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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Money in the bank

Scott Brown has defended his indefensible decision to cut benefits for the long-term unemployed by citing his opposition to continued deficit spending. But when presented with an option to raise $19 billion from a sector largely responsible the Great Recession, Brown once again sided with the fat cats.

Despite winning concessions for his pals at Mass Mutual, Brown is now waffling on support for compromise financial reform legislation because it levels $19 billion in taxes and fees on banks and hedge funds.

With the same sincerity he has displayed in his support for the jobless, Brown insists he's against the tax because it will simply be passed on to consumers.
“I’ve said repeatedly that I cannot support any bill that raises taxes.’’
But let's listen to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, who helped negotiate the compromise.

Fees would be levied on banks with assets of more than $50 billion and hedge funds of more than $10 billion. Their fees would vary on a sliding scale, calculated so that institutions taking the greatest risks in the market would pay the highest taxes.

Or, in Frank-speak:
“It will amount each year to less than their bonus pool.’’
The proposal includes a new regulatory mechanism for the industry that gave us sub-prime mortgages, derivatives and Bernie Madoff. In the words of Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law professor who has acted as a watchdog:
“They created a strong, independent consumer agency that will have the tools to rein in industry tricks and traps and to cut out the fine print. For the first time, there will be a financial regulator in Washington watching out for families instead of banks.’’
Now of course Brown has offered a classic waffle -- I'm against the tax but I haven't read the full bill. But by taking a stance against a tax on the riskiest of risky banks and hedge funds, literally against the survival of the long-term unemployed, Brown has issued a very loud statement of where his loyalties and priorities lie.

Regret that vote yet Massachusetts?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott Brown ran against the tax-and-spend culture of Washington. He's delivering what he promised. I say good for him. The Martha Coakley voters may not like it, but the people of Massachusetts have rejected the liberal big government agenda.

June 26, 2010 11:21 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Anon, I can only assume you have a secure job in a bank. Scott Brown also ran as a supposed friend of the "little guy." I guess he defines "little guy" as a hedge fund with assets over $10 billion.

June 26, 2010 11:45 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

If Brown was serious about opposing government waste and saving taxpayer money, he would have come out strongly against funding the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jet pork project, which the Pentagon doesn't want and which will represent a waste of billions. Instead, he supports the project, which shows him to be just another tax-and-spend, big-government, big-business hack.

June 26, 2010 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The language "tax and spend" is used because the Republicans don't like what and who the money is being spent on, and who it's being acquired from. The total dollars spent don't bother them, as evidenced by their recent times in the majority with Republican presidents. When they controlled everything, they spent with abandon, never looking at the deficits and mounting debt. In fact, during those periods, they often floated the excuse that "deficits don't matter". Fast forward to a Democratic majority and a Democratic president, and their language has suddenly taken a 180. Go figure.

June 26, 2010 9:57 PM  

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