While America was distracted by the health-care debate, Copenhagen, terror trials in New York and a “jobs” summit, a new type of TARP proposal that would set up a tax-and-spend process involving hundreds of billions of dollars and that would bypass Congress was adopted by the U.S. House.
The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., was approved on a 223-202 vote without a single co-sponsor and with no hearings. Its major congressional actions were its introduction Dec. 2 and its adoption Dec. 11.
It is, according to Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., worse than Democrat plans to have the federal government take over health care and the massive new taxes proposed in the global-warming “cap-and-trade” proposal, combined.
“That’s saying a lot,” Bachmann told WND today.
The plan will, for one thing, kill jobs, she said, citing a study from Profs. David Evans and Joshua Wright that the bill’s “Consumer Financial Protection Agency” would cut jobs by 4.3 percent.
Essentially, she described the plan by Frank, which has yet to move through the U.S. Senate, as a new Troubled Asset Relief Program like the original that gave truckloads of money to banks or financial institutions at the direction of the government.
This plan, likewise, would enable the government to hand out billions of dollars to companies it chooses. It also would establish government oversight over even minutiae of those corporate operations; and further it would allow the collection of taxes – or “fees” – to fund operations.
Tell lawmakers in Washington that if they insist on spending more, they’ll join the ranks of the unemployed, too. For just $29.95 you can send an individualized notice to every member of Congress in the form of a “pink slip.”
But worst of all, Bachmann said, such decisions would be left to the whims of the president and someone who would be appointed to a newly created “credit czar” post.
“Almost no one had heard about the bill until last week,” she said.
It was given to lawmakers last week on their return to Washington Tuesday, the bill was on the floor of the House Wednesday, there were amendments Thursday and a vote was held Friday.
There was no opportunity for committee review, she said, except for “bits and pieces” of the plan that had been discussed separately.
“In my opinion this was introduced intentionally when everyone was distracted by the president’s Nobel, Copenhagen, Afghanistan, Sheikh Mohammed coming into the U.S., the fake jobs summit. … All of this was going on and amidst all of this Barney Frank’s bill was introduced.”
She said the vaguely written 1,300 pages of proposed law make permanent the bailout procedures used by President Bush, only it would eliminate asking Congress for approval, as Bush was required to do.
“President Obama would be able to bypass Congress and have a permanent bailout authority – at his sole power and discretion,” she warned.
It also, she said, would give the president authority to impose billions of dollars in taxes – or “fees” – without any further congressional input.
That itself, she said, is a violation of the separation of powers which allows only the U.S. House of Representatives to launch taxation programs in the U.S.
Still worse, the definitions of the bill allow any company involved with financial transactions to be labeled a financial institution and thus become subject to what essentially is the whim of the White House.
“The president could give bailouts with this incredible level of authority,” she warned. “The government would now have the power to take over – at its discretion – private businesses either healthy or unhealthy.”
“Starbucks could be considered a financial institution if the credit czar chooses to designate it,” she said.
The “credit czar” also would “have the authority to ration credit.”
According to one of the estimates cited by Bachmann, the program could reduce overall lending by as much as $55 billion and eliminate 450,000 jobs.
Bachmann’s analysis showed taxes of $150 billion would be assessed on financial firms to get the program started.
“If sufficient funds cannot be extracted from the industry to pay for the
failures of firms the government deems ‘systemically significant,’ taxpayers will be on the hook,” the report said.
It also, Bachmann said, would expand the Federal Reserve and undermine the safety and soundness of regulation for financial companies. The congresswoman said the plan actually would give the government control of workers’ wages in companies involved in a “covered financial institution” and provides instructions for continuation at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of the high-risk mortgage loans blamed for a significant part of the U.S. economic meltdown.
Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said the Wall Street overhaul is just too intrusive and controlling.