The financial crisis in 2008 was the worst since the great depression more than 75 years earlier. Upon reflection, it can be determined that many of the contributing factors can be traced back to misleading claims, bad lending, and poor regulation. Combine this with the fact that many lenders wouldn’t even require proof of income to approve unaffordable loans that would surely end in bankruptcy and an already unstable economy and you’ve got yourself a foreclosure crisis.
In an attempt to reign in deceptive credit card practices, predatory payday loans and multiplying bank fees the Obama Administration proposed the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. In essence, the agency would take over all federal regulations of the banks in one office, in the best interest of everyday Americans. The Democrats felt that the CFPA would give consumers important protection against mistreatment by banks as well as making sure lenders act transparently and do not take advantage of consumers. (for the official documents visit congress.gov H.R.3216-111th)
July of 2017 Richard Cordray, director of the CFPA announced a new rule that would put limits on mandatory arbitration which passed in a 50-51 vote. Meaning, before the rule there was fine print in contracts that protected banks from a class action lawsuit or a group of people suing the banks through one lawyer. The rule would have also required banks to remove “confusing or misleading language and fine print” from all contracts by March of 2018. Americans pay a staggering $35.8B in overdraft fees annually due to many of these practices. Naturally, there was an immediate backlash from large banks, as well as the Association of National Advertisers due to the stricter rules on misleading marketing. Even 45 was in opposition stating “only the big law firms will benefit” while also calling the CFPA policies “uninformed” & “ineffective”.
Fast forward to October and just as with many of the ACA policies congress waited the 60 days to repeal or squash years worth of effort. In a tied-vote Mike Pence was called upon to cast the final decision, he voted to nullify the ruling. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has led those opposed to the nullification put it best right before the vote-
“This bill is a giant wet kiss to Wall Street. Bank lobbyists are crawling all over this place, begging Congress to vote and make it easier for them to cheat customers”
In 2015 the initial proposal of the “big, beautiful, see-through and inexpensive wall that would be paid for by Mexico” created a barrier of its own between those in favor and those opposed. In July of 2017 after two years of heated debate 45 proposed a bill allowing $1.6B to complete a Tactical Infrastructure designed to protect 1,000 of our 2,000-mile border. It was passed by the house 235-192. Then later in October to the surprise of many, another bill was approved by the House Homeland Security Committee for $10B American tax dollars to construct the wall. We cannot let this bill pass on the floor.
Will this budget continue to grow out of control? A MIT Tech specialists review of the budget states it impossible at 50′ tall – 10′ underground – 1000 miles long the budget would look more like: $9B for concrete – $4.5B for steel – $15B in labor For a grand total of $28B. What some may forget is there is already a 700-mile long fence along the border that has already cost us $2.3B in taxes. The fence was set in place in 2007 by George W. Bush, complete with barbed wire and infrared cameras. The kicker is the feds still owe former landowners for the original buyouts ten years ago. The U.S. also already spends more on Mexico’s border security team than any other federal agency in the states.
Given the current state of affairs in our great nation is it really ethical to support this budget? In 2017 a mere $69B was put into the education system, while almost $700B went to military funding. As a country who spends almost 100 times more on the military than education, priority matters need to be assessed and addressed first. The hundreds of thousands left homeless from the recent disasters reaching coast to coast and beyond still need basic things like water and shelter. Ask yourself if passing this bill is humane, we need bridges, not walls. Bridges for the gaps in wealth & social inequality and most importantly for the gaps in education.
Featured photo: Donald Trump’s Taj Ma WALL | by DonkeyHotey
With all the recent political and social controversy it is easy to become exactly what the mainstream wants- distracted. All the twitter fights aside the gap in wealth inequality continues to grow thanks to 45 and their tax cuts. During the last 10 years, the topic of wealth inequality has been widely debated and usually wildly misunderstood. With these tax cuts on the horizon, it is especially important for the 99 to know what they are dealing with. Clearly, the rich would like to stay rich for there are 250 millionaires in Congress running the show.
While the elite like to attribute poverty to laziness since 1979 American productivity has increased by 80%. In the same time frame, the white collars have continued to go blue. If income had grown in relation to productivity during this time, the current annual income would fall around $90k. Sadly, this is not the case as the average annual American income falls around just roughly $50k. As for the 1% who averages $700k annually, they make 14Xs more than the average American. What may really surprise you, however, is the .01% inside the 1%. These individuals earn an average annual income of $27 million dollars. That is 540Xs the average American. These individuals also only pay around 18% in personal income taxes.
Although the income gaps are disturbing inequality takes on a whole new meaning when we take a look at Net Worth. The average Jo’s net worth is around $56k, not terribly impressive considering that includes holdings & property. The 1% hang steady with an average net worth of $8.4 million. The most elite .01% average net worth can be put only one way, these 400 people control 43% of all the Wealth in America while the 4% under them control an additional 29%.
When we break these figures all down it clearly shows us that 72% of all the Wealth in the U.S. is held by out of touch elites with no clue of manual labor or day to day struggles of the working class. With movements like Occupy Wall Street and the growing information available, hopefully, we can continue to fight these tax cuts that will take the rates from 39.6% to 35% and ultimately cost the Feds over $2.4 trillion in revenue over the next 10 years alone.