Marco Rubio’s Claim About Dodd-Frank at the GOP Debate Is Now A Thing

iStock 000016651896Small 2 300x199 What to Do When Your Bank Branch Closes There were 4 things I, personally, took away from the GOP debates yesterday.

1. Carly Fiorina may end up with a fairly responsible position should a Republican take office in 2016.

2. The whittling down process is going to be fun to watch, but only slightly less fun than listening to liberals and Democrats whine about these debates and how painful/annoying/useless/ugly/stupid/hateful/horrible and blah blah blah they are and how they yet somehow, still, can’t look away. All the feels for you. Really.

3. No one really cares about Trump and Trump really cares about no one.

4. The policy discussions will slowly emerge and the first one out of the gate (for me anyway) is Dodd-Frank, thanks to Marco Rubio.

Rather hilariously, Blake Hounshell of Politico wondered this aloud just after Rubio called for the repeal and replace of Dodd-Frank:

Well, I don’t know about Hounshell, but I had certainly heard it before. Here’s a bit from a US News & World Report piece back in January 2013:

“Fiscally conservative” Blue Dog Democrats fail to protect taxpayers

Blue Dog Democrats

Much ink has been spilled in the last few years over the decline of the Blue Dog Coalition in the House of Representatives. Just this week, the Washington Post ran a story noting that this group of purportedly centrist Democrats will has seen its numbers fall from 50 members four years ago.

“[T]he Blue Dog Coalition is a shell of its former self, shrunken to just 15 members because of political defeat, retirements after redrawn districts left them in enemy territory and just plain exhaustion from the constant battle to stay in office,” wrote Paul Kane at the Washington Post. “Several are not running for reelection in November, and a few others are top targets of Republicans.”

There actually 19 members of the Blue Dog Coalition, though three members aren’t running for reelection in 2014. Reps. Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Mike McIntyre (D-NC), whose districts were targeted by Republicans, decided to retire. Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) is running for governor in Maine. Other members of the Blue Dog Coalition face tough bids for reelection, which could further dwindle its numbers at the beginning of the next Congress.

Blue Dog Democrats claim to “represent the center of the House of Representatives” and purport to be “dedicated to the financial stability and national security of the United States.” In news stories, reporters will frequently refer to Blue Dogs as “fiscally conservative” or “deficit hawks.”

Conservative organization ties vulnerable Democratic senator to Obama

Club for Growth's

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) is trying to have his cake and eat it too as he runs for re-election. He’s been talking up his independence and working to distance himself from President Barack Obama. At the same time, however, he’s defending his vote for the most unpopular parts of the administration’s agenda — including ObamaCare, which is a big negative for the Arkansas senator.

Of course, Pryor’s support for President Obama’s agenda doesn’t end with ObamaCare, though that may be the most prominent issue in the state as individuals looking to purchase health insurance on the federally-run exchange are looking at skyrocketing costs. He also backed the 2009 stimulus billburdensome financial regulations in Dodd-Frank, and wants to tax purchases from online retailers. And that’s only the top of the iceberg.

Mark Pryor’s Obama problem a hurdle in re-election bid

Mark Pryor

If you’re a Democrat running in a state that went for Mitt Romney by 23 points in 2012, you have to project yourself as someone who is politically independent from President Barack Obama. That’s what Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) is trying to do in his bid for re-election, as Politico reported on Tuesday:

Obama’s presence in the White House could very well be the biggest hurdle Pryor has to clear to win a third term, replicating obstacles red state Democrats face in Senate races in Louisiana, Alaska and Kentucky and imperiling the 55-45 majority the party expects to hold next year.

The mild-mannered Arkansas Democrat is projecting himself as an independent voice and a bipartisan consensus-builder — despite voting for Obamacare, the economic stimulus package and other controversial elements of the president’s domestic agenda.

Asked if he approved or disapproved of the president’s performance in office, Pryor took a long pause and said, “I would say, ‘Is there another option there?’”

But Pryor acknowledges that Obama “doesn’t connect well” with Arkansans.

“I think that President Obama has in some ways what you would think of as a hard-left agenda in various ways, and that agenda is not popular in our state,” Pryor said, riding in the backseat of an aide’s pickup. “And a lot of that agenda I don’t support.”

Obama: Reporters think my ideas “sound great”

Obama's media lapdogs

During his big economic speech last week in Illinois, in which he rehashed old themes and failed ideas, President Barack Obama told the crowd that reporters think his economic ideas “sound great.” He even said that some Republicans are supportive, but are afraid of backlash or primary challengers.

“It’s interesting, in the run-up to this speech, a lot of reporters [said] that, ‘Well, Mr. President, these are all good ideas, but some of you’ve said before; some of them sound great, but you can’t get those through Congress. Republicans won’t agree with you,’” recalled Obama. “And I say, look, the fact is there are Republicans in Congress right now who privately agree with me on a lot of the ideas I’ll be proposing. I know because they’ve said so. But they worry they’ll face swift political retaliation for cooperating with me.”

