Sunday, June 19, 2016

Something to Know - 19 June

Jeff Stahler

On this HOT day in Claremont (111 degrees from my outdoor bluetooth thermometer under the eave of my patio roof),  there was a cascade of worthy articles to pass on.   However, this is the one that caught my eye.  It focuses on the plain business of Congress, and the slime that exists within the GeeOpie that has nothing to do with Trump.  It's the Republican Party doing what they always do - legislate for the party of the wealthy and the corporate scions:

SundayReview | EDITORIAL

Mr. Ryan's Plan to Revert, Regress and Deregulate

House Speaker Paul Ryan presented his economic agenda last week, but it does not deal with the country's problems with jobs, wages, investment, trade, inequality or other pressing economic issues. Rather, its 57 pages boil down to one idea: Roll back hundreds of federal regulations that protect consumers, investors, employees, borrowers, students and the environment.

The plan bases its case for deregulation on the claim that "the American people now spend $1.89 trillion every year, just to comply with Washington's rules — approximately $15,000 per household." That estimate, from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market group formed in 1984, has been debunked. Its fatal flaw is that it assumes regulations have only costs and no benefits. The Ryan plan recycles that absurdity. It harps on corporate compliance costs while ignoring the social and economic benefits of, say, clean air, clean water, time-and-a-half for overtime, properly underwritten loans and adequate bank capital, to name just a few of the regulatory targets.

Mr. Ryan seems to think his ideas would become reality in a Donald Trump administration. "We feel very confident that our presumptive nominee is comfortable with this agenda," he said in announcing the plan.

That may be, but the American people are unlikely to be comfortable with it. One of the bills promoted in the plan would repeal "all climate-change regulations under the Clean Air Act." Others promote coal mining and offshore oil drilling. These proposals are consistent with statements by Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, that he would eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency, but they do not reflect public opinion.

Similarly, several items in the Ryan plan attack the legal status and rules of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That fits with Mr. Trump's stated aim of dismantling the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, but would reverse progress on stopping usurious payday lending, ending racially discriminatory auto lending and prohibiting reckless mortgages. The plan also would undo rules that require retirement advisers to act in their clients' best interests and rein in regulatory efforts to require big franchisers, like McDonald's, to accept responsibility for the pay and working conditions of franchise employees.

The list goes on, with rollbacks to let banks, for-profit colleges, federal contractors, cable companies and other businesses that have hurt and exploited Americans in the past resume their discredited ways.

The Ryan plan is not, in other words, an economic agenda. It is a corporate wish list and a catalog of House Republicans' fantasies.


Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association  aid and abet violence.

- An American Story

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