As Reagan said, “There he goes again.” Our Congressman Walter Jones, NC-3, was one of only THREE Republicans (out of 178) who voted for the “Wall Street Reform” bill last week. This was such a bad bill that 18 Democrats chose not to support it. This bill gives the federal government the power to seize ‘troubled’ financial firms, it create a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection to regulate credit cards, mortgages and car loans and it imposes new taxes on financial firms. It also imposes hiring quotas on financial firms. What it doesn’t do is address the problem of Fannie and Freddie, which is at the heart of the financial crisis. This is a bad bill all the way around. The government can now legally seize private firms, it will micromanage all consumer loan products, telling businesses how much they can charge for related products and services and it imposes new taxes that ultimately will be borne by you and I.
So why, why did our Republican Congressman cross party lines to vote for this bill? I asked Congressman Jones that question. Here is the response from his Legislative Aide:
With regards to the financial regulatory reform legislation, the Congressman acknowledges that the bill is far from perfect. There are many aspects of it he does not support, and it did not address some of the major problems that caused the financial crisis, namely Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, it did include several provisions that he believes are important to reforming the financial sector and protecting American taxpayers and investors. For example, among other things, the Congressman strongly shares Congressman Ron Paul’s belief in the need to audit the Federal Reserve, which this bill will require. It also dramatically improves oversight and accountability of the derivatives market, the highly complex instruments which Warren Buffet has called “financial weapons of mass destruction.” It also places new requirements and oversight on the ratings agencies (i.e. S&P, Fitch, Moody’s, etc.) which, as you know, facilitated the implosion of the housing market by assigning AAA ratings to sub-prime mortgage bonds and sub-prime mortgage-backed derivative products. On balance, the Congressman believed that these and other reform provisions in the bill were preferable to the status quo.
This reply does not make clear which provisions he does not support. Sadly, I have to wonder just which provisions he opposes because one never knows with Congressman Jones. He was a Democrat once who changed his party affiliation to get elected. He took $10,000 from the SEIU. His core values are not evident. Clearly, though, they are not conservative. Otherwise why would he vote for a bill that had all this liberal garbage?
As a conservative, I’m opposed to this new Consumer Protection Agency on several levels. It will set interest rates for loans and credit cards thereby promoting bad behavior by consumers. It is a massive expansion of government and will intrude on us unexpected ways. It is not needed and was just another way for the liberals to expand the heavy hand of government. I’m opposed to the new hiring quotas for financial firms. Quotas are keeping the disadvantaged in that state. Libs love quotas because it makes the disadvantaged dependent on them. There is way more about this bill to dislike than to like. And it does not address the real problem of Fannie and Freddie.
Jones’ response to my inquiry leaves more questions than answers. What are your core values, Congressman? What questions do you ask yourself about a bill before you decide how to vote? As for this particular bill, which provisions do you oppose and why? How many bad provisions would have had to be in the bill before the bad outweighed the good? And by the way, have you heard about the coming November elections? Republicans are expected to take the House. Why not wait for the Republicans to advance a bill in the House that addresses the real issues that caused the financial crisis and does not have all this liberal claptrap?
I am sending these questions back to the Congressman and will post his reply.
Congressman Jones’ office replies:
Many thanks for response. I understand your disagreement with the Congressman’s position on the need to bring more accountability and oversight to Wall Street and the Federal Reserve. I can assure you that through prayer, Congressman Jones endeavors to do what’s best for America and for Eastern North Carolina, but he recognizes that not all of his constituents will agree with every vote.
You ask about his core values. Above all else, he is a strong man of faith who believes passionately in protecting both the unborn and the central role of God in America. His record also clearly shows that he’s consistently been a leading conservative opponent of the expansion of the federal government and the explosion of deficit spending in Congress – even when it was not as popular to hold those positions. He was one of only a handful of Republicans to vote against the massive pork-filled highway funding bill that included the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere”; he was one of less than 20 Republicans to vote against the Medicare prescription drug bill, which was the largest entitlement expansion since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society; he’s voted against every foreign aid spending bill in the last 14 years; he was one of the slim majority of House Republicans who voted against the Wall Street bailout; and he voted against Obamacare, Obama’s nearly $1 trillion “stimulus” package, and his cap-and-tax proposal. Furthermore, as the debt exploded in the last 6 years, he was the ONLY member of the House of Representatives to vote against every single increase in the public debt limit during that time.