On Monday , Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson unveiled the Bush administration's " Blueprint for Stronger Regulatory Structure ," its latest response to the sub-prime mortgage crisis and severe case of influenza affecting America's financial markets. No surprise, the plan calls for some fairly sweeping changes in the way the SEC, Federal Reserve, and other agencies regulate America's financial markets. According to the Post:
. . . Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said he also plans to ask Congress this year to set up a new agency to oversee mortgage lending and take action to enhance his department's role as the chief regulator of financial markets.
The Treasury's initiatives seek to sweep away the current patchwork of regulation over the coming decade in favor of three more powerful agencies to oversee banking, market stability, and consumer and investor protection. The plan's authors have argued that such changes are needed because government oversight has not kept up with the pace of financial innovation.
Paulson acknowledged that the recommendations would not prevent future crises but said that they would make government more nimble in addressing them. "We should and can have a structure that is designed for the world we live in," he said in a speech at the Treasury.
Uh huh . So, let me make sure I have this right. The administration embraced deregulation and free market theory as if it were handed down from Mt. Sinai. It then sat idly by while the sub-prime mortgage market imploded, and watched as that market's failure trickled up into other sectors of the economy. All the while, this admistration spent taxpayer money like a drunken sailor (to use Sen. John McCain's memorable phrase ), running up the federal debt and mortgaging our grandchildren's future. And the administration pursued wars in Iraq and Afghanistan likely to cost the country $3 trillion. And now, they want the people trust the Bush administraiton by giving it more power over the American economy?
Wall Street, meet the unitary executive. Another day, another crisis, another power grab.