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Pundits & Editorials

Financial services reform requires new regulation to get the job done, Krugman suggests. Plus: Brownstein sees a regrouped Democratic Party.

• "Breaking up big banks wouldn't really solve our problems, because it's perfectly possible to have a financial crisis that mainly takes the form of a run on smaller institutions," contends Paul Krugman. "The alternative ... is to update and extend old-fashioned bank regulation."

• "While legislation pending in the Senate would bring a host of vital improvements, important gaps in regulation still need to be closed," SEC Chairwoman Mary Shapiro warns in the Washington Post. "One such gap involves a currently unregulated financial instrument called a 'swap.'"


• "Deficit reduction has to be embedded in policies that produce growth," argues David Brooks.

• "When all is said and done, taxes will have to rise," insists Clive Crook. "Such is the deficit outlook, this would have been necessary even if Congress had not passed health care reform."

• "Americans have always assumed that foreigners will want to invest here. That assumption now looks smug and outdated," warns Bruce Stokes.


• "After Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown's victory in January's Senate special election, Democrats appeared shaken to the point of panic. But, from President Obama on down, the party has rapidly regrouped," observes Ronald Brownstein.

• "One of the first things the Obama administration and Congress must do is put in a strong chief for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs the public insurance programs that serve nearly a third of Americans," suggests the New York Times. "We are astonished he has left the job open for so long."

• "It's tempting for Californians to applaud" Obama's "offshore oil drilling proposal, as it spares this state the blight and risk associated with expanded oil exploration in the waters off California's coast," notes the Los Angeles Times. "But Obama's plan inflicts those same burdens on other states as part of a package that would exacerbate climate change, deliver negligible economic benefits and double down on America's destructive dependence on fossil fuels."

• "The constitutional challenges to ObamaCare have come quickly, and the media are portraying them mostly as hopeless gestures," asserts the Wall Street Journal (subscription). "The press corps never dismissed the legal challenges to the war on terror so easily.... In fact, the legal challenges to ObamaCare are serious and carry enormous implications for the future of American liberty."


Bill Schneider contends that the biggest fear the "Radical Right" has about the administration's agenda is not bigotry, as some people have said, but "the abusive power of Big Government."

• "We are entering a new phase in the 2010 campaign: The center of attention over the spring and summer will be independent voters and party primaries, especially those on the Republican side," predicts Charlie Cook.

• "The freewheeling spending and lack of internal controls are, to many in the [Republican] party, the latest evidence that [Michael Steele] has yet to figure out his role," asserts Kimberley Strassel. "That confusion could mean the difference between a decent GOP midterm victory and a big one."

• "How can you explain a policy toward Britain that makes no strategic or moral sense?" asks Charles Krauthammer accusingly. "Perhaps when an Obama Doctrine is finally worked out, we shall learn whether it was pique, principle or mere carelessness."

• "The government cannot protect cyberspace alone -- and neither can the private sector. Therefore, we need proactive collaboration," Sens. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, write in the Wall Street Journal (subscription). They then tout their bill, which would "create a partnership between the government and private companies to protect our information networks before, during and after a crisis."

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