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But also blame Dodd-Frank and pro-retailer Republicans for those new debit card fees — and job losses.
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UNFORTUNATELY, THE RETAILERS’ CLOUT on the Hill, as well as their legitimate beefs with overregulation, swayed some normally conservative Republicans into backing merchants’ calls to put regulatory shackles on others. A bipartisan measure to delay the Durbin price controls in June would have gotten the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate — and would have been the first rollback of a provision of Dodd-Frank — were it not for 12 Republicans backing these price controls. There were some interesting patterns as Georgia GOP Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson became sudden coverts to price controls after heavy lobbying from Atlanta-based Home Depot, a firm that American Banker as “on the warpath” against interchange fees . (For the full list of the members of what I call the GOP’s “Durbin Dozen” price control caucus who voted to keep the Durbin Amendment, click here.)
These GOP Senators need to catch the courage of their freshman colleague John Boozman (R-Ark.), who voted against the price controls despite lobbying from his state’s largest employer, Wal-Mart. They can also be inspired by freshman Rep. Francisco Canseco (R-Texas). At a recent conference on access to credit co-sponsored by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Canseco related an incident in which he told a retailer lobbying him for interchange price controls that someone who charges $6 for a coffee drink that costs 99 cents has no business moaning about “illicit profits.”
It’s time to repeal the Durbin Amendment and many other onerous provisions of Dodd-Frank, including those that hurt retailers, such as the authority of the unaccountable Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over stores that extend credit and those that prevent retailers from creating affiliated banks called industrial lending companies (ILC)s. Lifting the ILC ban, as I have written, would allow the free market to bring down credit card processing costs without hurting consumers, and would add more banking system competition that would benefit everyone.
This Dodd-Frank repeal bill, similar to measures introduced by Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), should be called the “Free Checking — And Free Enterprise — Restoration Act.”
John Berlau is director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?