Like so many of you, I watched in terror as our financial system melted down almost ten years ago. Millions lost their jobs, their homes, their life savings. But the people whose recklessness precipitated that crisis were not among those millions. There is almost no greater injustice I see in this country than the degree to which Wall Street bankers got away with causing the greatest financial meltdown since the Great Depression.
At its best, Wall Street performs a valuable function in our economy: allocating investment money where it can do the most good. But we too often see it at its worst – recklessly speculating on risky practices, prioritizing quarterly earnings over long term gains, and squeezing every penny out of the American consumer. American taxpayers had to bite the bullet and spend billions to bail out the banks that caused the financial crisis, simply because they were “too big to fail.” Ten years later, we still have taken no steps to prevent this exact same problem from happening again.
We must take bigger, bolder steps to curtail our exposure to Wall Street’s recklessness. This is how I would fight back against the dangerous excesses of Wall Street, as your Congressman:
Break up the big banks – We can never let “too big to fail” be an excuse for bailing out the actors whose recklessness caused such enormous, far-reaching problems. We need to strictly regulate how big banks can get, and force today’s mega-banks to break into smaller companies to diversify our national risk. We need to bring back the Glass-Steagall Act and other anti-trust legislation that successfully ended the last American Gilded Age.
Strengthen the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau agency fights every day to protect middle class Americans from predatory corporations, but it is constantly under attack from Republican lawmakers. We must defend and expand this agency’s regulatory capabilities.
Support the LaSalle Street Tax and Inclusive Prosperity Act – Both bills are designed to put a tax on Wall Street speculation. Not only would such a policy raise billions of dollars that could be used to subsidize higher education, it would stop high-frequency traders from syphoning off billions of dollars from the majority of every-day American investors like those all over the 6th District.
I strongly support the Dodd-Frank Act that sought to provide more oversight and rein in some of the more irresponsible practices of Wall Street speculators. I was outraged, though not surprised,that Rep. Peter Roskam voted to roll back many of Dodd-Frank’s safeguards this summer. As your Congressman, I will work to reinstate and expand Dodd-Frank, ushering in a new era of accountability from Wall Street.
Paid for and Authorized by Ryan Huffman for Congress