The Republican Strategy on Financial Reform: Make Democrats Look Like Patsies for the Street:
"Let’s be clear: The Dodd bill doesn’t go nearly far enough to rein in the Street. It allows so-called ‘specialized’ derivatives to be traded without regulatory oversight; its capital requirements are weak; it gives far too much discretion to regulators, who, as we’ve seen, can fall asleep at the switch; it does nothing about conflicts of interest within credit rating agencies that rate the issues of the companies that put food on their plates; it puts a consumer protection agency inside the Fed whose consumer bureau didn’t protect consumers; it doesn’t do anything to control the size of banks; it delays dealing with other hard issues by assigning them to vaguely-defined ‘studies;’ and, yes, it preserves the possibility that the Fed could launch another bank bailout.
But the Street thinks the Dodd bill goes way too far, and wants its Republican allies to water it down with more loopholes, studies, and regulatory discretion. Republicans figure they can accommodate the Street by refusing to give the Dems the votes they need unless the Dems agree to weaken the bill — while Republicans simultaneously tell the public they’re strengthening the bill and reducing the likelihood of future bailouts."
Here's Simon Johnson's take: Senator McConnell Is Completely Wrong On Financial Reform.
"Do not be misled by this statement. Senator McConnell’s preferred approach is not to break up big banks; it’s to change nothing now and simply promise to let them fail in the future. This proposal is dangerous, irresponsible, and makes no sense. The bankruptcy process simply cannot handle the failure of large complex global financial institutions – without causing the kind of worldwide panic that followed the collapse of Lehman and the rescue/resolution of AIG. This is exactly the lesson of September 2008."
Then we get their take on the Nuclear Summit. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) says it made no meaningful progress. Spencer Ackerman explains Nuke Summit Wrap: Jon Kyl Embarrasses Himself. Kevin Drum sums it up as "Well now. China agreed to sanctions on Iran. Ukraine agreed to give up their HEU. Russia agreed to close down its last plutonium plant. And the entire conference agreed to focus far more attention on keeping fissile material out of the hands of terrorists. But, yeah, it didn't solve every world problem instantly in its first meeting. By that yardstick the whole thing was a failure."
Then there's the whole 47% of households owe no taxes crap. David Leonahrdt takes care of that in two New York Times articles: Yes, 47% of Households Owe No Taxes. Look Closer and Taxing the Rich, Over Time. "The 47 percent number is not wrong. The stimulus programs of the last two years — the first one signed by President George W. Bush, the second and larger one by President Obama — have increased the number of households that receive enough of a tax credit to wipe out their federal income tax liability. But the modifiers here — federal and income — are important. Income taxes aren’t the only kind of federal taxes that people pay. There are also payroll taxes and investment taxes, among others. And, of course, people pay state and local taxes, too." He then goes into lots of details and also has this picture:
So when is it that being wrong or lying actually has consequences in Washington?