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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Working class hero -- not

They'll be drinking champagne toasts and having caviar dreams of Scott Brown this long holiday weekend in the Hamptons. That truck-drivin' man from Massachusetts saved them $19 billion.

Meanwhile, over at Hopkinton State Park and others like it around the state, the folks losing their unemployment because Brown refuses to support an extension of long-term unemployment benefits -- because there's no money! -- will be wondering what happened to the champion of the little guy they elected in January.

Brown apparently single-handedly forced House and Senate finance chiefs Barney Frank and Chris Dodd to retreat to a conference room to strip the bank tax from a compromise financial reform bill designed to put an end to some of the abusive practices that brought us the Great Recession.

Apparently fat bonuses for "beleaguered" bankers and hedge fund operators won't be one of them.

“I’ve said right from the beginning that I can’t support a bill that’s going to add a $19 billion bank tax,’’ Brown told reporters yesterday. “You think the banks are going to pay it? No. The individual consumers are going to pay this in the middle of a two-year recession, through higher ATM fees, credit card, bank fees.’’

Problem with that rationalization is the fees would have been 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.

Don't know many folks with a hedge fund ATM, do you? And the way to avoid higher fees is to be more careful with OUR money. According to Frank:
“It will amount each year to less than their bonus pool."
Meanwhile, Brown will head off on yet another congressional recess having successfully blocked a bill that would extend long-term jobless benefits and helps Massachusetts and 29 other states pay some bills designed to stimulate the economy.

I don't think this is what people expected when they elected the (for now) most popular politician in Massachusetts.

Brown is among the conservative camp now holding sway around the world that the time to deal with deficits is now -- just as America is moving out of its funk even while Europe stutters. They held sway at the recent G-20, something Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman says heralds the onset of the Third Depression.
And this third depression will be primarily a failure of policy. Around the world — most recently at last weekend’s deeply discouraging G-20 meeting — governments are obsessing about inflation when the real threat is deflation, preaching the need for belt-tightening when the real problem is inadequate spending.
Failed policies like doing the bidding of the bankers over their depositors.

What's in your wallet, Senator Brown?

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1 Comments:

Blogger Daniel said...

So instead of the banks paying for the new regulatory agencies, it will come out of TARP funds or something- in other words, from our federal income taxes. How is this any better for us average folks? Maybe a Brown supporter will correct my analysis of the situation, but it sure seems like he's only transfering the costs of the bill to average taxpayers, thus insulating the banks and protecting their profit margin.

June 30, 2010 8:30 AM  

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