Romney Does Want to Unshackle Wall St.

Roland Martin | 8/23/2012, 5:20 p.m.
Vice President Joe Biden has been the topic of much discussion this week as to whether or not he was ...

Vice President Joe Biden has been the topic of much discussion this week as to whether or not he was playing racial politics in what has become the "Chains" speech in Danville, Va.

Commentators, political pundits, politicians and academics have weighed in on the issue. But through all of the hoopla, it is important to probe the statement that preceded Biden saying, "they going to put y'all back in chains."

That line has been the center of the discussion, as opposed to this: "(Mitt) Romney wants to let -- he said in the first hundred days, he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street."

Knock yourself out focusing on the racial implications of what Biden had to say. Because when I look at the number of Americans still underwater due to the dastardly things that took place in the housing market -- the number of banks that took billions in federal funds supposedly to provide credit to Americans, only to use it to shore up their balance sheets, as well as the banking industry fighting tooth and nail to prevent future regulations -- that, to me, is far more vital for determining whom we should cast our vote for in November.

Mitt Romney, who made his millions in private equity, is most certainly the guy Wall Street is betting big on. Millions are flowing into his coffers from Wall Street because he has made it clear that he is going to pretty much say, "Gents, it's business as usual!"

We could have some faith in his vice presidential pick, Rep. Paul Ryan, who has talked openly about reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act, which since 1933 protected Americans by preventing commercial banks to also be investment banks.

Yet it was the repealing of that important law in 1999, led by Republican Sen. Phil Gramm and signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton, that is largely to blame for the current crisis we find ourselves in. Far too few banks are in control of far too much of the nation's money, and when their shameful and evil ways to make money end up almost collapsing the economy, taxpayers are left to bail them out.

Ryan is on the record as saying Glass-Steagall should return, but the man at the top of the ticket isn't so sure, which means that Ryan will have to keep his thoughts to himself.

Romney and Ryan are in lockstep in disagreeing with the passage of the Dodd-Frank law that was supposed to reform the banking industry, and that should cause many of us to be cautious as to why.

Let's be clear: Dodd-Frank is not a perfect bill. The financial lobby was successful at stripping away some of the toughest provisions of the law, and former Connecticut Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd was too willing to do their bidding. Democrats and Republicans are to blame for that, but at least the law is an effort to get Wall Street to clean up its act.