Thursday, October 26, 2017

Trump And Ryan-- The Destroyers Of Regulations That Protect Americans From Greed And Avarice


Did anyone ever really believe Trump's idiotic campaign promises to drain the swamp that he personifies or hold Wall Street-- which now runs his regime-- accountable? If so... how tragic! Late Tuesday evening Trump had Mike Pence break the 50-50 tie in the Senate that will now allow banks more leeway to prey on their customers without fear of sanctions. That it even got to a point where the GOP-controlled Senate needed a tie-breaking vote from Pence was strange. And it wasn't because McCain, Flake or Corker, who had spent the day warning about the existential threat of Trumpism to America had decided to stop rubber-stamping his agenda-- they all voted with him as usual-- or because "the moderates" like Murkowski and Collins had decided to represent their incumbents back in Alaska and Maine instead of their campaign donors on Wall Street. No it was because ex-Democrat John Neely Kennedy (R-LA) and flitty Lindsey Graham (R-SC) crossed the aisle and voted with all the Democrats against the GOP proposal.

Maddow's blogger, Steve Benen, pointed out that "it’s easy to forget that there were voters last year who helped elect Donald Trump and a Republican Congress because they were concerned that Hillary Clinton might not be tough enough on Wall Street. As regular readers may recall, Trump swore up and down for months that it was Clinton who’d do Wall Street’s bidding, while Americans could expect his administration to stand up to the finance industry and its lobbyists. Though millions of voters actually believed all of this, the claims appear quite ridiculous now." It appeared quote ridiculous then as well. A new poll from Morning Consult shows that 53% of voters say Trump is not trustworthy; only 33% of voters think he is. 51% say he's dishonest and only 35% disagree. Yesterday Ipsos released a new poll through Reuters indicating that less than a third of Americans agree with the Trump-Ryan tax proposals.
As the 2018 midterm congressional election campaigns grow nearer, the poll found that more than two-thirds of registered voters said reducing the U.S. federal budget deficit is more important than cutting taxes for the wealthy or for corporations.

Trump’s plan would balloon the deficit and add to the $20 trillion national debt, according to critics and independent analysts, but Republicans say the tax cuts proposed in the plan would be offset by economic growth that would generate new tax revenue.

Among Republicans surveyed, 63 percent said deficit reduction should take priority over tax cuts for corporations, while 75 percent said deficit reduction should take priority over tax cuts for the wealthy.
But Trump and his rubber-stamp Republican Congress is moving ahead in reshaping the financial environment anyway, part of which was the successful vote Tuesday night neutering the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Benen summed up the vote by writing that he had "naively thought Republicans would want to avoid being seen doing Equifax’s bidding so soon after last month’s controversy. Evidently, the party doesn’t care."

Ian Millhiser put it like this: "Tuesday night, as many Americans were preparing to go to bed, an evenly divided Senate voted to give broad lawsuit immunity to credit card companies, auto lenders, credit reporting companies like Equifax, and many other financial firms. The 50-50 tie in the Senate was broken by Vice President Mike Pence (R), and the House approved the lawsuit immunity measure. President Trump is expected to sign it. The resolution passed by the Senate overrides a rule created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which prevents many financial firms from engaging in two abusive practices. The rule prohibited much of the financial industry from using “forced arbitration” agreements-- a common tactic where a company refuses to do business with consumers who will not sign away their right to sue the company in a real court. Consumers who sign away their right to sue must resolve any disputes with the company in a privatized arbitration system that favors corporate parties. Additionally, the CFPB rule prohibited credit card companies and many other financial firms from requiring consumers to sign away their right to bring class action lawsuits, a form of litigation that ensures that companies that charge certain illegal fees to consumers face a consequence for their actions."

The progressive Blue America-endorsed Democrat running in Indiana's flippable 9th district, Dan Canon, is an attorney who fights against this kind of regulatory capture that puts consumers at legal disadvantage and at the mercy of DC-connected corporate power. "This is yet another transparent sellout of the working class to the financial industry," he told us this morning. "There is simply no such thing as frivolous class-action litigation of consumer claims. The courts are the only place where citizens can be an even remotely equal footing with big business. Congressional Republicans and their donors know that, so they've been working to restrict meaningful access to the courts for American consumers for decades. This is just another step toward the Trump/GOP agenda of total corporate supremacy."

Goal ThermometerI was discussing the vote with the progressive Democrat running for the Maine second district seat held by Wall Street puppet Bruce Poliquin-- who takes bankster bribery bucks while sitting on the House Financial Services Committee-- and he pointed me to something he had written last month when the Republican plan was just being debated in the committee. "Earlier this month," he wrote, "the Credit reporting company Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the credit information for 143 million Americans, including Social Security numbers, birthdates and home addresses." And then he went after Poliquin and his cronies in Washington:
Equifax discovered the hack in July but waited more than a month to make news of the breach public. In response the company offered free credit monitoring services for one year, but the offer came with fine print that would have resulted in consumers who accepted the services giving away their ancient right to a trial in court by a jury of peers.

