With most polls predicting large gains by the Republican Party in next week’s mid-term elections, including a possible majority in the House of Representatives, the talk is already turning to what the GOP will do with their new political capital.
President Obama, for his part, is out on the stump warning voters that the GOP might repeal the recently-enacted Wall Street reform bill that gave the government the ability to break up companies, regulate consumer banks and bring shadow financial markets into the fold of government oversight.
In last Saturday’s weekly radio address, the President called any repeal of the reform bill a “terrible mistake."
“Our economy depends on a financial system in which everyone competes on a level playing field, and everyone is held to the same rules — whether you’re a big bank, a small business owner, or a family looking to buy a house or open a credit card,” said Obama."And as we saw, without sound oversight and common-sense protections for consumers, the whole economy was put in jeopardy."
For its part, the GOP claims the bill was poorly written and it gives the federal government too much power over the nation’s financial institutions. Specifically, a key GOP talking point on the campaign trail is that financial reform allows the government to use taxpayer funds to bail out toxic banks and investment firms.
But if the GOP does take over, what exactly does that mean for Wall Street reform? Is the President right? Or do Republicans have a point? Surely, banks, credit card firms, and consumers all want to know.