The benefits of tort reform are clear and offer the opportunity to help Americans who cannot afford health insurance obtain it, for those who have health insurance to pay lower premiums, and for all Americans to be treated by health professionals who are focused on patients instead of potential lawsuits.
On September 15, 2008, the three major credit ratings agencies downgraded AIG’s credit rating due to rising calls for AIG to post billions of dollars in cash collateral. These collateral calls, combined with the ratings downgrade (which triggered calls for more collateral under the terms of the contracts), put AIG on the verge of a bankruptcy filing. The following day, September 16, 2008, the Federal Reserve Board, with the support of the Treasury Department, authorized the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to lend up to $85 billion to AIG to enable AIG to avoid filing for bankruptcy. Federal officials claimed that an AIG bankruptcy would lead to systemic consequences across the U.S. and international economies.
This inquiry began on Thursday June 11, 2009, when Inspector General Gerald Walpin contacted Senate Finance and House Government Oversight Committee staff. Walpin notified Committee staff that on the previous evening, President Barack Obama’s Special Counsel for Ethics and Government Reform had given him an ultimatum to resign or be terminated within one hour. The Counsel to the President delivered this ultimatum without prior notice or consultation with Congress, despite newly enacted statutory provisions requiring that Congress receive 30 days prior notice of the removal of an Inspector General.
The Environmental Protection Agency prejudged the outcome of its endangerment finding on greenhouse gases to fulfill the Obama Administration’s political agenda.
The Department of Interior is responsible for managing over 500 million acres of land and 1.8 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf. This territory and its resources, which are held in trust for the American people by the federal government, are worth trillions of dollars and generate over $22 billion in annual revenue to the federal Treasury. The Interior Department, however, has shirked its duty as a steward of these resources. Over the past 25 years, there has been a rebirth of the same corruption and misconduct that caused the Teapot Dome scandal of 1922.
Despite President Barack Obama’s commitment to transparency, as well as the promises of countless Administration officials, the growth of the federal government through such countless Administration officials, the growth of the federal government through such programs as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Troubled Assets Relief Program has led to an even greater need than usual for the Committee’s oversight activities.
The government-run “public option” plan may mirror another government-run health care program: Medicare. Medicare – a federal entitlement program established in 1965 to provide health insurance to individuals 65 and older – has been expanded over the last four decades to cover certain individuals under 65, and now covers 45 million people at a cost of $492 billion per year.
Emerging accounts of widespread deceit and corruption raise the need for a criminal investigation of ACORN. By intentionally blurring the legal distinctions between 361 tax-exempt and non-exempt entities, ACORN diverts taxpayer and tax-exempt monies into partisan political activities.
The problem is not arbitration. The problems consumers face in debt collection arbitration have nothing to do with arbitration. Arbitration provides a service; if businesses use that service and customers are injured as a result, the remedy is to target those businesses, not dispute resolution providers.
Ironically, some of these same Washington officials were, all too recently, advocates of the very mortgage lending policies that led to economic turmoil.