On December 5, 2009, President Obama visited Allentown, PA to talk about jobs and the economy. Allentown has been hit hard by the economic down turn with a 9.3 percent unemployment rate (Oct 2009). At the end of his message, President Obama took impromptu questions from the audience. There were a number of small business owners in the audience and the burning question was what is the administration going to do about ensuring our financial and lending institutions will (1) begin granting loans again to small businesses; and (2) what is the administration doing to ensure that we do not go down this path again; what checks and balances are being put in place?
There are those who claim the President and the Democrats have dropped the ball on the economy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Efforts to reform our financial and lending institutions is going full speed ahead. The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 4173) was passed out of committee recently and will finally be voted on by the entire House of Representatives.
This bill will go a long way to rein in greed and risk-taking on Wall Street and put the safety and security of working families first. One of the most important reforms created by this bill is the creation a consumer watchdog with teeth, The Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The CFPA will make sure the banks cannot peddle unsafe financial products to the public, gouging consumers and putting our entire economy at risk.
Without a doubt, the big banks and Wall Street will do all that they can to prevent passage of this bill and the establishment of CFPA. In the same manner as the insurance industry and its lobbyists are doing all that they can through false advertisements, spreading fear and hate to stop and stall health care reform, the financial industry will do likewise to protect their profit margins.
The financial industry is one of the largest PAC and special committee donors, along side of the insurance industry, to lawmakers. They will do everything they can to stop the CFPA from being formed. Public Citizen has put together a petition to the House of Representatives urging them to vote yes on CFPA. Ask your representative: Which side are you on? Next week, will you stand with Main Street or Wall Street?
Opponents of reform will stop at nothing to protect their bottom line. Take a moment to ensure that we achieve more fairness and accountability in the financial industry. This is the change we need to once again grow a prosperous, strong and secure economy. After you contact your representative today, please spread the word.