Thaler lobs rapid response to banker attack
NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler
Sept. 10, 2013 – NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler on Monday hit back within minutes after the latest round of banker attacks against the credit union tax exemption – writing members of Congress to defend credit unions’ allegiance to their origins as community-focused organizations.
Thaler responded to an e-mail sent by the American Bankers Association to members of Congress, which encouraged them to challenge the credit union tax exemption this week during NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus. Thaler wrote, “It is an ironic and remarkable attack from those that represent the institutions that engaged in the risky lending that led to the financial crisis to begin with. In fact, their report fails to mention that the banks they represent were bailed out by the American taxpayer to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars through the TARP program because of the large number of subprime loans that they gave to hard-working Americans.”
Thaler noted that, while all financial institutions have grown since credit unions began in the 1930s, “the credit union market share of household financial assets is roughly the same today as it was 30 years ago.” Thaler emphasized: “The defining characteristics of credit unions remain unchanged today from when credit unions gained their tax exemption: they are not-for-profit cooperatives that serve a defined field of membership and cannot issue capital stock.”
Thaler also cited the independent study commissioned by NAFCU last year which showed that the economy as a whole gains $10 billion a year as a result of the tax exemption. The study shows it would be detrimental to members and nonmembers alike if the industry were to be upended by taking the exemption away.
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