We’re shocked — absolutely SHOCKED — to learn that the media falls over themselves at just about anything President Obama says, despite the news that his administration has threatened journalists simply doing their jobs. And while there may be some Republicans in Congress that agree with President Obama, likely the members who keep going to dinner with him, those of who disagree with him are slammed as supporters of “inequality,” a word that the White House is trying to bring back into the political lexicon after a rough last few months.

Barney Frank Backs a Free Market Policy

Last month was the third anniversary of the Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Before the law, banks were charging 44 cents per debt card transaction. But this amendment, sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), capped the fee that banks could charge for debit card usage, and consumers have paid the price.

Though it was a praised as a win for consumers, the effect of the Durbin amendment has been for banks to seek revenue they’ve lost because of the price control on the fee by shifting the burden onto account holders — either by eliminating free checks accounts, rewards programs, and/or increasing other account holder-related fees.

Writing last week at Forbes, Timothy Lee, Senior Vice-President of Legal and Public Affairs for the Center for Individual Freedom, explained the Durbin amendment “cost banks over $8 billion in the first year alone.” Lee notes these consequences have caused former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), the House sponsor of the financial reform law, to support it repeal:

How disastrous has the Durbin Amendment proven?  Well, even Barney Frank, the famously hyper-regulatory coauthor of Dodd-Frank itself, acknowledged that the amendment harms consumers rather than helps them.  Frank also supported legislative measures to revisit it, adding, “I believe that a free market approach in this area will be better for the economy and all concerned parties than the current system.”

When Barney Frank sings the praises of the free market as a superior alternative, it speaks volumes.

How Debit Card Swipe Fee Regulations Hit Consumers

debit card swipe

Perhaps one of the most brilliant things about a free market is law of supply-and-demand. Businesses or financial institutions set a price for their good and/or services based on demand. But Congress often interferes with this basic economic law, often masquerading it as some sort of “victory for consumers.”

And while there are countless instances, last Monday was the birthday of one of the more recent recent examples. Before passing Dodd-Frank — frequently referred to as the “financial reform law” — the Senate added an amendment by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) that capped how much financial institutions could charge for debit card transactions.

Jason Hughey of Americans for Prosperity marked the birthday of this regulation last week, noting that financial institutions are still getting their money, despite having the fee capped. They’re just doing what every other business does when they’re hit with a new regulation — they’re passing the costs along to account holders (emphasis mine):

Before Durbin, banks were charging roughly 44 cents per debit card transaction.  In the aftermath of the market crash, congressional leaders thought that this price cap would help struggling consumers.

Obama’s First Term Regulations Come with a $70 Billion Price Tag


One of the great myths of the last decade is that the Bush Administration deregulated the economy. President Barack Obama has made this claim on multiple occasions as he and his supporters made their case that more regulation was needed after the Great Recession. But the truth of the matter was that George W. Bush was, as Veronique de Rugy wrote at Reason back in January 2009, the “biggest regulator since Nixon.”

“The Bush team has spent more taxpayer money on issuing and enforcing regulations than any previous administration in U.S. history,” wrote de Rugy. “Between fiscal year 2001 and fiscal year 2009, outlays on regulatory activities, adjusted for inflation, increased from $26.4 billion to an estimated $42.7 billion, or 62 percent.”

But since taking office in 2009, President Obama has ramped up regulation. In fact, he’s claimed the not-so-honorbale mantle of “biggest regulator since Nixon” from his predecessor.

According a new report by James Gattuso and Diane Katz from the Heritage Foundation, President Obama has imposed almost $70 billion in regulatory burdens on Americans, ranging from new financial rules via Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Unlike federal taxation and spending, there is no official accounting of total regulatory costs,” noted Gattuso and Katz. “Estimates range from hundreds of billions of dollars to nearly $2 trillion each year. However, the number and cost of new regulations can be tracked, and both are growing substantially.”

Obama Urges Americans to be Financially Aware

President Barack Obama, who has overseen four consecutive years of $1 trillion budget deficits and $6 trillion added to the national debt in a little more than four years, issued a proclamation last week designating April as “National Financial Capability Month”:

President Barack Obama, who has increased the national debt by $53,377 per household, has proclaimed April “National Financial Capability Month,” during which his administration will do things such as teach young people “how to budget responsibly.”

“I call upon all Americans to observe this month with programs and activities to improve their understanding of financial principles and practices,” Obama said in an official proclamation released Friday.
“Together, we can prepare young people to tackle financial challenges—from learning how to budget responsibly to saving for college, starting a business, or opening a retirement account,” he said.

The proclamation from the White House links to a site,, a resource for Americans to help them make sound financial decisions.

A libertarian explains why she’s voting for Mitt Romney

While some conservative bloggers have tried to make a case for libertarians voting for Mitt Romney, they haven’t really been able to connect because they fail to understand where we’re coming from in our perspective on politics and public policy. However, Liz Mair, a libertarian who works as a political consultant and strategist, explains that she is voting for Romney, despite reservations about some of his policies:

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