Why Do Republicans Want to Unregulate Wall Street?

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I understand why Republicans want to repeal Obamacare. I understand why they want to cut taxes on the rich. I understand why they want to slash social welfare programs for the poor. I may not like it, but I mostly understand it.

But why do they want to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill? Their base doesn’t care about it. The banking industry is fighting over the details but seems mostly willing to live with it. Credit unions and small banks want relief from certain parts of the law, but that’s a fairly limited thing.

So what’s the point? Republicans would like to get rid of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau because they historically hate consumer protection. That much I get. But why get rid of OLA, the provision that helps regulators perform an orderly liquidation of a big bank like Lehman Brothers? Why get rid of the provision that allows extra scrutiny and tighter rules for “systemically important” banks? Why exactly are Republicans opposed to that?

I’m sort of mystified about this. I mean, sure, these provisions are (a) regulations, (b) Democratic regulations, and (c) Democratic regulations on rich people. I guess that’s enough. But who’s pressing them on this stuff? It’s crazy on the face of it. The 2008 meltdown happened less than a decade ago. Why would even a Republican be opposed to raising capital requirements on big banks and insisting that the financial industry pay for any future bailouts?

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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