May 23, 2018

Rising Income, Dodd-Frank Rollback Yield GOP Support

Republicans have passed significant financial deregulation that will keep the good economic news coming.

Lower taxes and reduced regulations have been a theme of Donald Trump’s presidency. The result has been a boost to the economy. The latest is a report showing that median household income is steadily rising again after stagnating during the previous administration. In January 2017, it was $59,471; now, it’s $61,483. According to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD), “Household income is now higher than it’s been in at least 50 years — after adjusting for inflation.” The economy is largely about consumer confidence. Rising incomes, more jobs, lower taxes and less regulation all add up to help people feel better about the economy, which then propels even more growth.

So it’s against this backdrop that Congress has accomplished a notable feat — rolling back significant chunks of Democrats’ onerous financial regulations. In 2010, Democrats rammed through the massive Dodd-Frank regulatory package in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, which, by the way, Democrats created with bad policy started in Bill Clinton’s administration. The result of Barack Obama’s regulatory bonanza was years of stagnation.

Tuesday night, the House passed reform legislation, following the Senate’s lead back in March. The bill falls short of dismantling Dodd-Frank, but it will substantially help smaller banks that weren’t big enough to cope with Democrats’ massive regulations. Republicans raised the threshold for many of those regulations from $50 billion in assets to $250 billion, meaning just 12 banks will be subject to onerous oversight instead of 38.

“You take what you can get,” said economist Stephen Moore. “If I can get half a loaf, I take that over no loaf at all.”

Meanwhile, one final measure of the economy may actually be the “generic ballot” poll between Republicans and Democrats. “As recently as March,” IBD notes, “Democrats had an average 9-point lead on this question — which is seen as an indicator of the enthusiasm for the two parties going into the midterm elections in November.” Now? Republicans are up by six points, their first lead in this election cycle. Perhaps voters are putting two and two together — Trump’s economic policies are directly benefiting the average American. Why go back to the Democrat malaise?

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