06.30.2010 0

Too Hot Not to Note: The Uncertainty Principle

  • On: 07/14/2010 21:44:16
  • In: Uncategorized
  • ALG Editor’s Note: In the following featured by the Wall Street Journal, the board calls Senators Susan Collins and Scott Brown to task for their support of the Dodd-Frank financial bill, even though it contains bank tax that they pretend to oppose, as ALG News has previously reported:

    The Uncertainty Principle

    …More remarkable is that a handful of Republicans are enabling this regulatory mess. Mr. Brown and Ms. Collins say they now favor Dodd-Frank because Congressional negotiators agreed to drop the bank tax. But lawmakers didn’t drop the bank tax. They only altered the timing and manner of its collection. Instead of immediately assessing a tax on large financial companies to pay for future bailouts, the final version simply authorizes the bailouts to occur first. The money to pay for them will then be collected via a tax on the remaining firms.

    Because this tax will be collected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, even opponents of the bill have viewed it as part of an insurance system. It isn’t. Insurance is when you pay a premium and the insurance company agrees to replace your house if it burns down. A tax is when you pay the government and then the government decides which houses it wants to replace when there is a fire in the neighborhood.

    Under Dodd-Frank, if Firm A pays to cover the cost of the last bailout, there’s no guarantee that the FDIC will rescue its creditors if Firm A fails in the future. This is fundamentally different from traditional deposit insurance, which guarantees the same deal for every bank customer. Dodd-Frank allows the FDIC to discriminate among creditors at its discretion.

    This transfer of wealth is a tax by any reasonable definition, borne by the customers, shareholders and employees of the companies ordered to pay it. Is this how Mr. Brown plans to reward the tea partiers who carried him to victory last winter in Massachusetts? Is this the key to a small business rebound in Maine?

    Get the full story here from the Wall Street Journal.


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