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  • Financial Reform or Government Takeover Revisited

    The sweeping new financial regulatory bill was signed into law last Wednesday by President Obama. It will create a huge new government bureaucracy over the next year or so including 13 brand new federal agencies employing thousands of new government workers. The heads of these agencies will be appointed (not elected) by the president. These agencies will have the power to seize any companies that they deem to have 'systemic risk' and liquidate them if they so choose. One specific agency will have the right to demand any and all information from financial companies, including your personal account information, and it will have subpoena power over any firms that don't cooperate.

    The vast new reform law does not solve the 'too-big-to-fail' problem; in fact, it institutionalizes it. Likewise, the new law does not at all address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which continue to lose billions every month. The reform law will create a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, which will have the authority to write rules for consumer protections governing all financial institutions – banks and nonbanks – that offer consumer financial products or services. While some financial reforms are needed, this giant new bureaucracy will cost taxpayers and financial firms billions every year, and these costs will be passed down to their customers like you and me.

    There is probably nothing we can do to stop this new law and replace it with something smaller and more focused, but I wanted you to know the facts about this new bureaucracy. Suffice it to say, Big Brother just got a whole lot bigger!

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  • The Largest Tax Increase in US History

    Back in 1948, President Harry Truman nicknamed the 80th Congress the 'do-nothing Congress.' Today, we sometimes find ourselves wishing that we could return to the days when Congress was accused of inaction. Unfortunately, the stage may now be set for that wish to be granted, but the consequences will be far from favorable. By allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, Congress could levy one of the largest tax increases ever, all by just doing nothing.

    While President Obama and the Democratic leadership claim that they want to keep all of the Bush tax cuts in place for everyone making under $250,000 per year, they also know that they are going to build up huge budget deficits unless they find ways of generating some tax revenues. With cap-and-trade legislation and its expected tax revenues all but dead, the Dems are going to have to figure out some other way to pay for their march toward socialism.

    The expiration, or 'sunset', of the Bush tax cuts could provide the necessary tax revenues they seek and all without having to cast a vote in favor of a tax increase. This week, I'll discuss the possible effects of a huge tax increase during a fragile economic recovery as well as the possibility that Congress may just sit on their hands and do nothing in order to fill their insatiable need for tax revenues.

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  • Healthcare Reform Designed to Fail

    The Senate is set to vote on its version of health care reform, possibly as early as Christmas Eve. If they do, it will be the worst Christmas present ever for the American taxpayer. The last-minute negotiations to obtain enough votes to prevent a Republican filibuster have transformed the bill from an ill-conceived attempt to reform health care to a horribly complex piece of legislation laden with exemptions, special deals and downright payoffs for certain states.

    The current push to pass a health care reform bill - any bill - has exposed the seedy underbelly of American politics. However, this is nothing new. What bothers me most about these health care bills being jammed down our throats despite public opposition is that whatever is in the final bill, it is bound to fail. In fact, you might say it's been designed to fail.

    This week, I'm going to reprint two very good articles, one from Accuracy in Media (AIM) and one from Dick Morris that discuss the major problems with the current healthcare bill before the Senate. Note that these articles were written prior to the late-night negotiations (or, more accurately, bribes) that occurred this past weekend, but they still paint an accurate picture of the health care debate.

    Since this is the last E-Letter before Christmas, I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of my loyal readers and clients and wish you a very Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah.

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