I have a brother who is sixteen months younger than I am, and when we were growing up, we used to screw with each other in a way that only close siblings understand. We instinctively knew how to annoy one another, and we never hesitated to employ our best efforts to dig at each other, until my father, The Hairy Thunderer, intervened to restore peace and quite to our large, Irish-Catholic household, "peace" being a relative term in a family of five kids with an age span of a mere ten years. I recall my father once telling my brother and me that he if he left us alone with the Pope for five minutes, he'd return to find the Swiss Guards kicking the living crap out of both of us.
I was reminded of that observation while reading the latest back-and-forth between the trade groups representing community banks and credit unions.
[I]n a recent letter to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, the Independent Community Bankers of America urged the government to eliminate the credit unions' tax exemption, arguing the firms are virtually indistinguishable from tax-paying community banks.
But NAFCU released a study suggesting an elimination of the benefit would reduce the credit union market share by 50%.
Brad Thaler, vice president of legislative affairs with NAFCU, said, "Everything found in the study is not only a benefit to credit unions, but it also serves as a check on bank rates. Not only would you loose the money that would go to members, but also bank members would see their rates and fees creep up."
We've heard these same arguments ad nauseum,from both sides. No matter how much I urge it, the two industry segments can't seem to make like the late, great, Rodney King and just "get along." Instead, they are destined to bite and kick each other like two stallions in a fenced pasture until The Second Coming.
And the really telling comment as to the uselessness of this exercise comes from the NAFCU's Thaler.
[D]espite the ICBA’s request, NAFCU's Thaler said that no member of Congress is proposing to eliminate it and the proposal has never gained traction in the past.
He's right. But that won't stop the war, will it? Of course not.