A GOP voice of reason
By Brad Lowell
Leave it to a former aide to Sen. Bob Dole to hit the nail on the head when criticizing Congress for its failure to approve economic stimulus measures.
Former FDIC chairman Sheila Bair said in an interview Wednesday that more infrastructure spending by the federal government would provide a critical boost to the job market, adding that Congress should approve additional spending even if it requires borrowing.
Bair, who was appointed to head the FDIC in 2006 by President George W. Bush, said that “infrastructure spending is number one. I think we've squandered cheap financing rates for five years.”
According to an article written by Zach Carter of the Huffington Post, Bair was an outspoken critic of reckless lending in the banking system prior to the 2008 meltdown and has been a persistent voice for financial reform in the years since.
Bair said in the interview that long-term problems with Social Security and Medicare did not justify inaction in addressing near-term problems such as high unemployment and income inequality.
The former FDIC chairman said she agreed that there needs to a long-term strategy for entitlement reform, but not at the expense of infrastructure spending.
“This is low-hanging fruit because we get the infrastructure, while at the same time jobs are created,” she said.
Bair also said that she believes the Federal Reserve is making the problem of income inequality worse by purchasing bonds from U.S. Banks as a means to pump new money into the financial system.
“I do think it's made income inequality a lot worse,” she said. “It has inflated financial assets. When the top 10 percent of the population owns 80 percent of the stock, this policy continues to skew wealth toward the very wealthy.”
Incidentally, Ms. Bair is a native of Independence, Kan. She received both her bachelor's degree in philosophy and her law degree from the University of Kansas.
These are refreshing revelations coming from a Republican. It's a shame that the Kansas delegation doesn't take note of what a former aide to our own Bob Dole thinks and says.
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