One Reason Why I’m Voting for French Hill for Congress

One of the prerogatives of blogging is the privilege to go off-topic. This post has nothing to do with appellate court decisions or procedures. But it is important to me.

Six years ago next week, French Hill gave a talk at the Clinton School of Public Service. This was long before he ever considered running for Congress. In his speech, he used his background as a staffer to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, a senior economic advisor to President George H.W. Bush, and as CEO of a local bank, to comment on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. This act was the first attempt to bail-out banks and investment houses deemed too-big to fail, who found themselves with unmanageable risks on their books after the real estate bubble and the widespread use of “derivatives.”

In his speech, French discussed the historical patterns of economic growth and collapse. He was not shy about criticizing banks and investment houses for their gambles with complex derivative contracts and credit default swaps and for their low capitol reserves. He also explained the role Congress and the SEC played in the collapse, and was critical of the lavish expenses of government-subsidized players like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He argued for more prudent capitol ratios for banks and investment houses, simplified regulatory supervision, and greater transparency in stock and bond ratings houses. He pointed out that a knee-jerk response from Congress could not fix all of the economy’s problems, but that corporate directors must step up and truly represent the interests of their shareholders.

In this campaign, French Hill’s opponent (and various groups that buy media on his behalf) decry that French is a banker. But to borrow a phrase from another Arkansan, “it’s the economy, stupid.” Congress spends a lot of time and energy debating things that are truly inconsequential. But the nation’s monetary policy, banking regulation, tax policy, and when to bail-out failing financial institutions are not inconsequential. These are complex issues involving thousands of moving pieces and trillions of dollars. These issues don’t lend themselves well to sound-bites. Sound economic policy is not liberal or conservative. But it affects every American every day.

I’m thrilled to have someone like French who is willing to take on this challenge. I believe he is the best qualified person to understand the complex and difficult issues facing our economy, and to act prudently in our best interest to urge the government to do what it can to rebuild a sound and stable American economy.

Read French Hill’s words for yourself:

Don’t fall for the mean-spirited commercial that ominously implies bankers are evil. You be the judge on whether French Hill understands the complexity and importance of the economic issues facing Congress – probably better than any other person in Congress. We will be lucky to have him steering the ship.

This is one of the many reasons I am voting for French Hill for Congress.

Tim Cullen