The Grass is Bluer on the Other Side


Republican Congressman and House Ways and Means Committee member Paul Ryanspoke with Maria Bartiromoyesterday about the current economic crisis, and spoke frankly about how he feels Washington is running the country.

Opposing the Financial Regulatory Bill

House lawmakers voted on the financial regulatory bill back on June 30th. The bill passed by a vote of 237 to 192. Although the legislation has been dubbed as the most comprehensive reorganization of financial regulation since the Great Depression, Paul Ryan was one of three Republican lawmakers who opposed the bill.

Ryan argues the new bill brings the United States into a new era of chronic capitalism, and that it amplifies the “too-big-to-fail” doctrine - giving bigger, interconnected firms cheaper capital at the expense of small or medium-sized competitors.

Ryan says “this will set up big Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-like structures in the service industry, stunt innovation, reduce competition, and lead to a higher likelihood of more bailouts [and] hurt smaller companies.”

He added that Washington has “abandoned the elements of a free enterprise system to have a very vibrant and successful, and internationally competitive financial services sector.”

“Get This Crown Out Of Town”

The Republican lawmaker also took aim at the nation's skyrocketing debt problem.

Ryan says “health care is the biggest reason why we have the debt explosion.” This is going to have a deficit and cost more. The expenses will increase in the future. It is irresponsible because we are “hastening the day of fiscal reckoning.”

Adding fuel to the fire, a congressional budget will not be passed. Instead, there is a deeming resolution. Ryan says that the resolution means, “we will spend whatever we want and do it without prioritizing and restraints.” This jeopardizes the economy and augments speculation to a double dip.

The Road Less-Traveled

The Republican party has put out alternatives to stimulus, health care reforms, and FinReg, and Ryan stresses that his party needs to reach out to the American people, not as an opposition party, but instead as an alternative party.

He says there should be communication between the representatives and the masses, and that the people should be given more certainty and clarity, and not get blind-sided by a wave of new taxes ... noting that there are other ways to solve our country’s financial issues, and Americans need to know that they have a choice.

What Would Ryan Do?

The most pressing tasks at hand include cleaning up credit default swaps, or the CDS market so they work properly, and ensure that they are transparent.

Use market-based triggers to determine whether a firm is over-leveraged or not.

Have requirements and regulations to make sure those firms are not putting themselves in a systemic risk position that will take down the economy with them, if they should fail.

Help smaller competitors get into the game.

And, make room for more innovative financial services products in the future.

“We can do this and have growth and prosperity, not austerity, and with the window of opportunity to do that, it's beginning to shut.”

Crystal Lau contributed to this article



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