Paul Ryan’s Petulant DOL Slam

House speaker Paul Ryan went there on the 401(k) fiduciary rule.House speaker Paul Ryan went there on the 401(k) fiduciary rule.

Does he get points for hyperbole? House Speaker Paul Ryan reacted to news last week of President Obama’s meeting with fiduciary advocates at the Department of Labor by calling the proposed rule “Obamacare for financial planning.”

Referring to the DOL as “soon-to-be regulators of the new, disastrous fiduciary rule,” the delightfully named Julia Slingsby, a Ryan staffer, wrote on the speaker’s blog that “like Obamacare, the fiduciary rule requires an enormous amount of paperwork and makes recordkeeping more expensive. Like Obamacare, it will result in higher costs and fewer options for small businesses trying to get up and running. Families with modest bank accounts seeking expert advice will no longer be able to justify the expense. Like Obamacare, the fiduciary rule may have a noble intent, but it’s another one-size-fits-all regulation that’s bad for Americans.”

In an interview with the Racine Journal Times, Ryan talked about the rule’s effect on people in his district and around the country:

“A rule being created by the U.S. Department of Labor is ‘an example of massive overkill by the federal government,’ House Speaker Paul Ryan told The Journal Times on Friday. . . . Ryan, R-Wis., said ‘the intent of making sure people get sound advice and conflicts of interest (disclosures) is a good idea. This rule, however, is such overkill it is destined to put people out of business and making it harder for middle-class investors to get sound financial advice. . . . I get more mail on this than anything. . . .It will dramatically increase the cost for middle-class savers and place it out of their reach.”

Slingsby added that it doesn’t end with mail. There are 3,314 comments on the proposed rule

“Both Democrats and Republicans want the president to reconsider the fiduciary rule plan, yet none of these stakeholders were invited to the White House.”

She concluded by noting the Republicans have passed a bill in the House to delay it until “the problems are addressed.” Two more bills have been passed in committees laying out “responsible alternatives.”

11 Comments on "Paul Ryan’s Petulant DOL Slam"

  1. LARRY MCCARTY | March 15, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Reply

    Your use of the word petulant indicates an unwelcome bias in your article. He’s the only adult in the room raising an important push back on this overreach issue which will hurt smaller client accounts.

    petulant:of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered:

  2. What a newsworthy eye-catching by line. I thought I was on CBS Marketwatch. Is John Sullivan’s hyperbole question referencing the article, it’s title, his comment relating to only a portion of Ryan’s comments, or just sufficient grist for the Big Boy Mill. It is typical of political and financial journalism from either party ( Rep, Ind, Dem. B/D or big wirehouse): stating things will make it so. Fiduciary is always better because it says so; “and thus it shall be”.

  3. Can’t tell you how glad I am to know that this is on Speaker Ryan’s radar and that he’s opposed to the rule. I have been saying for over a year that I couldn’t understand why the DOL was doing this, when it seemed to be that a change of this magnitude deserved legislative leadership, not bureaucrats doing the bidding of the trial lawyer industry and Democratic Party insiders (but I repeat myself).

  4. I’m a devout Democrat but this is one rule that I greatly applaud the Republicans in taking this up. As a financial advisor trying to help middle class clients, this will greatly hurt them and make it harder for me to do my job. Now let’s make sure the Congress actually does something. Haven’t seen any proof of that yet.

  5. I have to agree with the previous comments. Was this article, and particularly the headline, written by a DoL staffer? Not only is the use of Petulant” improper, the whole tone of the article is biased. There are tens of thousands of people who don’t see Speaker Ryan’s comments as “hyperbole.” And what was the purpose of referencing Ms. Slingsby in such a manner? I realize this was an “opinion” piece, but the entire article was so unnecessary. Perhaps it’s time to cancel this subscription, and spend time reading real news and commentary.

  6. Jefe del Mundo | March 15, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Reply

    Marc, I like your comment about the proposed fiduciary rule. I find it interesting however that you single out this issue only when nearly the entire Democratic platform/objective(s) have the same intent… restrict freedom of choice and personal accountability to win votes with the hordes now seeking seeking entitlements and a free ride. Socialistic policies simply do not work. It won’t matter what you or I think because Obama will bypass the system of checks and balances and execute yet another executive order.

  7. This article’s biased tenor, has probably induced me to unsubscribe to your “rag” of a financial news blob!

  8. Gerald Johansen | March 15, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Reply

    I am for the Fiduciary rule aka conflict of interest rule because I believe all financial advisors should be required to provide information that is in the client’s best interest rather then in the financial advisor’s self interest. For example, I just reviewed mutual funds in a 401k account administered by a nationwide brokerage firm…they were marketing and selling actively managed and high cost American Funds to their clients. In the best interest of the client? I don’t think so.

    In addition, brokerages are currently held to a lower suitability standard. That standard allows them to sell the more expensive product as long as both products are suitable….again, not in the best interest of the client.

  9. It’s hard for me to believe that anyone but commission-based advisors are NOT in favor of acting in clients’ best interests.

    Financial product producers’ lobbying and campaign contributions are powerful to induce legislators to act AGAINST clients’ best interests.

  10. I had to chuckle at Gerald Johanson’s comment above about American Funds who in August placed 11 funds in Morningstars list of the top 50 mutual funds for 2015 (8000 compared). One of the reasons is because their expenses are In the bottom quintile of all mutual funds, no load included. It may be also be because nearly every stock fund they manage has out performed the similar index and index fund for their lifetimes, be it 30 years or 50 years or even 80 years. Since when has the definition of a mutual fund not implied active management? It is one of the primary attributes of a mutual fund. Shame on American Funds for selling Enron a year before Enron failed because their audit of Enron uncovered problems. Their largest growth fund last year outperformed the S and P 500 by nearly 7% last year.

    Finally as a financial advisor, you all should now, my industry is strongly in favor of these changes because it will drive our revenue and cost certainty to record highs. My income stands to grow by $50,000′ maybe more. I applaud Paul Ryan for trying to thwart us. Just don’t believe his stance will make his Wall Street donors happy.

  11. The DOL rule is clearly Obama’s way of driving one segment of small business into the ground and forcing the small investor into MyIRA or whatever it’s called. This DOL rule will be far worse than Obamacare.

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