The Most Surprising Aspect of the GOP Platform? A Call to Revive Glass-Steagall
Outlandish additions to the Republican platform — like repealing environmental regulations and legalizing anti-LGBT discrimination — have been getting attention, but one aspect of the platform is actually in line with Democratic Party ideals. “Republican presidential candidate Trump and none other than Elizabeth Warren, his arch-nemesis on Twitter, have agreed on a policy initiative: the need to restore Glass-Steagall,” Suzanne McGee of The Guardian writes.
But how did this shocking alignment occur? She explains that although the restoration of Glass-Steagall, which separated commercial and investment banking, is largely viewed as a progressive cause, many “unlikely” supporters of the economic measure have emerged over the past few years. McGee writes:
The more the benefits of the recovery seemed to flow to the banks instead of to consumers, the louder the chorus of support has grown for bringing back Glass Steagall.
Moreover, regulations passed since the financial crisis mean there are significant restrictions on the kind of behavior in which banks can indulge, and require them to set aside a lot more capital on their balance sheets to guard against losses. …
[W]ith anger at Wall Street risk-taking and financial elites now running high on both sides of the aisle, nuances … are less significant.
However, some Democrats are not impressed with the GOP’s change of heart. “Democrats said the platform plank doesn’t match Republican policies to unwind postcrisis safeguards,” Donna Borak of The Wall Street Journal writes, “and Republicans said reeling back the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law is a higher priority.”
If Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump “really wanted to protect working Americans from the risky Wall Street gambling that almost destroyed our economy, he would defend Dodd-Frank [the law passed in response to the 2008 financial crisis], instead of calling to dismantle it,” Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, said in a statement Tuesday.
An aide to Sen. Warren said the Massachusetts senator was “bewildered by how Republicans can square that position with the platform’s assault on the [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] and Mr. Trump’s commitment to get rid of Dodd-Frank.”
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has said that she would go further than Dodd-Frank to better regulate the financial industry, but she has not called for a reinstatement of Glass-Steagall. Borak also notes that party platforms are nonbinding and that the GOP’s mention of Glass-Steagall is a single sentence that was added at the end of the drafting process. “There is a lot in this platform to ignore,” Tony Fratto, an official from the George W. Bush administration, told Borak.
When it comes to economic policy, Donald Trump has diverted from mainline conservative positions throughout his campaign. He has repeatedly expressed criticism of the “rigged economy” and the corporate “elite,” taking a position similar to that of Bernie Sanders.
—Posted by Emma NilesYour support matters…
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