82% of the American public wants tougher regulation of Wall Street.
Most top independent financial experts say that we need to break up the big banks and otherwise rein in the financial giants in order to save the economy.
But Summers, Geithner, Bernanke and Congress like things just the way they are.
Of course they do … they’re bought and paid for:
- Lobbyists from the financial industry have paid hundreds of millions to Congress and the Obama administration. They have bought virtually all of the key congress members and senators on committees overseeing finances and banking. The Congress people who receive the most money from lobbyists are the most opposed to regulation. See this, this, this, this, this, this, and this.
- Obama received more donations from Goldman Sachs and the rest of the financial industry than almost anyone else
- Summers and the rest of Obama’s economic team have made many millions – even in the first few months of being appointed, or right beforehand – from the financial industry
- Two powerful congressmen said that banks run Congress
- Two leading IMF officials, the former Vice President of the Dallas Federal Reserve, and the the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City have all said that the United States is controlled by an oligarchy
The chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University (Donald J. Boudreaux) says that it is inaccurate to call politicians prostitutes. Specifically, he says that they are more correct to call them “pimps”, since they are pimping out the American people to the financial giants:
Real whores, after all, personally supply the services their customers seek. Prostitutes do not steal; their customers pay them voluntarily. And their customers pay only with money belonging to these customers.
In contrast, members of Congress routinely truck and barter with other people’s property…
Members of Congress are less like whores than they are like pimps for persons unwillingly conscripted to perform unpleasant services.
Politicians force taxpayers to pony it up — just as the services rendered for a pimp’s customers are rendered not by that pimp personally, but by the ladies under his charge. The pimp pockets the bulk of each payment; he’s pleased with the transaction. His customer gets serviced well in return; he’s pleased with the transaction. The only loser is the prostitute forced to share her precious assets with strangers whom she doesn’t particularly care for and who care nothing for her.Also like the ladies under pimps’ power, taxpayers who resist being exploited risk serious consequences to their persons and pocketbooks. Uncle Sam doesn’t treat kindly taxpayers who try to avoid the obligations that he assigns to them. Government is a great deal more powerful, and often nastier, than is the typical taxpayer. Practically speaking, the taxpayer has little choice but to perform as government demands.
So to call politicians “whores” is to unduly insult women who either choose or who are forced into the profession of prostitution. These women aggress against no one; like all other respectable human beings, they do their best to get by as well as they can without violating other people’s rights.
The real villains in the prostitution arena are those pimps who coerce women into satisfying the lusts of strangers. Such pimps pocket most of the gains earned by the toil and risks involuntarily imposed upon the prostitutes they control. No one thinks this arrangement is fair or justified. No one gives pimps the title of “Honorable.” Decent people don’t care what pimps think or suppose that pimps have any special insights into what is good or bad for the women under their command. Decent people don’t pretend that pimps act chiefly for the benefit of their prostitutes. Decent people believe that pimps should be in prison.
Yet Americans continue to imagine that the typical representative or senator is an upstanding citizen, a human being worthy of being feted and listened to as if he or she possesses some unusually high moral or intellectual stature.
It’s closer to the truth to see politicians as pimps who force ordinary men and women to pony up freedoms and assets for the benefit of clients we call “special-interest groups.”
I thought most of Obama’s campaign donations came from individuals, no?
In any event if change is what you want there needs to be a law stating that members of congress and government officials in general cannot accept positions at lobbying firms or corporations for five years after leaving office. That way the promise of a lucrative job is not there as a bribe once they leave office. Change the campaign finance rules and limit lobbying by corporations. Until those changes take place corporate interests will continue to drown out the interests of the people.
Naked bribery is just too seductive. The Supine Court even endorses it.
