More than one out of every ten dollars spent this election cycle from mid-April to mid-September has gone to attacking the financial sector.
President Obama’s own campaign has been the single-biggest spender on ads critical of the financial services sector, with a little help from his friends. A spot jointly sponsored by Obama and the Democratic National Committee, in which Obama asserts that Romney would “roll back regulations on big banks,” has the most money behind it of any anti-Wall Street ad: $22 million and counting. (In a newer ad, Obama charges that Romney would “roll back regulations on the banks that cratered the economy.”) Half of that $22 million went to an NBC network buy during the Olympics, ensuring national as well as swing-state exposure.
Obama’s campaign and his supporting super PAC,Priorities USA Action, also account for 99% of the $26 million spent on ads slamming Bain Capital. The top Republican sponsor of anti-financial-services ads is the Republican National Committee, which spent $6.4 million on an ad criticizing Obama’s economic record. The ad shows an image of the Wall Street sign (among others) against a voiceover: “What did we get? National debt over $15 trillion and climbing.” The implication: that the bank and American International Group rescues drove up the debt. The RNC is the only Republican presidential advertiser to make the list of big anti-Wall Street spenders.
You’d think that senators would at least come to the floor and debate what role Wall Street had played in the disaster and what needed to be done about it. For a long time, Ted was the only one. It had been exhilarating as Ted galloped down the gauntlet, opposing the President, Larry Summers and Tim Geithner, Wall Street, the Delaware banks, and, most especially, the no-plan Republicans. He threw caution to the wind, cheered on by the media, his hometown Wilmington News, and many Americans (and, best of all, Delawareans)…
Yet it was all over for the Brown-Kaufman amendment. After several drafts of a press release, I asked Ted, just returned from the stinging Senate floor defeat: How do we start it? He slumped into his chair and dictated: “I am disappointed.” Not long afterwards, a senior Treasury official was quoted about the Brown-Kaufman amendment: “If we’d been for it, it probably would have happened. But we weren’t, so it didn’t.”
Barack Obama supports the big banks and the overpaid bosses that run them. It’s why he lied about clawing back AIG bonuses, subtly mocking the American public for being angry at the very press conference where he announced his intention to recoup the money. It’s why he called Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein and JPM CEO Jamie Dimon “savvy businessmen” and said, about their bonuses “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”
This election is a con. Everyone knows that Romney will say and do anything to get elected, and no one was surprised he has contempt for people without money and power. But Obama is still supported affirmatively by Democrats. As I’ve said before, the power of these people to destroy our bargaining leverage comes from our willingness to be tricked by them.