The United States enjoys the world’s best markets for goods, services, capital, intellectual property and more. This is no accident. America’s history of people with diverse backgrounds coming together to embrace common values of economic liberty and limited government enshrined in our Constitution created the unique conditions that allowed us to fulfil our promise of leaving our next generation off better than we were.
Growing our economy is central to this sacred promise and essential to the American Dream. It is our best hope for navigating the debt crisis that generations of status quo politicians have amassed. We cannot spend our way out of debt, but we can grow, save and invest.
As a member of Congress, serving on the House Financial Services Committee I have a front seat role directly influencing policy here, while contributing across the policy spectrum to represent Ohio’s 8th District. The Financial Services Committee passes legislation that provides the framework for the American Dream with its oversight of our financial sector: currency, monetary policy, international finance, banking, insurance, mortgages, capital markets, saving and investing. Americans commonly use these tools to make their financial dreams a reality. Lastly, the sub-committee on illicit terrorism financing protects civil liberties while working to maintain a framework that detects everything from terrorism funding to the fraud of identity theft.
Financial services are the lifeblood of our economy and our communities. When you clear away all the jargon, the financial services sector is simply about connecting individuals and businesses that have resources to individuals and businesses that need them. It connects borrowers to savers and investors. A well-functioning financial sector performs this task in the most efficient way possible, where everybody wins, resources are allocated efficiently, and the economy grows.
After the Great Recession, President Obama and congressional liberals loaded up regulations that inspired the “too big to fail” logic that sent our tax dollars to bail out Wall Street banks. Targeting Wall Street, they passed the Dodd-Frank Act, a 2,300-page law that claims to fight financial complexity, but delivers government complexity. Rather than ending “too big to fail” and protecting taxpayers from future bailouts, Dodd-Frank anointed a new generation of Wall Street firms that will benefit from government support in the event of their financial distress.
All across our District, small community banks tell me time and time again that these misguided regulations are crushing them and other smaller financial institutions. As regulatory costs rose, small business loans declined 11 percent. Banking fees have grown 111 percent, as those banks that have continued to lend passed on the added regulatory costs to consumers. These statistics reflect the stories constituents on the customer side have told me. Free checking and other services that used to be standard are only offered by 37 percent of banks now. No wonder there are actually more people today who do not even have bank accounts than there were before Dodd-Frank.
We can do better and hardworking Americans deserve better. Consumers win with good policy and competitive markets. Over the next year, Congress seeks to repeal Dodd-Frank and replace it with simple, easy-to-understand rules that help Main Street. Honest businesses should be able to grow without micromanagement from the government. Banks and financial institutions that make bad bets and cannot survive, should not expect taxpayer funded bailouts. With common sense rules and basic market discipline, our financial system will be safer, more innovative and more responsive to customers.
As we roll up our sleeves in the Financial Services Committee, I am confident we can end the era of “too big to fail,” unleash economic growth, and provide Ohio families with financial security and peace of mind. In short, we can restore confidence in the American Dream and Make America Grow Again!
Congressman Warren Davidson represents Ohio’s 8th Congressional District. He lives in Troy with his wife, Lisa, and two children.