FINANCIAL REFORM

It passed. Virtually every Republican voted against it, of course, as they vote against everything, but we have now the most sweeping financial reform in generations: a good bill for consumers, investors, and taxpayers.

Here’s an overview of what’s in the bill, and a sense of how it got strengthened, rather than weakened as usually happens, in the final days.

One of the bill’s sharpest Democratic critics, Senator Ted Kaufman, would have liked it to go further. But he calls it “a vast improvement over the existing regulatory structure.” Vast improvements are worth celebrating – even as his extensive criticism of the bill is worth reading. And given the wide discretion the bill gives regulators – and the retiring Senator’s clear-eyed understanding of the challenges – it would be good to see him tapped to be one of the regulators.

A THOUGHTFUL REPUBLICAN

Here is six-term South Carolina Republican Congressman Bob Inglis on C-SPAN giving Republicans a good name (if you ask me). To those who bring up death panels or challenge the President’s citizenship, he says, “To encourage that kind of fear is just the lowest form of political leadership. It’s not leadership. It’s demagoguery.”

There are definitely places I would respectfully disagree with Congressman Inglis, but the thoughtfulness and integrity with which he approaches his job are something we need more of in Congress – and the likely reason he was overwhelmingly defeated in the Republican primary and will have to leave Congress at the end of the year.

What a mess our democracy is in – and the Republican Party is in – when someone so rational, experienced, and decent is tossed out by his own party.

Have a great weekend.

 

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