The hope-pusher turned flim-flam man, serpent oil salesman is simply paying it back. You can bet he’s acutely cognizant of his traitorous economic policy principles, not merely ill-advised as some have suggested. From SourceWatch.org:
“It turns out that Obama’s [individual] contributor numbers were WAY inflated, because they included anyone who bought a bumper sticker, or a keychain with his name on it, or paid $5 to hear him talk [???]. Yet he represented these people as if they had simply handed over cash for nothing in return, and the media went all ga-ga over his ‘stunning’ (the word one reporter used to describe it) contributor base. Basically, he made the mainstream media look like idiots…,” Swampland contributor Paul Lukasiak commented
“Obama received more donations from employees of investment banks and hedge funds than from any other sector, with Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase among his biggest sources of support.”
“Individual donors included Ken Griffin, the multi-billionaire founder and chief executive of Chicago-based Citadel Investment Group, one of the world’s biggest hedge fund companies,” the UK’s Financial Times reported July 17, 2007.”
‘”Obama’s fundraising was more heavily dominated by financial professionals than [the] other main candidate. He received $160,760 from employees of Lehman Brothers, just over $100,000 each from employees of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase and $61,125 from Citigroup employees,” the Times reported.’
No. Most of Obama’s (and certainly of overall Dem and GOP money) came from corporations.
Obama got a lot of individuals to give $. But the big bucks came from the usual suspects.
That’s why we need:
Larry Lessig can put up an amazing fight for his causes and I am glad that he is leading the charge here.
$994,795 from Goldman Sachs to Obama
(from GW’s link)
To be honest that doesn’t sound very impressive. It’s like the average salary of one GS employee.
The return-on-investment is breathtakingly spectacular—percentages in the hundreds of thousands.
The point is, if Obama doesn’t dance for the $994,795 from Goldman Sachs, then he telegraphs to all donors that he is a poor investment.
I think that’s just the direct contributions made to Obama. No individual can give more than $4800 ($2400 for the primary, $2400 for the general election).
That figure doesn’t include contributions to the DNC (which could be earmarked to use for the presidential campaign) or soft money contributions, e.g., contributions to 527s or PACs. That’s where the bulk of the money goes.
$990k may not sound like a lot in a billion dollar election. But as others have said, it is just a piece of the total pie. Besides, a million bucks is still a lot of money when you are fundraising, even in DC.
In any event, the important thing to note is that whatever the amounts are, Goldman and friends are heavily represented in the top ten donors.
However, I don’t think Professor Boudreaux is talking abut banks. Instead, he is talking about those who receive, or who hope to receive, social security and medicare. Also food stamps, unemployment benefits, etc. And he leaves the impression that it is the undeserving “Black and Brown” poor who are the “special interest groups” who are the primary beneficiary of the tax payer, not the Defense Industry and its consultants, not the huge agricultural subsidies, and most definitely not the banks. Otherwise, I agree with this Post.
Donald J. Boudreaux is my hero. If you read his blog, you will certainly find that he is extremely skeptical of the military-industrial complex, Big Ag, etc.
Thank you, George, for an interesting metaphor and for defending the honor of proper prostitutes.
This post segues closely from Yves’ post about Geithner pimping for hedge funds in the EU and the direct line from bribery to crime (whatever they may call it). Washington’s seven (and by no means exhaustive) links starkly expose how these pimps have literally sold out the American people. After NAFTA, SHAFTA, WTO, GATT, repeal of Glass-Steagal, mortgage and bankruptcy laws, about all that remains is the Emancipation Proclamation.
This administration, most of Congress, and even the courts are a clear and present danger to the republic, and it is time for the American people to grasp the full impact of this. IMO, nothing can possibly change until this corrupt system collapses or is overthrown.
I must say that I love the end of the title: Politicians say keep those lobbying dollars coming! It’s hilarious because it’s very true, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, all politicians are crooks and are strictly out for themselves.
It’s easy to think that if the new richest man gave Pres. Obama or Harry Reid or John Boehner or Robert Gates half of his fortune in order for them to abide by his policies then they’d automatically do it!
I think Too $hort has been saying this for the last 15 years.
Good analysis. But I think that a more proper analogy would be human trafficking – the taxpayers have been abducted and victimized, while their futures have been abused and threatened with foreclosure, layoff, bankruptcy, and all manner of humiliations.
Meanwhile, the traffickers and their buddies, i.e., Congress and the Banksters and oligarchs, rake in the money.