Monday, April 27, 2009

Obama Finally Finds Deregulation He Can Support

From telecommunications to electricity to banking to accounting, [Obama, during the Presidential campaign,] blamed the failures as a product of markets out of control, with not enough government regulations to rein in "an ethic of greed, corner cutting, insider dealing, things that have always threatened the long-term stability of our economic system."

According to Obama, deregulation, even under the Clinton administration, produced an “'anything goes' environment that helped foster devastating dislocations in our economy.” The proper government regulation can prevent the ''chaotic, unforgiving” nature of capitalism.

- John R. Lott Jr., Obama Bitter About Free Markets

While our Moral Compass In Chief may want to vastly expand the reach of government regulation in most every area of our economy and life, we now know that there is at least one area where he feels that the people involved are sufficiently upstanding, law abiding and with a proven track record of honest and fair dealing that deregulation is warranted.

Its Big Labor.

This from the Washington Times:

The Obama administration, which has boasted about its efforts to make government more transparent, is rolling back rules requiring labor unions and their leaders to report information about their finances and compensation.

. . . The regulation, known as the LM-30 rule, was at the heart of a lawsuit that the AFL-CIO filed against the department last year. One of the union attorneys in the case, Deborah Greenfield, is now a high-ranking deputy at Labor, who also worked on the Obama transition team on labor issues.

Labor officials declined to say whether she played a role in the new policy, noting that Ms. Greenfield is abiding by all government ethics rules. In court filings, she and other union attorneys called the 2007 rules "onerous."

The Labor Department also is rescinding another key labor financial disclosure regulation. The expansion of the so-called LM-2 rule, approved during the last days of the Bush administration, requires unions to report more information about finances and labor leaders' compensation on annual reports.

Critics worry that the rollback of union reporting requirements will keep hidden potentially corrupt financial arrangements aimed at rooting out corruption, but unions say the Bush administration reporting rules were unfair and burdensome.

. . . Under the Bush administration, the department defended the rules in court. In court filings, government attorneys argued that the new rules were needed to "bring to light a wide variety of financial transactions and arrangements - whether proper or improper - that pose conflicts of interest arising from the relationships between unions, their officers and employees, employers and businesses." . . .

Read the entire article.

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