What could go wrong?


Here is a fun thing we learned at Tuesday's Republican debate! Do you know how all the too-big-to-fail banks got so big they damn near killed the entire global economy? The real reason will amaze you!

Turns out the real reason is because Big Government did it, with too much regulation. Of the banks.

What?! you say. Oh yes, we say right back in your face. Here's how Marco Rubio explained it, with a straight face, during the debate:

Do know why these banks are so big? The government made them big. The government made them big by adding thousands and thousands of pages of regulations.

We remember it differently. We remember the big banks partying like it was Prince song, shoving ridiculous mortgages down the throats of people who couldn't afford them because President Dubya said everyone had to go shopping and buy a house.

We remember John McCain, great brave kick-ass ass-kicking hero though he is, "suspending" his presidential campaign in the fall of 2008 because he couldn't fart and chew gum at the same time, and pretending he had to rush to DC to help figure out how to keep the apparently overly regulated banks from crashing the entire global economy like a bottom-of-his-class drunken Navy pilot.

We do not remember the banks growing big and powerful -- and doing illegal schemes with each other to become even more big and powerful and rig the world's currency prices -- because George Bush's Big Government regulations forced them to something something WHAT THE HELL are you even talking about, Rubio?

Rubio has no idea what the hell he's talking about but he's pretty sure "free market" is the answer. Especially for the poor little banks who are being oppressed into failure, with all these new regulations, like Dodd-Frank:

The small banks, like Governor Bush was saying, they can't deal with all these regulations. They can't deal with all -- they cannot hire the fanciest law firm in Washington or the best lobbying firm to deal with all these regulations. And so the result is, the big banks get bigger, the small banks struggle to lend or even exist, and the result is what you have today.

Now, we are not a scientist, man, or an economist, or even very good at doing math. But you know who is? The terror of Wall Street, Professor Elizabeth Warren. Remind us, Senator, how the "small banks" are doing these days:

We’ve heard a lot today about how smaller banks are being smothered by unnecessary regulation, supposedly because of Dodd-Frank rules, like the new mortgage rules that went into effect in the first quarter of 2014.

Now, I’ve been looking for some hard data to support that claim. According to the latest report from the FDIC, the banking industry as a whole posted earnings of nearly $40 billion in the third quarter of 2014. That was a 7.3 percent increase relative to the third quarter of 2013. In other words, the banking industry did substantially better after the mortgage rules took effect in January of 2014.

Is there a kicker?

And here’s the kicker: Community banks did even better than the industry as a whole.

Got it. Maybe if Marco Rubio spent a little more time at the Senate, where his job is, instead of running for president, he'd have got it too. (Oooh, zing, snap. SEE WHAT WE DID THERE?)

Rubio was hardly the only candidate to declare that the problem of too-big-to-fail banks could be fixed right up with less regulation and more free market. Ted Cruz spouted the same nonsense too:

And what we have right now is we have Washington -- as government gets bigger and bigger, you know, the biggest lie in all of Washington and in all of politics is that Republicans are the party of the rich. The truth is, the rich do great with big government. They get in bed with big government. The big banks get bigger and bigger and bigger under Dodd-Frank and community banks are going out of business.

Then Cruz told a story about a lady he met, and it was dumb, but the point is: Nope! As explained above, by someone who has more intelligence in her left pinky than Ted Cruz has inside of his squishy brain.

Carly Fiorina chimed in with the same nonsense, based on her vast expertise of nearly slaughtering a big entity:

Can I just -- could I just say, as a chief executive who's had to make tough calls to save jobs and to grow jobs, I think what's interesting about Dodd-Frank is it's a great example of how socialism starts.

Socialism starts when government creates a problem, and then government steps in to solve the problem. Government created the problem.

Because everything was fine, just fine, until government socialized the banks with Dodd-Frank. Uh huh.

The real awkward part, though, was when the candidates squirmed, awkwardly, about whether they'd be willing to bail out the too-big-to-fail banks, should the "regulation" and "socialism" (EYE ROLL) drive them, and America, to the verge of collapse again.

See, all the candidates wanted to say "No, I'd let them fail," and some of them even did. But when pressed on the issues -- "Seriously, you'd let Bank of America go belly up and tell all the people and businesses who had their money at B of A to get bent?!" -- there was some hemming and hawing and clearing of throats and Olympic-level pivoting to other talking points.

Except from Ben Carson, who didn't even have the sense God shoved inside his earhole to be awkward about it. In a post-debate interview, during which he praised Fox Business Network for not making him look stupid, he said:

I do not believe in government intervention in a capitalist society. I believe in setting up mechanisms that warn people that we're not going to do that.

In case you're waiting for the part where he explains how he'd set up non-government mechanism to "warn people" about how he's gonna sit back and watch the banks fail, because that's capitalism, stop holding your breath.

Besides, none of this would happen under a Republican president anyway. If they can just abolish the IRS, repeal Obamacare, and sprinkle free market fairy dust across the land, everything will be fine, just fine.

[WaPo]

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