The movement for financial regulatory reform has evolved into a national consensus. The problems which contributed to the economic collapse in 2008 must not be repeated.

The Troubled Asset Relief Program threw billions of U.S. dollars at banks and other corporations deemed “too big to fail.” In other words, if they went down, we were all going down.

Fortunately the Congressional Oversight Panel was established at the same time as TARP in order to provide guidance regarding this historical “bail-out.” Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren, chair of the COP, has been clear that central to financial regulatory reform is a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. In her YouTube clip, Warren compares this agency to the establishment of the Food and Drug Administration at the turn of the 20th century.

The financial regulatory reform bill passed by the House in December 2009 included a CFPA as an independent agency with the power to protect consumers. Unfortunately, the legislation moving through the Senate has moved the CFPA into the Federal Reserve.

Many have compared this move to putting the hens inside the fox’s den. We need a CFPA with teeth. I hope that American consumers — and that is almost all of us — will continue to learn about and be engaged in financial regulatory legislation.

It will take all of our voices to make sure that the CFPA is an independent agency with the power to enforce the new financial regulations.

Megan Boothby

South Portland

This week, a popular news commentary show did a factual profile exposing connections between the Obama administration and Goldman Sachs, Fanny Mae and several other organizations that do not have this country’s best interests in mind.

Where is the story in your paper today? Why aren’t you doing your jobs?

If this were a Republican administration, we’d be hard pressed to find an article that didn’t detail every dirty connection, and rightly so.

Our founding fathers said without a free press, this country is dead. With you and the American media firmly in Obama’s pocket, we might as well be.

This is why I don’t read your paper anymore, unless it’s on the floor of the men’s room stall.

Aric Fogg

Auburn

Our senators filibustered against finance reform repeatedly. This, despite Sen, Susan Collins’ statement, “Clearly this system must be reformed, so that Wall Street banks are not seen and do not act as unscrupulous operators who seek to profit from the public’s misfortune.”

What explains the schizophrenia? Not just refusal of Republicans to allow the winners of the election to govern, it has to do with fundraising. Republican policies of war, exporting jobs and spending Clinton’s surplus into catastrophic deficit have dried up donations.

The one sector that did benefit from tax cuts for the rich, the deregulation of finance, and the defunding of white collar prosecutions, was the sector that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn went to for funding. McConnell told the New York CEOs of the hedge funds that Republicans would filibuster any attempt to restore the regulations that FDR had put into place after the Great Depression.

With the exposure of Goldman Sachs internal e-mails using an obscenity to say how awful the derivatives were that they were promoting to the public, it must be difficult.

Nonetheless, our senators keep filibustering finance reform and protecting the billionaire geese who lay the golden campaign contributions.

The next time McConnell demands a unanimous “no” from Republicans, I hope our senators remember Dirigo means, “I lead,” it does not mean, “I sheepishly follow.”

And if the democratic process returns another Democratic victory maybe there is a lesson to be learned. Try backing the country and maybe the country will back you.

Tom Bulger

Avon

I watched Sen. Susan Collins tell Goldman Sachs that their business practices were unseemly. Unseemly? What is unseemly is Sen. Collins (and Sen. Olympia Snowe) deciding to side with their party, instead of Mainers, and voting to walk away from Wall Street reform.

The majority of Americans want our financial insitutions to be regulated so they can no longer take actions which could sink our economy.

If we are on the hook for bailing out institutions which are “too big to fail,” then we are entitled to expect that they can no longer engage in reckless business practices which could have disastrous consequences to our economy. Please, Sens. Collins and Snowe, go back to the table and work with Democrats to enact real Wall Street reform, for the sake of your constituents.

Susan Swietek

York

The Securities and Exchange Commission is charged with regulating the financial industry, specifically Wall Street.

Recently, it was revealed that at least 17 senior officials at the SEC were surfing the web looking at pornography instead of doing their jobs. One official spent 8 hours a day looking at porn.

President Obama and liberals in Congress are calling for more regulations on the financial industry to prevent another financial meltdown.

This is exactly what we need. Why have only 17 senior officials at the SEC wasting our money and not doing their jobs when we could have two or three times that number?

New regulations will require more personnel be hired to enforce them. I doubt anyone in the liberal press will see the irony in this situation.

Paul Anderson

Scarborough

Trash bag fees just become a substitute for tax hikes

“Portland’s trash bag price hike makes sense” (editorial, April 26).

To whom? I live in Sanford, where the Town Council passed a “Pay As You Throw” (PAYT) ordinance which starts in July.

Just as quickly, enough signatures were captured to force a referendum on PAYT on the November ballot for the people to decide.

Everyone should recycle, and those who refuse to recycle should pay more, I agree.

But Sanford enacted PAYT to close a budget deficit as the Portland increase is designed to do. The Sanford Town Council also used the “increase recycling” line and “it does not raise your property taxes.”

But doesn’t it make it more expensive to own property in Portland and Sanford with the added user fees? Every time there is a budget deficit, will they just raise the price of the trash bags?

Whatever happened to looking at the budget?

Jack McAdam

Springvale