Monday, July 21, 2008

A Fine Mess He Left Us With

Robert Scheer writes of
"the real legacy of Ronald Reagan"

by Charlie Leck

Back in February I wrote of my surprise that Ronald Reagan was regarded so highly as a President by so many. I tried to introduce my readers to the real Ronald Reagan.

Now, in a column by Robert Scheer (Truthdig), we see how many of the policies and philosophies of Ronald Reagan have left us with a lot of the economic problems we have today – certainly with the big mess in which our banks find themselves. You'll also read a lot about Phil Gramm, one of the co-chairs of John McCain's presidential campaign. Former Senator Gramm carries some responsibility himself for this big muddle.

"McCain campaign co-chair Phil Gramm is right: We have 'become a nation of whiners.' But who is whining more than the bankers that former Sen. Gramm's financial deregulation legislation benefited? The very bankers who now expect a government bailout, such as those at UBS Investment Bank, where Gramm found lucrative employment.

"As chair of the powerful Senate Banking Committee, Gramm engineered passage of legislation that effectively ended the major regulatory restraints applied to the financial industry in response to the Great Depression. The purpose of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act -- co-authored by Gramm, passed in 1999 by a Republican-controlled Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton -- was to liberate the banks, stockbrokers and insurance companies from restraints imposed on their activities more than seven decades ago. It was legislation that the financial community, which contributed heavily to Gramm's campaigns in the previous five years, desperately wanted and obviously has abused. So why now bail these institutions out?"

[read the entire Scheer column on AlterNet]

No comments:

Post a Comment