Apr 14 2010


U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), today made the following statement regarding the financial reform proposals that are currently being considered in the Senate:

“Taxpayers across America are disgusted with the government’s tax policies and use of their hard earned tax dollars.  Americans are fed up with the government’s stimulus packages and bailouts because they know the taxman cometh for a bigger share of their income down the road to pay for it.  For years, I have introduced legislation in the Senate that would provide for a flat tax and a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  I continue to advocate for these sound policies.

“But with the April 15th filing deadline upon us this year, there is much more Congress can do to stand up for U.S. taxpayers.  Americans remain rightly outraged that their tax dollars were used to bail out irresponsible Wall Street firms and auto companies.  I firmly and vocally opposed these bailouts, as I have every bailout to come before Congress, beginning with Chrysler in 1979.

“It is time once and for all to bury the flawed policy of “Too Big to Fail.”  American taxpayers demand and deserve air-tight assurances that the federal government will never again use their tax dollars to bail out Wall Street or anyone else.
“A bedrock principle that has made the U.S. economy the most dominant on the planet and the most prolific in history is the freedom to try new ideas and to reap the benefits of success.  Congress must ensure, however, that the flip side of that equation also holds true: Failure means failure.  Above all, failure must never mean taxpayer assistance.  Public subsidization of private failure is unfair to taxpayers and distorts the free market that helped make our country great.  

“Unfortunately, Democrats’ financial reform proposals would not correct this problem.  The current Senate bill would allow for backdoor bailouts, expand the scope of bailouts, and institutionalize “Too Big to Fail.”

“As the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, I am working with committee Chairman Christopher Dodd to address this and other issues.  It is my hope we can reach a meaningful agreement that can garner broad bipartisan support.  If Democrats and Republicans focus on policy rather than politics, a substantive agreement remains entirely possible. 

“Republicans support financial reform that truly ends “Too Big to Fail” and aids the U.S. economy in creating jobs.  Anything short of that is unacceptable.”