For anyone doubting the reality of the cozy relationship between powerful corporate interests and nationally elected Republicans, this post is for you. In the New York Times, Paul Krugman recently wrote:
“Last week, Spencer Bachus, the incoming G.O.P. chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told The Birmingham News that ‘in Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.’”
Congressman Bachus has let the not so secret “secret” out of the bag. National Republicans have no intention of protecting the American people from bankers. These are the same white collar imbeciles who gambled so insanely that their financial recklessness directly caused the present recession we are all living through. Don’t forget, these “bankers” bundled up sub-prime mortgages and sold them as AAA securities. That’s like owning 1,000 Ford Pintos, putting Rolls Royce emblems on them, and then selling them as a luxury fleet. It’s creative and dishonest. Eventually something is going to blow up, but not before the money’s been made.
A Republican president, with the backing of many Republicans and Democrats, used taxpayer money to bail these crooked banking institutions out of their financial apocalypse. Washington chose to loan these banks almost a trillion dollars without first requiring them to do business with the American people on reasonable terms. Flush with cash and no strings attached, these same banks promptly kept all the money and made their balance sheets look great. Meanwhile, they looked down their noses at the rest of America. These banks continue to reject overtures from small businesses and regular financially solvent folks looking to buy a house because the banks deem them “un-creditworthy.”
Translation: when things looked bad for American banks, their Washington friends made sure they got really good service. When things look bad for common American folks, well, commoners go to the back of the line. And this line moves slowly.
If you haven’t been paying attention, the present American reality is that Washington serves only those with money. It hands out money to those with money. It listens to those with money. It responds eagerly to those with money: because, in America, money and power occupy the same space. Gone are the days when personal honor, fairness, decency and virtue attracted political leaders to a cause or concept. Even though the irresponsible choices of greedy banks and bankers nearly broke the world financial system, Republican Washington is going to do what the billionaire hedge fund boys want because…well, they are billionaires. Who doesn’t want a billionaire to like them?
While you teach children, or fight crime, or bake bread or whatever you need to fill in here to describe how you pay the bills, others go to Washington and lobby. They sell to their Senator friends and Congressman friends and even president friends. And they arte selling Wall Street billionaire bankers’ opinions and feelings on what the law should and should not regulate. And lest you think that regulation is evil, I remind you that American corporations used to employ ten year olds to work in coalmines…until regulation stopped it. American corporations used to force workers into eighty-hour weeks…until regulation stopped it. American banks used to not have to keep any of your money at the bank you deposited it in…until regulation stopped it.
Those who despise regulation, and aren’t growing rich from the lack of it, have a mystical unrealistic faith in corporate goodness. History shows that greed will do anything to satisfy its unquenchable thirst for more. This includes more lying, more stealing, more cheating and the more routine abuse of others with less influence. The November 2010 national election provides the rich and powerful more opportunities to make Washington work even better for them than it has in the past. And Republican Washington appears ready to serve their core corporate constituents.
The rest of America goes to the back of the line. And if you don’t like it there, well, you just may be invited to leave and go somewhere else with your concerns.