Thursday, September 23, 2010

Is Yet More Government Regulation Worth It?

Yesterday, I turned on C-Span and heard members of the SEC try to explain why, despite multiple tips and indeed multiple recommendations from within the SEC, it didn't, for eight years(!) investigate massive Ponzi-schemer Allan Stanford, despite the SEC having a multi-BILLION-dollar budget.

Of course the SEC's failure to provide meaningful oversight even when tipped off shouldn't surprise me. After all, government regulatory agencies ignored multiple tips about another mega Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff, the tainted peanut plant, and two decades worth on the salmonella-ridden egg facility.

Then I turned to C-Span2 and heard members of a California state regulatory board try to explain how they didn't notice the $800,000 salaries paid to Bell, CA government employees.

Ah, government.

And now President Obama wants to spend more BILLIONS of our tax dollars to increase regulation and oversight--for example, to give an additional $1.1 BILLION to the SEC. And Obama has called for increased government regulation and oversight in many additional areas.

Can Mr. Obama honorably look the working- and middle-class taxpayer in the eye, the group that pays the most painful share of taxes, and say that it's a better use of their money to wrest it from them in taxes to pay for yet more government regulation and oversight than to leave it in the taxpayers' pockets?


Anonymous said...

Some laws are simpler to enforce than others.

The brilliance of many of the Roosevelt-era financial reforms was that many were not 'regulations,' lobbyist driven compromise packages.

Your bank could not have branches in more than one state. Full stop.

Your bank could not offer savings accounts and a parimutuel, excuse me, stock trading department. Full stop.

Those are two of the larger ones. There were more, but they were fairly simple laws which kept bank sizes relatively small in most of the country and kept the casino mentality out.

Under a succession of presidents, as memories of the Depression waned and Wall Street lobbied incessantly, many of the most important laws went away, and under Obama, none have come back - in large part because of the contributions of Wall Street to well-placed pols, but in equal measure because of the rallying cry "class warfare" when serious regulation is dicussed.

The warning signs were clear in the Savings and Loan crisis that even slightly looser regulations placed institutions and deposit guarantees at risk.

Nothing was done, and here we are.

Marty Nemko said...

Thank you, Anonymous. As I've often said on this blog, my favorite comments are intelligent disagreement. If only society encouraged that instead of left, right, and libertarian, men/women, Blacks/Asians/Whites/Latinos, insisting they have a monopoly on wisdom.

Jacked Up said...

Marty's most important remark here is the spending needed to fund all the "regulation." Any president should be ashamed to blindly believe it's okay to soak taxpayers for a program that may not be successful.


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