President Obama's remarks upon signing the Dodd-Frank financial "reform" bill in to law were strangely and perhaps unintentionally revealing:
Now, for all those Americans who are wondering what Wall Street reform means for you, here's what you can expect. If you've ever applied for a credit card, a student loan, or a mortgage, you know the feeling of signing your name to pages of barely understandable fine print. What often happens as a result is that many Americans are caught by hidden fees and penalties, or saddled with loans they can't afford.
That's what happened to Robin Fox, hit with a massive rate increase on her credit card balance even though she paid her bills on time. .... Well, with this law, unfair rate hikes, like the one that hit Robin, will end for good. ...With this law, students who take out college loans will be provided clear and concise information about their obligations.
He's saying this law will fix credit cards and student loans. But Mr. Obama already signed a law supposedly fixing credit cards -- back on May 22, 2009, Mr. Obama signed the "Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009," proclaiming, "With this new law, consumers will have the strong and reliable protections they deserve." A White House fact sheet at the time boasted that the law "bans unfair rate increases." Mr. Obama's remarks today were trying to sell Americans the same horse twice. What does he think we were, not listening the first time around? If it were a financial institution trying this kind of snow job on the public the president would probably ask the newly created consumer financial protection agency to investigate it.
Same with student loans. In his March 27, 2010, weekly address, the president praised Congress for reforming the student loan programs: "to make sure our students don't go broke just because they chose to go to college, we're making it easier for graduates to afford their student loan payments. Today, about 2 in 3 graduates take out loans to pay for college. The average student ends up with more than $23,000 in debt. So when this change takes effect in 2014, we'll cap a graduate's annual student loan repayments at 10 percent of his or her income." A White House fact sheet, also issued back in March, explained that the changes are part of the the "Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act." In other words, this, too, is a horse that Mr. Obama is trying to sell the American people twice.
Dodd-Frank must be pretty lame if, instead of selling it to the public on the basis of what is actually inside it, the president is resorting to selling it on the basis of other provisions that have already become law as parts of other bills.