Republicans should return to the party's Theodore Roosevelt roots and break up "too big to fail banks". Only then will voters be convinced the GOP is on the side of the average worker, Republican writers Michael Gerson and Pete Wehner suggest in Commentary.
"America's five largest banks hold assets equal to 60 percent of our economy, a highly dangerous concentration and source of undue political power," write Gerson, a former lead speechwriter for former President George W. Bush, and Wehner, an ex-Bush domestic policy advisor.
"These mega-banks - both "too big to fail" and 'too complex to manage' - are the unnatural result of government subsidies, not market forces. By supporting the breakup of the big banks, Republicans would encourage competition and create a decentralized system more likely to survive future economic earthquakes. "
Breaking up large financial institutions is a cause more commonly associated with liberal Democrats, including Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). But a growing number of right-leaning writers now suggest a concentration of power in banks is profoundly un-conservative. "Capping bank size, limiting bank activities, higher equity capital requirements - all tools in the toolbox for eliminating the crony capitalist subsidy of the US financial system by government," American Enterprise Institute scholar James Pethokoukis wrote recently.
Via Commentary and AEIdeas.