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Jim Hightower
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Tuesday 3 April 2012
“The last thing our economy needs is an open invitation for a new crop of Enroners to be unleashed to defraud the public — but that’s the first thing that Washington agreed to do.”

The ROBS Act

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Hallelujah, Washington has finally heard the people's cries for jobs! In an urgent bipartisan push, Democrats and Republicans have joined hands across the aisle to pass the JOBS Act. In this time of "The Great Hurt" — with widespread unemployment, middle-class incomes tumbling and the price of gasoline skyrocketing — we can all applaud our stalwarts in the capital city for meeting the No. 1 need of America's hard-hit economy: deregulating Wall Street.

Huh? I thought this was a jobs bill?

We'll get to that, but first (as always) Wall Street bankers must be served. Yes, them. The same priests of unmitigated arrogance who caused the disastrous financial crash that continues to rumble across our land. The same Wall Streeters we bailed out with trillions of public dollars. That Wall Street is now sulking and skulking around the U.S. Capitol, insisting that it is an economic victim, held back from its profiteering potential by government regulations to protect the public from finaglers and fraudsters. "Free Wall Street," is their cry!

Clucking with sympathy, Congress' tea party Republicans have rushed to the side of these poor, rich financiers, pledging to unshackle them from "burdensome" regulations. Serving Wall Street is not all that popular these days with voters, however, so the Repubs and their Democratic allies have committed their own fraud in order to pass this bill, deceptively titled it the "JOBS Act" (even though it doesn't actually create any jobs).

Then they pushed it in the name of small businesses (even though they quietly defined "small" as a billion dollars a year in sales). In fact, the accent on the JOBS acronym should be on "B.S." Will it surprise you to learn that the word "jobs" isn't even included in the title? Instead, JOBS stands for "Jump-start Our Business Start-ups."

Alarmingly, the so-called "onerous" regulations that Congress eliminated primarily are the extremely useful financial disclosure rules passed a decade ago to prevent another Enron scandal.

The GOP House even tried to free financial hucksters from having to tell potential investors the names of the executives running the company and — get this — from providing such essential investor information as a description of what the company does and accurate accounting of its financial condition!

The last thing our economy needs is an open invitation for a new crop of Enroners to be unleashed to defraud the public — but that's the first thing that Washington agreed to do. It's a disgrace.

While the law was rushed to passage without any public hearings in the name of hard-hit American workers and small business, all of the benefits go to corporate and financial hucksters who begged Congress to roll back financial disclosure and anti-fraud rules that were designed to protect investors, consumers and taxpayers. It's just another "tinkle-down" economic scam written by and for Wall Street fraudsters. The law makes it easier for them to raise cash for their new business schemes by deceiving investors about the risk of loses, the true financial condition of the enterprise and the amount of capital being raked off by executives.

"Free us from those pesky old regulations," demanded the hucksters, "and we'll attract speculators for corporate startups that (if they succeed and don't set up operations offshore) could possibly, someday create a few low-wage American jobs. But don't hold us to that job thing."

Sure enough, Washington's Wall Street-hugging politicos did not. Instead, they merrily passed a bill upping the likelihood of more financial swindles without even getting a promise from the swindlers that America will get some good jobs in return. The JOBS Act should be called the ROBS Act.

Copyright Creators.com


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ABOUT Jim Hightower
National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

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14 comments on "The ROBS Act"

Lori Norman

April 05, 2012 1:01pm

A yahoo news story today rated the US as one of the top ten rudest countries to visit, imagine what is like too live here with all this corruption JOBS bill Right????

Phineas

April 05, 2012 12:03pm

Jim, Thank you again for exposing and blowing holes in the latest payback from our bought Congress on behalf of their real consituents. BTW the gullible gang over on Huffington Post is celebrating and congratulating Obama for signing this deceptive POS legislation.

Livemike

April 05, 2012 1:09am

You're in the middle of a massive economic downturn caused by massive fraud, but you're still supporting the laws that were supposed to prevent fraud? The laws that cost billions of dollars that could have gone to actually producing things, and were completely useless in terms of stopping anything bad? That's the way you want to play this?

