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States need significant economic stimulus from Washington

States need significant economic stimulus from Washington

And the only thing more volatile than the economy and the path of the virus is the rantings of Donald Trump.

For awhile, it seemed the president had closed the door on any stimulus before the election. “Well I shut down talks two days ago because they weren’t working out,” Trump said in an interview on Oct. 8 on Fox Business Network. “Now they are starting to work out, we’re starting to have some very productive talks.”

It’s actually Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who have been doing the talking. But those negotiations until Friday afternoon mostly centered on renewing aid to airlines, which furloughed more than 30,000 workers when their last round of payroll supports expired Oct. 1, and another round of $1,200 stimulus checks that Trump could put his name on.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has warned that too little government support “would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses.”

It’s urgent that economic stimulus go beyond checks for individuals and deal with the serious budget crises faced by cities and states that employ millions of Americans and provide critical services in the pandemic.

The chairmen of the Massachusetts House and Senate Ways and Means Committees are trying to figure out how to deal with the ripple effect of those revenue shortfalls absent federal help to bolster what in January was projected to be a $44.6 billion budget.

House Chair Aaron Michlewitz, addressing a State House hearing, said lack of federal aid “will have a drastic negative impact on the commonwealth’s finances.”

Senate Chair Michael Rodrigues said lawmakers must put forward a budget “as soon as possible,” adding, “In the face of glaring federal dysfunction and an ongoing public health emergency, we have a job to do.”


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A Significant Majority Of Democrats And Republicans Support Strong Consumer Protection Regulations And Tougher Rules For Wall Street

A Significant Majority Of Democrats And Republicans Support Strong Consumer Protection Regulations And Tougher Rules For Wall Street

It has been ten years since the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) was signed. Given the complex nature of rule writing and the fact that fifteen regulators were involved, not all rules were finalized or implemented. Since Trump came into power, many of the rules that were finalized have been tailored and watered down. Yet, in the vast majority of both Democratic and Republican voters want strong consumer financial protections and tough regulation of the financial services industry.

Yesterday, in an Americans for Financial Reform and  Center for Responsible Lending sponsored-event, Lake Research Partners presented polling data, which shows that when in comes to a desire for tougher regulations for Wall Street, the word bipartisanship still exists.

Lake Research Partners’ key findings were:

·      Over nine in ten voters (91%) say it is important to regulate financial services and products to ensure they are fair to consumers, including 68% who say it is very important.

·      Nearly three-quarters of voters (74%) believe that Wall Street financial companies should be held accountable with tougher rules and enforcement, while only one in ten (10%) believe that their practices have changed enough that they don’t need further regulation.

·      More than half of voters feel that Wall Street and big corporations have gotten too much help from the government in response to the COVID-19 crisis (56%), while less than one in ten (8%) believe that they did not get enough help. Less than a quarter (23%) of voters feel that Wall Street received about the right about of aid.

·      Three-quarters (75%) of voters also believe there should be more government regulation of financial companies, such as Wall Street banks, mortgage lenders, payday lenders, debt collectors,

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