Thursday, February 27, 2014

Public Banksters - Part I

For those of you who may be unaware (and that would be most of you) the Vermont secessionists are at it again.

They're making their second attempt at getting a public bank established in Vermont. In 2010 the seceshers first started making noise about creating a public bank, eventually bringing a plan to the Vermont Legislature to create their dream bank. At that time they grounded the public bank plan in the debunked economics of Henry George, a late 19th century, charismatic contemporary of Karl Marx. The legislative committee tasked to dealing with these clowns heard them out but left their scheme "on the wall," the legislative equivalent of a graveyard.

This year they're back and they've learned a thing or two about horse trading and are leaving their lightening rod members in the background for the moment. But make no mistake about the fact that the seceshers have made public banking their number one priority since they see it as the first step to disengaging economically from "the Empire."

The Senate bill, S. 204, would create an advisory committee that would forward recommendations for implementation of the public bank plan in 2015. The bill does not address capitalization issues related to creating the bank that estimates for range from thirty to as much as seventy million dollars. I'm sure that the Finance Committee will be able to find that in-between the cushions of the Senate chamber since where they're not likely to find a loose 30-70 mill in the budget. One of the Senate sponsors' longtime hobbyhorse, a Vermont state credit card, is embedded in the next to last page of the bill (that's an example of the horse trading that I mentioned above) and that is likely to prove to be a poison pill for this bill since the bonding necessary to let this bird fly will probably come in at a conservative quarter of a billion dollars - minimum.

This whole public bank shebang has a few ways that it can go but rather than speculate I'm going wait to see what direction the Senate Finance Committee takes. It's safe to say though that this probably hasn't much of a chance of surviving the committee smell test.

UPDATE: 5:28 PM the Senate has just published its calendar for tomorrow, February 28, and no Second Reading of the bill is scheduled - tick, tock.

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