There are many reasons why I’m unhappy with Brian Fitzpatrick, Congressman of the 8th Congressional District and candidate for the newly created 1st Congressional District in PA. But first, a brief history lesson:
Way back in 1933, during the Franklin Roosevelt Administration and while the ravages of the Great Depression were still very much with us, the Glass-Steagall Act was passed. It eliminated many of the excesses in the banking industry that were instrumental in causing the financial crash and established a firewall between commercial and investment banking, thereby preventing banks and other financial institutions from “gambling” with the money of the average citizen.
Unfortunately, in the late 90’s, the Financial Services Act was passed rescinding key parts of the Glass-Steagall Act. By mid-2008, excesses and imprudent actions by the financial industry once prohibited by Glass-Steagall had returned and the country suffered a “Great Recession!.” The Government was forced to use tax money to prop up many of the large financial institutions that were identified as “Too Big to Fail!”. This was intended to preserve home ownership and the savings accounts of average folks.Unfortunately, “Main Street” didn’t fare as well as Wall Street.
However, measures taken since the onset of the “Great Recession” have helped our economy recover. But, danger is looming again. Economists such as Rana Foroohar are concerned that financialization of the economy is now underway, emphasizing short-term profits and cost reduction rather than long-term investment, leading to, among other things, lack of cash for investment in research and development and ultimately leading to a loss of our competitive advantage with the rest of the world.
Stock buybacks, which raise the price of stock in no relation to its actual value, once illegal but now allowed since the Tax Act of 2017 was passed by the Trump Administration. Financial institutions are now using this mechanism extensively and is just one of the many portions of the Tax Act that greatly aid the financial industry but do little for manufacturers or the people they employ.
So much for history: Following then are two of the reasons why I’m angry with supposedly “independent” Brian Fitzpatrick:
ONE: FITZPATRICK voted for the Tax Act of 2017 which benefits those companies and owners involved in the financialization of the economy to the detriment of the manufacturing industry and other parts of the economy as well as the average tax payer. Also, the Tax Act of 2017 makes the revitalization of our infrastructure far more difficult to finance because the Tax Act of 2017 increased the deficit of the country exponentially!
TWO: H.R. 790, the Bi-partisan Kaptur-Jones “Return to Prudent Banking ACT would have reinstated many critical Glass-Steagall protections. The bill had many co-sponsors, both Democrats and Republicans but not Fitzpatrick!
Candidate Brian Fitzpatrick makes much of his so-called “Independence,” but, over and over, his independence is lacking: he fails to push vigorously for legislation of concern to constituents in his district; he votes against Republican legislation that oppose his constituents concerns ONLY when his vote is NOT needed for that legislation to pass; then, making matters worse, he votes against any amendment mitigating the worst of the very bill he ostensively opposed. Fitzpatrick is not independent but is very adept at pretending to have it both ways!
That’s why I’m angry with our current Congressman and will happily vote for Scott Wallace instead, someone who truly cares that our economy works for all our citizens, not just the wealthy few!
Peg Dissinger, Newtown