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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hallelujah, Washington has finally heard the people’s cries for jobs! In an urgent bipartisan push, Democrats and Republicans have joined hands across the aisle to pass the JOBS Act. In this time of “The Great Hurt” — with widespread unemployment, middle-class incomes tumbling and the price of gasoline skyrocketing — we can all applaud our stalwarts in the capital city for meeting the No. 1 need of America’s hard-hit economy: deregulating Wall Street.

Huh? I thought this was a jobs bill?

We’ll get to that, but first (as always) Wall Street bankers must be served. Yes, them. The same priests of unmitigated arrogance who caused the disastrous financial crash that continues to rumble across our land. The same Wall Streeters we bailed out with trillions of public dollars. That Wall Street is now sulking and skulking around the U.S. Capitol, insisting that it is an economic victim, held back from its profiteering potential by government regulations to protect the public from finaglers and fraudsters. “Free Wall Street,” is their cry!

Clucking with sympathy, Congress’ tea party Republicans have rushed to the side of these poor, rich financiers, pledging to unshackle them from “burdensome” regulations. Serving Wall Street is not all that popular these days with voters, however, so the Repubs and their Democratic allies have committed their own fraud in order to pass this bill, deceptively titled it the “JOBS Act” (even though it doesn’t actually create any jobs).

Then they pushed it in the name of small businesses (even though they quietly defined “small” as a billion dollars a year in sales). In fact, the accent on the JOBS acronym should be on “B.S.” Will it surprise you to learn that the word “jobs” isn’t even included in the title? Instead, JOBS stands for “Jump-start Our Business Start-ups.”

Alarmingly, the so-called “onerous” regulations that Congress eliminated primarily are the extremely useful financial disclosure rules passed a decade ago to prevent another Enron scandal. The GOP House even tried to free financial hucksters from having to tell potential investors the names of the executives running the company and — get this — from providing such essential investor information as a description of what the company does and accurate accounting of its financial condition!

The last thing our economy needs is an open invitation for a new crop of Enroners to be unleashed to defraud the public — but that’s the first thing that Washington agreed to do. It’s a disgrace.