greekdog, I work at a bank
I realize fully that Dodd-Frank was a knee-jerk reaction that doesn't fix things.
I agree with you that Obama's plans won't fix the deficit, without some ultra-extreme taxation which I believe would occur all the way down the line if enough of us were working to pay the taxes.
I agree with you that Obama favors "green energy" - he always said he would, as a way to help the US a) become energy independent and b) gain a little better favor in the eyes of the world who see us as selfish industrial polluters.
It was an amalgamation of factors, but the reports I read ultimately did break down the factors. Simplified:
1) beginning with the deregulation that used to separate FDIC institutions from investment banking (removal of Stegall regulations);
2) pressure to make housing more available to lower economic classes which also stimulated a building boom economy
3) Unethical lenders who failed to emphasize what a "balloon mortage" meant to eager first-home-buyers;
4) Unethical repackaging and reselling of the riskier loans;
These were called Collateralized Debt Obligations. The practice took a bunch of high risk loans and bundled them up with very few wonderfully low-risk loans. No problem there.
The problem became that, the new packages was sold as a low risk package.
5) Bush remove of Federal overseers;
6) Illegal (as in, against the still-existing regulations) failure of most of those lending and reselling institutions, to hold back enough capital like they were supposed to do, just in case loans turned into bad debts.
7) Mass movement of American jobs to foreign nations, resulting in risky loans turning into bad debts.
Very simply, Bush's premise: if the businessmen had been ethical and legal, the overseers weren't needed, cut the budget by removing those folks whose job was to check out all the loan wheeling and dealing and make sure banks and lenders were holding back enough capital.
So the primary cause was lack of appropriate (patriotic) business ethics. The businesses' ethics were all around doing what padded their stockholders' profit regardless the risk and regardless the legalities. Since they weren't being watched, they weren't gonna get caught.
My problem with neo-Republican philosophies is that they are favoring big business getting more powers with less regulations and less oversight, and that's what CAUSED our problem - but only because you cannot trust those who are answerable to stockholders, to be patriotic and ethical because they've proven again and again they'll put the $$$ before values. They do it because, "It's Capitalism, man." It is. But Capitalism without a good healthy dose of appropriate patriotic values is not healthy for our country.
And, Stalin? (who asked what about other countries earlier in the thread)... they don't just screw Americans, they screw each country they move into by moving right back out as soon as they see better $$$ signs elsewhere. That's why Nike is now moving to Vietnam, they work for half-peanuts instead of whole ones.
So. Romney's plan is to remove more regulations and more oversight and 'trust' the companies to do what's right.
Guys, these companies have had their tax breaks for years, and those tax breaks didn't stop them from moving jobs overseas or padding the CEO and Board of Director wallets with higher and higher salaries in comparison to their lowest worker.
Insanity is repeating things over again and expecting a different result.
Lowering taxes worked for Reagan because at the time we were doing pretty well and 70% tax - which is what the rich were paying then - was too much of a burden. So, Reagan lowered tax rates - but he also took away some business deductions when he lowered the rates - realized he'd made them TOO LOW, and raised them back up a couple notches.
Obama's plan to raise taxes back to Reagan rates because they can afford it
is FAIR for the country. They had years of lower rates because everyone else was able to take up the slack. Everyone else is not currently able
to take up the slack.
Do we want no road repairs? Do we want no schools? Frankly, I'd love it if I didn't have to pay for someone else's kid to go to school. I could also probably be fine with dirt roads, as long as business's trucks didn't come tear up the dirt. This sort of infrastructure that EVERYONE paid for, is what Obama meant that no businessman did it by himself.
But without jobs, lower economic class Americans just cannot take up the slack and if we want our nation to be strong, someone has to.
And we need to keep some regs and watchdogs in place, because we really have already seen what businesses will do for the love of the dollar, when the regs weaken and the watchdogs are kenneled.
So, unfortunately, right now, I'm against the Republicans, my own party, because their answer is to do more of what caused our problems in the first place. You can't fix a crack in a pvc pipe by banging on it with a sledgehammer, you'll just break it more.
~p.s. greekdog, I found the lecture, it doesn't include all my resources but includes a few. see pm~