House Speaker John Boehner and his Tea Party comrades regularly assail “job-killing regulations that are strangling employers all over the country.” Lurid, graphic, and no doubt focus group and message dial tested, these very words – job-killing regulations strangling employers – are on the palm cards for every conservative politician or Fox News anchor.
But, as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor would say, “How can anyone believe that?” Here’s a chart of what’s happened to corporations and to workers since the recession officially ended. Profits are up; CEO salaries are soaring. It isn’t employers who are being strangled; it is their workers.
In reality, the whole mantra of “job-killing regulation” could only come from a party command center that rivals Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, touting “ignorance is strength.”
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We just lost 7 million jobs in a devastating recession largely caused by Wall Street’s excesses – aided and abetted by what turned out to be “job killing DE-regulation.“
Believing that markets regulate themselves, Fed Chair Alan Greenspan reigned over an era that stripped away financial regulation and idled enforcement powers. They took the cop off the Wall Street beat. The crash that has devastated American lives revealed, Greenspan later admitted, “a flaw” in his world view.
But Boehner and his Tea Party comrades have learned nothing. They are intent on repealing or weakening even the modest financial reforms passed in the last Congress. They have declared war on the EPA and are slashing the budgets for regulatory agencies.
The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its champion Elizabeth Warren have come under the most relentless attack, financed by Wall Street dough. Predatory lending, lawless securitization, systematic control fraud by banks lay at the heart of the housing bubble and its collapse. Yet Republicans are intent on reopening the financial casino and making certain the predators are free to operate.
Everyone agrees regulation should be rational and rules clear. But after 30 years of deregulation and privatization leading to the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, it takes a truly ideological perversion of reality to argue that America now suffers from regulatory excess.