In 2009-2010, Congressman Roy Blunt received the most donations of all House members from commercial banks. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer was number 3 on the banks’ list (based on FEC data for 2009-10). Both Representatives voted against the house banking reform bill and its consumer protections.
While a corporation’s job is to make money for its shareholders, the consumer needs protection from deceptive and predatory practices. More than 60 percent of people with sub-prime loans qualified for regular mortgages, but were steered into other products because they were more profitable for the lender. Certainly consumers need to be alert and to educate themselves, but the deck is stacked against them as financial institutions seek new ways to make money.
The biggest entitlement in the United States is the lack of regulation. Representatives Blunt and Luetkemeyer didn’t like H.R. 4173 (Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act), but they offer no plan of their own to make sure consumers are given adequate and truthful information from the financial sector. These Congressmen are friends to big banks, big insurers, big business. They are not friends to their constituents.
Jane Whitesides is with Pro-Vote Missouri. She lives in Glasgow.