It's only been a few years since one of the country's worst financial collapses destroyed the economy but already, the regulatory apparatus designed to prevent another such catastrophe is being gutted by House Republicans. On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee voted to cut funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the signature enforcer of the Dodd-Frank law passed in the aftermath of the financial collapse. To refresh your memory, that's the commission in charge of derivatives, those complex financial instruments Warren Buffett called "financial weapons of mass destruction." Sure, 2008 seems like a long time ago and nobody thinks Dodd-Frank was perfect but isn't defunding the "too big to fail" bill a tad suicidal? There are two basic ways to look at the rationale for defunding:
Republicans are in bed with the banks and they want Obama to fail. To get a sense of how angry the GOP is making Obama, you just need to look at one figure: $308 million. That's the amount the Obama administration says is required for CFTC to implement the Dodd-Frank law. Today, House Republicans balked at the figure and approved a mere $180 million, reports The Hill's Erik Wasson. To California Democrat Sam Farr, whose amendment to provide at least $224 million was defeated, the rationale was puzzling. “Why would we, when the fire is burning, want to recall the fireman?” he asked the committee.