in a scramble to save the bill in the wake of Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-MA) objections to the conference report, Democrats worked with moderate Republicans to figure out a new way to pay for Wall Street reform. What they came up with was pretty simple: end the TARP legislation (i.e., the much-maligned bank bailout) early. Every Republican negotiator on the conference committee objected, some vociferously.
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) called it “fraud on the American people.”
Not to be outdone, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) called it “smoke and mirrors.”
The bank tax actually would have had negligible customer impact. Lost in today?s hurried debate was the absence of any empirical backing for the critics? argument. Indeed, two factors would have likely combined to render the impact on customer pricing trivial.
– First, only large banks would have been subject to the tax, so efforts to raise large-bank customer pricing, in many product markets, would have simply caused a market share shift to the smaller banks not subject to the levy. Ironically, the Massachusetts retail deposit business is a clear example of such a market.
– Second, even in those product markets dominated by large banks, the bank tax was so small that, even if its burden could have been shifted completely to customers, the impact would have been, in practical terms, undetectable .
The GOP is the party of free taxpayer money and no corporate responsibility. This is a vote against Banks paying for future bailouts and for taxpayers continuing to pay for the current bailout. The message here is that personal responsibility is for suckers.