the Democrats to step forward and force the issues to the public's attention. Remind them Congress is responsible for all the banking fees we're paying to cover the Wall Street gambling by not voting in the funding necessary to protect us. It's the Republican's plot to destroy America. It's the Democrats' destiny to save it.

The Republicans have just rolled back provisions of Dodd-Frank which offers us protections from the financial shenanigans of big banks. Now they defund their donor's watchdogs (our guardians) so they can reap political contributions.

This has got to stop.