President Obama promised to uphold the Dodd-Frank Act during his State of the Union address on Tuesday and suggested that he would rid the 2013 budget of tax loopholes.
“So if you're a big bank or financial institution, you are no longer allowed to make risky bets with your customers' deposits," Obama said. "You're required to write out a 'living will' that details exactly how you'll pay the bills if you fail – because the rest of us aren't bailing you out ever again. And if you're a mortgage lender or a payday lender or a credit card company, the days of signing people up for products they can't afford with confusing forms and deceptive practices are over.”
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney also announced on the same day of the address that he paid a tax rate of less than 15 percent, which, according to President Obama, should not be allowed to happen.
“Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes,” Obama said, referring to his proposed tax plan to alleviate income inequality.
The president also said he would order a comprehensive federal investigation to determine whether big banks' fraudulent activities contributed to the 2008 financial meltdown.
Press reports, according to The Deal Pipeline, hint that Obama will name N.Y. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to co-chair a task force that will investigate the role of traders and financial institutions in the 2008 collapse and subprime lending crisis.
The address covered a broad range of topics but focused primarily on job creation, the economy and financial regulation, calling for an economic revolution of sorts.
“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of Americans barely get by," Obama said. "Or, we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules."
President Obama blamed Wall Street for job losses that carried into his term from the Bush administration and called for harsher penalties for financial crimes.