Speaking of Ex-Dallas Mayors, Steve Bartlett's Out to Kill D.C.'s Post-Financial Collapse Regs

Categories: Biz, News
sbartlett.jpg
And Schutze and I were just talking about Steve Bartlett. Then a Friend of Unfair Park goes and sends this piece posted a little while ago to The New York Times's website about how the former mayor of Dallas (twixt Strauss and Kirk, for those new to town or who just plain forgot, and how could you?) is out to kill in its sleep the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Bartlett's now a lobbyist -- the president and CEO of The Financial Services Roundtable, a gig he's held for the past 12 years. And, specifically, reports The Times, he's out to squish the part of Dodd-Frank that limits the fees banks charge retailers on debit-card purchases. Which is what Bartlett's paid quite handsomely to do since, as The Times notes, he's "the head of a group representing 100 of the nation's largest financial institutions." Here's how young Ben Protess recaps Bartlett's post-mayoral life:
After serving as mayor of Dallas, Mr. Bartlett landed the top spot at the roundtable in 1999. He said he had been hired in part to "secure passage" of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed some of the Glass-Steagall restrictions on banks set after the Great Depression. The law, signed in 1999, allowed investment banks and commercial banks to merge, creating the Wall Street powerhouses that eventually proved too big to fail during the crisis.
Which reminds me of something former Observer editor Peter Elkind wrote 153 years ago: "Bartlett displays a politician's gift for lashing out at straw men, rather than employing facts to address genuine issues -- as well as a total inability to admit doing anything wrong." Nice Hill Country house he's building, though. Not really.
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11 comments
trannyntraining
trannyntraining

I might be a no good, beer swilling, panhandling bum scaring off women and children from our beloved city parks, but goddamn we've got some winners, who run or have run, our fair city!

Wes Scott
Wes Scott

Steve Bartlett referred to the Central Expressway re-development project as a "pork barrel project". If he would return here, and actually drive down Central during rush hour today, I wonder if he would still feel that it was just "pork". Bartlett is out-of-touch with average citizens. While in high school in Dallas he served as the head of the Young Republicans. What you see is what you get.

Robert
Robert

Nice Hill Country house he's building, though. Not really.

Yes the house looks nice. Every house doesn't have to be designed by a disciple of O'Neil Ford to be nice. Disciple is probably the wrong word to use.

I'm not the brightest guy in the world, but I have been in a Frank Welch designed house in Dallas several times.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

From that picture, I'd say he's dead and doesn't know it.

Montemalone
Montemalone

I finally figured out why I can't put my anger to good use in politics; I have a conscience.

scottindallas
scottindallas

Fucking sophistic, self-serving jerks. He and Grover Norquist sit on their un-earned cash, operate businesses in the non-profit sector, lobbying gov't, operating firms that pay no taxes.  And these mercenaries for corporate America what to tell us about "small business."  The only small businesses these cloistered plutocrats know about are other lobbyists and influence peddlers who don't produce a damned thing either, want to tell us about entrepreneurism.  Well, if these guys produced anything, they'd know that normal businesses have substantial expenses.  Frankly, these expenses become discounted as tax rates rise. 

We have businesses that are more profitable than ever.  Yet, these jackasses keep pushing their supply side solutions when we have a lack of demand.  Increasing the tax rates would force these firms to engage these profits back into the economy, or get taxed on them.  I don't care which they do, either one is better for society, and, better for small businesses.  Small businesses, presumably with greater start up costs, would face lower tax rates than their very profitable competitors. So, again higher marginal taxes on profits are beneficial to small businesses.

Small businesses aren't typically as profitable, but should they have a profitable year and find themselves facing high taxes.  They can easily invest their profits to avoid the higher marginal tax rates I support.  They can hire temporary, or long term help.  Update office systems, other equipment, offices themselves, vehicles, purchase land, what have you.  Don't worry about taxing the small businessman, nor the entrepreneur.  They can find things to spend money on, rather than pay taxes, all these are really ways to defer income into wealth and investment. 

Well, that's frankly a benign gov't policy.  It actually helps the small businessman, who easily co-mingles his business expenses.  But, there are some who are hard hit by high tax rates, these are media stars, corporate execs, lobbyists, Wall St. traders and other "professional partnerships" that have few expenses, and high profits.  Funny, these guys don't produce anything, they don't risk their money, but play with other people's money.  These are the people we incentivized with low tax rates, and that's just what we've got.  The manufacturer has plenty of costs, lots of ways to invest in efficiency, R & D, expansion and the like which are all tax deductible.  That means that the higher tax rates are, the greater incentive the firm has to invest in these deductible activities to avoid those taxes. Even the wealthy have a greater incentive to invest in long term investments as tax rates rise. He, as all who have the priviledge to pay the highest income tax rates, have the ability to live on less than all your income. This allows you some ability to invest in your long term wealth, while forgoing income right now.

THE TAX RATE IS THE DISCOUNT RATE FOR INVESTMENT AND HIRING!ask any CPA, book keeper, or small businessman.  Some may be ideologically blind to this fact, but it's incontrovertible.  It destroys the GOP low taxes are good for business mantra.  Just as no water can kill you so can too much.  Taxes, like our water/electrolytes must be balanced. I sure hope I've made this plaintively clear.

Guest
Guest

I don't know why anyone would listen to Steve Bartlett since he's single-handedly responsible for everything that's wrong with Dallas (since he is the only true politician mayor over the last hundred years or so. And, as we all know from every recent mayoral election, what makes this city succeed is mayors with business experience).

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

The GOP knows that their whole "the lower the taxes, the better for the economy" mantra is bullshit. They just want the lowest taxes possible so government will be forced to shrink. They've come up with a strategy to kill off all the programs they don't like by starving the government to death. That's what we need right now- a whole bunch more people out of work.

Its funny how they keep saying, "the American people want..." everything they do. I wrote my Republican representative a while back and told him I, for one, was IN FAVOR of Obama's health care plan. I got a form letter back assuring me that he was right there with me and would be doing everything in his power to stop it from passing. Not. Even. Listening.

Mike
Mike

What has any of this got to do with Financial Roundtable working to shape finanical regulations' implementation?  I don't think FR provides guidance on marginal income tax rates.

scottindallas
scottindallas

Low taxes/regulation are part and parcel of the same argument.  Regulation could be done in many different ways, the financial industry should be bound by fiduciary laws.  These would require the institutions to serve the interests of their customers.  They purport to do this but have insisted on being excluded from these simple legal regulations.  What they prefer is to be regulated by willy nilly legislation and regulators who are more easy to pay off than a jury.  They want the big gov't solution, cause they can game it.  Don't fall for their rhetoric, watch what they do. 

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