Treasury’s Geithner to map U.S. financial reg reform

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will face tough questions from lawmakers on Tuesday as he spells out the basics of the Obama administration’s plans to reshape financial regulation at a high-profile congressional hearing.

Bill Cusack: Republicans Don’t Believe in Tax Cuts

As the world’s economic crisis continues to play out there are some crucial questions that the Republicans have not been asked for reasons unknown to me, as they are some of the most obvious and most important questions they need to answer. I believe that asking these questions will so utterly stump Republicans they will shut up and go away and give us a break from all their noise so the rest of us can get to work solving our problems.

If cutting the highest tax rate from thirty nine percent to thirty six percent in 2001helped create fifty-five straight months of economic growth, as the Bush people claim, why did they cut the tax rate to just thirty six percent? Why not cut it down to thirty percent? How much deeper, broader and more stable would our economic expansion have been? Why not go all the way to a one percent tax rate? At what point does lowering tax rates stop growing the economy and increasing revenue? Didn’t the GOP have a moral imperative to find out and cut taxes to the lowest point possible?

Republicans are fond of saying the tax based grew larger under Dubya. Great! I’m thrilled! Where is all the money that is supposed to be here after eight years of tax cuts and economic growth?

Ari Fleischer and other Bushmen offer an answer. They say the Prescription Drug Benefits Bill and the Iraq War ate up all the increase in revenue. Probably so, if there ever was an increase in revenue, which has yet to be proved since The Bush Administration was incapable of honest accounting practices. But that completely avoids the most important question: why did Dubya borrow money if deeper tax cuts would have generated even more revenue? Did the Republicans not think the Iraq War was worth a nice, deep tax cut?

Early in Dubya’s awful second term it became clear to even the GOP the Federal Budget deficit was getting out of hand, providing the GOP with yet another reason to cut taxes, which invariably increases revenue, right? At the time they had the House and the Senate. They could have done anything they pleased. If cutting taxes is the defining policy of the Grand Old Party, again, why didn’t they do so to keep the deficit from spiraling out of control? But wait- isn’t cutting taxes worth doing for any reason? Obviously they didn’t turn to their Super Duper Economic Tool to handle all these challenges because it doesn’t work. If it did they would not have had to borrow trillions of dollars and add well over five trillion dollars to the deficit. If it did we would have no deficit. Did they not go lower because the spineless Democratic Party might have tried to stop them?

Whatever the answer the Republicans give, and we can be sure at this point it will be incoherent and embarrassing to all involved, Republicans did not turn to their most powerful, personally and morally definitive economic tool when the chips were down, and the chips were seriously down like never before. That tells me Republicans don’t actually believe in tax cuts and are not conservative. In that case all their posturing about cutting taxes is completely disingenuous and purely political. What does their behavior say they really stand for? Mortgaging our future so they can have what they want right now, or “Teenagerism”. If I remember correctly conservatism says nothing about being short sighted, irresponsible and utterly selfish.

Now the GOP says Obama’s tax cut is not big enough to cover his stimulus package even though a smaller tax cut was supposedly powerful enough to cover the Great Bush Spending Spree over the last eight years which far and away dwarfs the spending Obama has proposed. But why argue Obama’s tax cut is too small when they didn’t cut taxes farther when they had the most compelling circumstances to do so in our nation’s history?

Republicans are so utterly convoluted and confused and conflicted and lost they sound like the drug-addled freak I recently saw on a reality cop show that had just been caught red handed with a pound of cocaine in the trunk of his car. The cop demands an explanation and the dope says “Those ain’t my drugs, man! I stole this car!” There is just no dignity. They are so desperate they are reduced to hoping Americans can’t remember all their colossal failings? Sorry. Americans will never forget Bush’s Presidency. We will remember everything. Not to be vindictive, all though that is tempting, but so that it never happens again.

Dubya and all he stands for will have to be completely purged from the party if they ever want to win another national election. The best way I can tell to do that is to first and foremost shut up, and I mean completely shut the hell up, until they get their fiscal policies worked out. Tax cuts for the rich coupled with deregulated financial markets plus massive federal spending equals total meltdown. So throw all that out and start at the beginning: tax cuts. Before any Republican dare open his or her mouth to discuss any fiscal policy he or she needs to answer the questions I have posed here, that is, as long as they want to begin what is for them a very long road back to dignity and earn some small measure of national respect. Until these questions are answered I must view any Republican’s attempt to lead this country as impertinence, or, in other words, something like Jim Cramer asking to invest my money.

Read more: Taxes, Deficit, Federal Budget Deficit, Tax Cuts, Financial Crisis, Democratic Party, Republican Party, Personal Finance, Federal Budget, Fiscal Responsibility, Politics News

Obama demands G20 action

BERLIN (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama urged fellow leaders on Tuesday to agree swift action at a G20 summit next week to spur global recovery and Britain’s Gordon Brown embarked on a tour to seek international accord.

AIG employees hand over bonuses: Cuomo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fifteen of 20 American International Group leading bonus recipients have agreed to give them back in full, said New York’s top legal officer who is probing into $165 million in executive pay at the troubled company bailed out by the U.S. government.

Obama demands G20 action; UK’s Brown drums up support

BERLIN (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama urged fellow leaders on Tuesday to agree swift action at a G20 summit next week to spur global recovery and Britain’s Gordon Brown embarked on a tour to seek international accord.

Nano bookings to soothe Tata Motors funding woes

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Tata Motors looks set to harness massive demand for its Nano, the world cheapest car, helping it raise funds to cover bridge loans for last year’s purchase of the luxury Jaguar and Land Rover brands.

Goldman may trim ICBC stake: report

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc and China’s ICBC have been in discussions about the New York bank reducing its stake in the world’s largest financial institution, according to a report on Tuesday.

Stifel to buy U.S. wealth management branches from UBS

ZURICH (Reuters) – U.S. Stifel Financial Corp will acquire up to 55 branches of UBS Wealth Management Americas to expand across the United States in a deal that will boost the investment bank’s profit in the first year.