Being Ralph Tyler

Add Maryland Insurance Commissioner, Ralph Tyler to the list of Maryland liberals, who when confronted with arguments they cannot rebut, resort to straw man arguments and spurious reasoning. See previously Barry Rascovar and Laslo Boyd.

Tyler told upon learning of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Heartland Institute’s failing grade for Maryland on their property and casualty insurance report card:

Tyler told that the report “is not just hostile to state regulation, but it is the same view that has contributed to the present financial crisis in terms of an attack on regulation.” “That view has been discredited by the events of today,” he said. “I don’t take this seriously at all and don’t think any thinking person would.”…“This is an extreme segment of the industry talking to the industry. This is not written for consumers and this group does not pretend to be an advocate for consumers.”… “This does not purport to be a serious or legitimate analysis,” Tyler said. “This is a highly ideological group, whose views can’t be taken seriously. Their view of life – of the need for total deregulation – has been totally discredited by the nation’s financial crisis. This is the one and only conversation I’ll have about this.”

Note that he doesn’t even try to substantively address the report’s argument, rather he constructs the same straw man Rascovar and Boyd often employ. After all it is de rigeur for Democrats to equate their views with “thinking people,” the implication being that those who disagree with them are knuckle dragging cavemen. So let us once again debunk this spurious line of reasoning. CEI and Heartland’s free market philosophy “contributed to the present financial crisis in terms of an attack on regulation.” Really? Where has Tyler been for the last nine years? It wasn’t a lack of regulation that contributed to the financial crisis. In fact, it was regulation itself that did. The recession came about due to a credit crisis and the collapse of the housing market. It was regulations (Community Reinvestment Act) that induced banks to hand out loans to people, who could not afford to repay them. It was regulations that enabled Government sponsored entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac –enabled by Democrats—to buy up all those bad mortgages.

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Of course, Tyler is a longtime O’Malley crony—with no insurance experience by thy way—schooled in the governor’s own vapid and clichéd rhetoric, when it comes to those he disagrees with. So it will probably surprise to Tyler to know that the New York Times labeled the Bush administration’s 2003 attempt to reign in the GSEs “the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.”

It would also dumbfound Tyler to know that under the Bush administration:

Overall, the final outcome of this Republican regulation has been a significant increase in regulatory activity and cost since 2001. The number of pages added to the Federal Register, which lists all new regulations, reached an all-time high of 78,090 in 2007, up from 64,438 in 2001…The data also show that, adjusted for inflation, expenditures for the category of finance and banking were cut by 3 percent during the Clinton years and rose 29 percent from 2001 to 2009, making it hard to argue that Bush deregulated the financial sector…It takes a lot of bureaucrats to create and enforce all those regulations. In eight years, Bush increased the federal government’s regulatory staff by 91,196 employees. Clinton cut it by 969.

But hey why let reality get in the way of honestly addressing your critics’ arguments when you can rack up the intellectual stolen bases.

For the record, here is a list of Tyler’s greatest hits.

–You can thank Tyler for the added interest on the original BGE rate increase. As Baltimore City Solicitor, Tyler led O’Malley’s march to sue the PSC in 2006, which in the end, exacerbated the original rate hike.

–Tyler was O’Malley’s secret keeper, who vigorously tried to keep public information from the press regarding city investigations about Baltimore Police Commissioners Kevin Clark and Leonard Hamm.

–As a result of those press inquiries, Tyler instituted Pin-to-Pin communications for O’Malley’s administration in Baltimore City, in order to hide information from the public scrutiny.

–Led a political witch hunt to screw former Care First BlueCross BlueShield CEO, William Jews, out of his agreed upon compensation package—all to make O’Malley look good. A package twice upheld as ethical and legal by two different Democrat-controlled legislatures, Paris Glendenning, and by two of his Democratic-appointed predecessors on the insurance commission.

Stay classy commissioner.

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