Look I'm not saying Wall Street are saints, or even good on the whole but they do raise money for actual investment that creates actual jobs. Sarbanes-Oxley made that harder without making detecting fraud easier. In fact the blizzard of paperwork it provoked may have made detecting fraud harder. It was like a medieval condom, armor against what you want, gossemer against the infection you risk when you try to get it.

In fact it's big business that benefitted most from SO, because the more overhead there is the less competition they have from smaller firms. That Congress actually did something that cost the big guys to benefit the medium sized ones is a miracle. And yes, I know, Wall Street supports this because it makes what they do cheaper and thus boosts their profits, but it makes a lot of other things cheaper too and thus boosts jobs. Stop assuming that regulation has a positive effect until proven otherwise. The reverse is usually the case.

Kim Diaz

April 04, 2012 5:42pm

I wrote to my rep who voted for this bill, Sen. Bill Nelson in Fl. He's a democrat too! One of the things he said in defense of this bill was that people who played by the rules should have enough in their 401k, pension and investment plans and should be okay. I wrote to him and asked him to please forward me a copy of the rules because I think they may have changed in the middle of the game. That was about a week ago but I haven't heard back yet...

jmhall2369

April 04, 2012 5:31pm

Until we actually vote out the 80% of Congress we say we hate nothing will change.

oldhat

April 04, 2012 3:13pm

great lead T Z should read it

McKenna Rowe

April 04, 2012 2:37pm

Here's an interesting perspective:
http://dailyworth.com/posts/1202-Sow-the-Seeds-of-a-Start-up

OldSalt65

April 04, 2012 12:57pm

Their are terrorists organizations in our country. They terrorize our representatives and senators national and local. They prey on a politician's greatest fear.. losing an election. They hold a gun to the heads of people we elect. A gun loaded with money and media smear campaigns. Alec, the NRA and others are engaged in the criminal activity of overthrowning the government of the United States... criminal though not technically illegal. I wonder who will bring them down. I wonder when. I wonder how.

Theodore Ziolkowski

April 04, 2012 12:23pm

When do You and I get upset enough with the Conservatives, Republicans, Tea-Party members and those Democrats that CONSTANTLY lie to us about what they are doing and how it effects us???

Will we finally United and Recall everyone of the Representatives and Senators who passed this Law? Will we work for the Defeat of every representative and Senator who Sponsored and voted for this law???

Republicans, Tea-Party members and their Democratic allies have committed their own fraud in order to pass this bill, deceptively titled it the "JOBS Act" (even though it doesn't actually create any jobs).

They pushed it in the name of small businesses (even though they quietly defined "small" as a billion dollars a year in sales). In fact, the accent on the JOBS acronym should be on "B.S." Will it surprise you to learn that the word "jobs" isn't even included in the title? Instead, JOBS stands for "Jump-start Our Business Start-ups." Alarmingly, the so-called "onerous" regulations that Congress eliminated primarily are the extremely useful financial disclosure rules passed a decade ago to prevent another Enron scandal.

While the law was rushed to passage without any public hearings in the name of hard-hit American workers and small business, all of the benefits go to corporate and financial hucksters who begged Congress to roll back financial disclosure and anti-fraud rules that were designed to protect investors, consumers and taxpayers.

G.E.R.R.Y.

April 07, 2012 4:33am

"Will we work for the Defeat of every representative and Senator who Sponsored and voted for this law???"

Who the hell is left then? You need MORE THAN two parties. Sad really...

Tryder

April 04, 2012 12:16pm

I guess it really will take a voter revolution to teach these idiots in Congress and the Senate that the business as usual model will no longer be tolerated, and, that they will have to do the much harder job of representing the people needs and wishes before that of corporate America. Only an idiot would look at the last year and conclude that nothing has changed with voters. Down with voter supression in all it's forms!

oldhat

April 04, 2012 12:04pm

hightower was high on something so he does not like vets getting jobs cutting payroll taxes

John David Oakes

April 04, 2012 11:29am

Spin the Political Bottle
Swindle Full Throttle

Citizen_of_the_USA

April 04, 2012 9:49am

I voted against them, I write them frequently, but my representatives are so deep in the pockets of their contributors that I don't know why I bother. Fighting against bills like this? Heck, they're sponsoring them.

Its taxation without representation, and representation without taxation.