Tag Archives: Dodd

Déjà vu – All Over Again


In the shadow of the healthcare debate, financial reform is picking up steam.  For a capitalist, this is a dangerous time, but the sins of the past must be atoned.  I for one see an opportunity to reign in some of the risky behaviors that serve only the greedy. The big risk now is a government that overreaches and does not learn from the past.

One key element of Chris Dodd’s controversial financial reform legislation is protecting consumers against predatory lending practices.  What a great term! -“Predatory Lending”.  You can actually visualize a tiger lying in wait in the bush for an injured gazelle to stagger by.  I’m all for disclosure of terms, but what this bill is doing goes a little too far.

How will our government protect against predatory lending?  Let’s force lenders to charge the same standard rate for a mortgage regardless of the credit risk of the recipient of the loan.  This way, we can get those who can afford their mortgages to subsidize those who might not be able to. We will eliminate risk based pricing.

Without getting into an economics lecture about risk and price, lets ponder this. Does it seem like subsidizing those who have bad credit, with the mortgage payments of those with sound credit, will reduce risk and introduce stability?  Doesn’t it do the exact opposite?

Does this sound like wealth re-distribution?

Lets put aside the socialist rhetoric for a second, and restate what this is.

By legislation, we are going to make it easier and more affordable for someone who otherwise might not be able to afford a mortgage based on his or her credit rating to get a mortgage anyway.

Does this sound familiar?

I’m in favor of financial reform, but it needs to prevent crisis from happening again, this would encourage it.

Lets look at it in terms of a question we should all answer for ourselves – Are you willing to pay more every month for your home mortgage, so that your neighbor who might not have a job, might not be as fiscally responsible as you, can buy the same house you bought, default on it, then have the house sold in a foreclosure sale dragging down property values in your neighborhood?

If you answered yes to this question, you are a true progressive.  Please pass go, collect your $200, and promptly give $100 to the federal government, $25 to your neighbor to pay his mortgage, $40 to your state to pay for all those who don’t have healthcare, and keep $35 for all of your expenses and kids college education.

Or better yet, don’t pay a dime and let the rich pay for it.

What do you think?

Guest Blogger – Jeff Hine

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Episode 37 – Credit Cards, Guns, Gays and Gas


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If you own a car, use a credit card, or plan on visiting a national park, you need to listen to this episode. Glenn explains why supporting President Obama’s new mpg standards is the fiscally prudent and conservative thing to do. Jeff, going against his liberal tenancies, rails against Sen. Dodd and the new credit card bill of rights. Listen and learn what credit cards and concealed weapons have in common. Speaking of guns, they both argue for scrapping the don’t ask don’t tell policy towards gays in the military. It’s the week where PoliTalk turns conventional wisdom on its head. Always entertaining and informative, it’s PoliTalk – your weekly political podcast.

Listen to the current installment of PoliTalk and get yourself informed, inspired, entertained and ready for the day… spread the word… tell two friends, and so on and so on…

You can get the PoliTalk Podcast from Podcast.com and iTunes.

Credit Card Bill: Good Politics, Bad Policy


Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), a real profile in courage…slumping dramatically in the polls, in need of working class votes, needing to innoculate himself as a champion of the banking special interests, who received favorable treatment on a loan and sneakily slipped provisions favoring the industry into bills during closed-door conferences…now authors a bill essentially pantsing the credit card industry. No doubt, they needed to be reined in and changed needed to be made, but the federal reserve has already announced that it is issuing new rules to cover these issues, and the regulatory parameters are already in place to keep a lot of these unfair practices in check…and the market itself can put its own check on the system.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill 90-5. You can read the AP story about the Credit Card Bill of Rights here. Now they can all go home and tell their constituents that they’re doing something to stop those bad people from hurting you — everyone has a credit card, everyone feels the pain. It’s a slam dunk. But if this was so needed, why not put these measures in place a year ago or even six months ago? 

The politics of this bill are so transparent, my hope is that we accidentally end up with good policy and those doing the political grandstanding will suffer even more for the almost stunning knee-jerk reactionary politics. Do you take us all for idiots? 

But I could never endorse this as good policy as long as it contains a provision, which the Senate bill incredibly does, that allows someone to carry a loaded weapon into a national park. What that has to do with credit card policy is beyond me, but then again, maybe a lot of public policy today has more in common with the credit card industry than we really think. Lets get our quick quick fix now, and worry about the payments later. 

Well, have to run. I’m feeling the need to do some online shopping:) — Jeff

Episode 32 – PoliTalk Fist-bumps the Queen


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Glenn and Jeff take on the absurdity of the celebrity culture that has us obsessing more over whether or not a gift is appropriate for the queen or that she can be touched instead of how we can rescue the world from its economic crisis. They also take on the absurdity of the budget process, and wonder how any good policy can actually come out of something so arcane and confusing? Finally, they talk about the politics of the Former Senator Ted Stevens case and why Senators Dodd and Bunning are in danger waters for their re-election campaigns (it’s not what you think). Always entertaining and informative, it’s PoliTalk: where you get the inside scoop on what’s really happening in Washington from two guys outside the beltway.

Listen to the current installment of PoliTalk and get yourself informed, inspired, entertained and ready for the day… spread the word… tell two friends, and so on and so on…

You can get the PoliTalk Podcast from Podcast.com and iTunes.