This term buried in the fine print is called an arbitration clause. Usually when we click a box to agree to terms of service, we are agreeing that any disputes will be taken to an arbitrator instead of a court on an individual basis, and we cannot band together with other victims to bring in a class action. But it can cost thousands of dollars to hire a lawyer to bring a claim to arbitration, so it never makes sense when a corporation rips us off by a few dollars here or there.

Without the threat that they will have to face a jury, corporations have every profit-making incentive to cut corners and take risks. Why invest in data security if nobody is going to hold you accountable for a breach? Only when corporations know that consumers can band together to enforce their rights, will they act as responsible stewards or our information.

We need to ban compulsory arbitration in these form contracts, but Bruce Poliquin is doing everything he can to protect the corporations. In June of this year, Bruce Poliquin voted for HR 10, which would block the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from finalizing a rule to prohibit credit card, bank account, and other financial contracts from having fine print forced arbitration clauses with class action bans.

On the day that the Equifax data breach was made public, the House Financial Services Committee, on which Bruce Poliquin serves, considered a bill to cap statutory damages in lawsuits against credit-reporting companies at $500,000, and entirely prohibit punitive damages.

Bruce Poliquin’s support of the financial sector at the expense of his constituents is yet another example of how he continues to fail to represent the people of Maine’s Second Congressional District... He should be working to protect everyday people from data breaches and ensure they are fairly compensated when they fall victim. Instead, he’s working to limit the damages and fall out for the institutions that allow the breaches to happen. That’s unacceptable to me and in Congress I promise to protect people’s right to a day in court against banks and corporations like Equifax that fail to protect consumers’ sensitive information.
And he's been fighting with Poliquin about it ever since. The Sun Journal has called it a "hot campaign issue." While Poliquin puts all his energy into collecting bribes from Wall Street and smearing Jared as "a liberal," Jared was explaining to the media how Poliquin puts the desires of the country’s financial sector ahead of his constituents including the vote "to allow financial firms to force their customers into arbitration instead of allowing them to file lawsuits against firms such as Equifax... Golden, who is the assistant majority leader in the state House, said Poliquin'should be working to protect everyday people from data breaches and ensure they are fairly compensated when they fall victim. Instead, he’s working to limit the damages and fallout for the institutions that allow the breaches to happen.'"

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At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is another one of those typical DWT articles blaming deregulation entirely on the GOP (Trump and Ryan) and completely absolving the Democratic party.

At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, 2:08. Who was it that pushed, passed and signed GLBA and CFMA, after all?

"...there were voters last year who helped elect Donald Trump and a Republican Congress because they were concerned that Hillary Clinton might not be tough enough on Wall Street."

horse shit!

anyone who thought trump would do one single thing to rein in wall street is one of those potted plant voters I keep referring to.

Sentient voters knew trump would only aide and abet wall street greed. They also knew that $hillbillary would only climb out of the wall street boudoir long enough to sign more of the lege her hubby was responsible for (see first paragraph).

In short, after Bernie was ratfucked out of the D nom, there was NOBODY left except Jill Stein that would have stood up to wall street (both major parties are either on their back or on their knees).

I would have proudly voted for Bernie (as proudly as I had voted for Jimmy Carter twice) but he wasn't there (and he refused to take his movement independent!!), so I voted for Jill Stein again (proudly).

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Bill Michtom said...

"as proudly as I had voted for Jimmy Carter twice"

Jimmy Carter’s Blood-Drenched Legacy

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Bill, I get it. Coupla things: Almost all of these things were kept quiet by American press. Sure, some of the atrocities were mentioned, but not the covert US acceptance/support. Russophobia was one of his flaws.

But you need to also consider the deep state's (government and corporate) support of most of those. He knew he couldn't win even the primary in '80 unless they at least stayed out of the way.

Carter tried to keep his job by playing both sides. It didn't work. If he ever did realize how irrational his russophobia and hatred of communism was, he never did say so. I wish he had.

But his biggest mistake was not exposing Reagan's treason. The nation dearly wanted those hostages to be released and knowing Reagan had made a deal to keep them in iran for several months just to win an election might have created enough livid outrage to prevent the neocons from ever rising to prominence.

all that said, you add up all the good from the entire lives of all who followed; it doesn't come close to what Carter has done since '81. Their individual evil is MANY orders of magnitude greater than his also.

So... yeah. still "proudly".


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