A solution to our previous solution

Yesterday I received from Representative Tim Walz what he described as his February E-Newsletter.  (I will not dwell on the fact that the February E-Newsletter did not make it out until March 3rd; other than to ponder a future of receiving our February prescriptions in early March once the health care system is under government control.)  Walz writes: 

A recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission reverses previous prohibitions on direct corporate involvement in influencing the outcomes of U.S. elections and allows corporations to spend money from their general funds within 30 days before a presidential primary and in the 60 days before the general election to advocate for or against specific candidate for elected office.

This is a monumental blow to democracy and will significantly impact the way elections are run. 

In response to this devastating decision, I introduced HR 4617, the Separate Taxpayer dollars from the Election Process Act, which will prohibit Wall Street banks and other corporate recipients of public bailout funds from using these tax dollars to influence the outcome of elections in the United States.  It requires corporations receiving funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (commonly known as the bank bailout) to segregate the funds from other operating funds and prohibits the use of these funds for electioneering communication.

It was wrong that American taxpayers had to bail out Wall Street banks for their reckless behavior.  It is outrageous  these same Wall Street banks can now use your taxpayer money to  run TV attacks ads attempting to elect or defeat candidates for public office.   My bill is one of a multi-prong legislative approach now being debated in the halls of Congress about how to close these new corporate special interest loopholes and protect the public's interest over corporate special interests. 

Walz's plan is a case study in both demagoguery and the folly of big government. 

Yes, it was wrong that American taxpayers had to bail out banks.  However, the banks did not force taxpayers to bail out the banks; the government did.  The government took our money and gave it too a third party; apparently without placing sufficient limitations on how that money would be used.  Now, Walz expects us to be outraged at that third party because he believes that that money may be spent in ways he does not approve of. 

Of course banks should not use TARP funds for political speech.  But the surest way to keep TARP funds from being misused is to end TARP.  Take our money back from the banks and return it to us; the taxpayers.  Let the banks manage their assets as the bankers see fit; let the citizens do with their money as they see fit.  Unfortunately, solutions that reduce the government's control over the private sector seem never to spring from Washington. 

This cycle of regulation, followed by unintended (but not unforeseeable) consequences, followed by more regulation, is just getting started in the realm of health insurance.  The cluster of regulations currently being contrived in Washington includes a prohibition on refusing coverage for pre existing conditions.  The natural consequence of this prohibition is increased costs for insurers, and the natural consequence of increased costs is increased prices.  To avoid this, the Democrats' plan includes a regulating body to regulate premiums.  The natural consequence of increased costs, without the ability to adjust prices, will be private insurers going out of business.  If his past actions are any guide, Walz will then blame the insurers and pitch additional regulation as the solution. 
Yesterday I received from Representative Tim Walz what he described as his February E-Newsletter.  (I will not dwell on the fact that the February E-Newsletter did not make it out until March 3rd; other than to ponder a future of receiving our February prescriptions in early March once the health care system is under government control.)  Walz writes: 

A recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission reverses previous prohibitions on direct corporate involvement in influencing the outcomes of U.S. elections and allows corporations to spend money from their general funds within 30 days before a presidential primary and in the 60 days before the general election to advocate for or against specific candidate for elected office.

This is a monumental blow to democracy and will significantly impact the way elections are run. 

In response to this devastating decision, I introduced HR 4617, the Separate Taxpayer dollars from the Election Process Act, which will prohibit Wall Street banks and other corporate recipients of public bailout funds from using these tax dollars to influence the outcome of elections in the United States.  It requires corporations receiving funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (commonly known as the bank bailout) to segregate the funds from other operating funds and prohibits the use of these funds for electioneering communication.

It was wrong that American taxpayers had to bail out Wall Street banks for their reckless behavior.  It is outrageous  these same Wall Street banks can now use your taxpayer money to  run TV attacks ads attempting to elect or defeat candidates for public office.   My bill is one of a multi-prong legislative approach now being debated in the halls of Congress about how to close these new corporate special interest loopholes and protect the public's interest over corporate special interests. 

Walz's plan is a case study in both demagoguery and the folly of big government. 

Yes, it was wrong that American taxpayers had to bail out banks.  However, the banks did not force taxpayers to bail out the banks; the government did.  The government took our money and gave it too a third party; apparently without placing sufficient limitations on how that money would be used.  Now, Walz expects us to be outraged at that third party because he believes that that money may be spent in ways he does not approve of. 

Of course banks should not use TARP funds for political speech.  But the surest way to keep TARP funds from being misused is to end TARP.  Take our money back from the banks and return it to us; the taxpayers.  Let the banks manage their assets as the bankers see fit; let the citizens do with their money as they see fit.  Unfortunately, solutions that reduce the government's control over the private sector seem never to spring from Washington. 

This cycle of regulation, followed by unintended (but not unforeseeable) consequences, followed by more regulation, is just getting started in the realm of health insurance.  The cluster of regulations currently being contrived in Washington includes a prohibition on refusing coverage for pre existing conditions.  The natural consequence of this prohibition is increased costs for insurers, and the natural consequence of increased costs is increased prices.  To avoid this, the Democrats' plan includes a regulating body to regulate premiums.  The natural consequence of increased costs, without the ability to adjust prices, will be private insurers going out of business.  If his past actions are any guide, Walz will then blame the insurers and pitch additional regulation as the solution.