MORE OR LESS REGULATION? WHAT ABOUT SMART REGULATION?


Posted by Leonard Steinberg on October 8th, 2012

Both presidential candidates are arguing over regulation: Romney says we have too much and Obama says we don’t have enough. What about SMART regulation: efficient regulation that actually works? David Rubenstein, the co-founder of The Carlyle Group and the ‘king’ of private equity, made the point the other day and it is abundantly clear just how stupid some of the regulation is in place when you apply for a mortgage these days. I am re-financing a mortgage, and some of the regulations I have experienced are so incredibly idiotic, one has to wonder how this legislation passed the muster of so many elected officials in government? Are two really bad appraisals done by two really inept appraisers better than one solid appraisal? Should the mortgage broker not be allowed to speak to the appraiser……really? What about a recorded conversation that was transposed into text and became part of the closing documentation? Dodd-Frank is an obviously flawed piece of legislation….it’s too complicated, too messy and while it does address some of the underlying causes of the previous lack of regulation in the mortgage industry, it is not nearly as effective as it could be. It does not need to be repealed, and it does not need to be expanded. It should be simplified, refined and made SMARTER. It should have more PRACTICAL, clever checks and balances installed into it that are devoid of politics, and address more effectively why this legislation was passed in the first place.

It still amazes me how both candidates don’t address the one thing that is a huge factor in all government: EFFICIENCY. Neither candidate mentioned once how┬áin 2009 roughly $750 billion was wasted on unnecessary services, excessive administrative costs, fraud, and other problems in the healthcare system. $ 750 BILLION in one year? Thats almost as much as TARP, most of which has been paid back….with interest…..yet neither candidate addressed how inefficient, corrupt and inept government is. Both candidates talk lovingly about the underprivileged, yet neither mention a plan to address the fact that forty percent of food in the United States is never eaten, amounting to $165 billion a year in waste. Add up all the waste and inefficiencies in our systems and we’d all be amazed at how little extra revenue is needed to balance our budgets. Neither candidate addressed the silent ‘hidden tax’ on all Americans…..the cost of gas: the price is dictated by the efficiency of refineries, production and demand (not to mention our little friend OPEC)…..so if we have given up control of pricing, why not focus with a passion on efficiencies? Could smart regulation cut fuel consumption by 15% quickly? At least we have control over that. Remember, when every US consumer has to spend an extra $ 15 per week on gas, thats about $ 800 a year per person (almost $ 100 billion collectively) taken out of the spending pool. We are a consumer driven economy and both candidates refuse to acknowledge that the primary reason for slow growth is WEAK DEMAND.

Maybe its time for the PRACTICAL PARTY, a political party that focuses on what works best for the country at large, not just the extremist thugs/idiots/incompetents/self-serving lunatics on both sides of the aisle. This party would not muster up more than 10% of the country’s vote but it could be the deciding entity in all legislation, breaking gridlock in Congress and the Senate, driving both sides to become more pragmatic in their legislating efforts.