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Isn't it amazing what $41 million will buy?
Here's a riddle: Why aren't deficit hawks willing to talk about taxing Wall Street profiteers?

Let's see if we can figure this one out. First, Dean Baker writes:

The intensity with which the country's leading deficit hawks continue to ignore financial speculation taxes (FST) is getting ever more entertaining. While deficit hawks like Wall Street investment banker Peter Peterson, Morgan Stanley Director Erskine Bowles and The Washington Post never tire of preaching the virtues of shared sacrifice, somehow sacrifice for Wall Street never features as a part of this story.

Baker suggests one reason why Wall Street is excluded from conversations about debt reduction:

In short, it is hard to understand why taxing financial speculation never appears on the agenda of the deficit hawks or gets mentioned in budget reporting, if the issue really is deficit reduction. On the other hand, if this is all about using an economic crisis to push a longstanding agenda to cut Social Security and Medicare, then everything suddenly makes sense.

So maybe the powers that be are less concerned with actually cutting the deficit than with cutting our social programs, and deficit cutting is a convenient cover. Or maybe it's even simpler than that. Via TPM:

Members of the deficit-reduction super committee have received a combined total of $41 million from the financial and real estate sectors during their time in Congress, according to a new report from Public Campaign and National People's Action.

Huh. So Wall Street has paid $41 million to the members of Congress tasked with cutting the deficit. And those members of Congress, and the lobbyists who love them, think Wall Street should be exempt from that "shared sacrifice" they love to talk about. But I'm sure one has nothing to do with the other. It must just be a coincidence.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 10:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  But DEFLATION is great for wealth preservation! (8+ / 0-)

    Screw you, I've got mine!

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 11:01:27 AM PDT

    •  Hey guys... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      How do we tweet this to  Can someone please do that?

      Sorry... I hate Twitter, but it's necessary this time.

      KJG..... where is the MSM on this?  We need to get it to KO and Ed Schultz.

      Sigh... criminals!  And they have the guts to stand at the office windows smiling.  I'll stop there.

  •  What f-ing assholes. nt (7+ / 0-)

    Republicans only care about themselves, their money, & their power.

    by jdmorg on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 11:03:06 AM PDT

  •  Kleptocracy at work... (15+ / 0-)
    Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, from Ancient Greek: κλέπτης (thief) and κράτος (rule), is a term applied to a government subject to control fraud that takes advantage of governmental corruption to extend the personal wealth and political power of government officials and the ruling class (collectively, kleptocrats), via the embezzlement of state funds at the expense of the wider population, sometimes without even the pretense of honest service. The term means "rule by thieves". Not an official form of government such as a democracy, republic, monarchy, or theocracy; a kleptocracy is rather a pejorative for a government perceived to have a particularly severe and systemic problem with the selfish misappropriation of public funds by those in power.

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 11:05:07 AM PDT

  •  Follow the $$$ (12+ / 0-)

    Works all the time.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 11:15:50 AM PDT

  •  Here's that Public Campaign report (5+ / 0-)

    Link. The sum's a little distorted by Kerry's 2004 run for President, but not that much.  

    I do take some issue with language like "Wall Street has paid $41 million to the members," insofar as it suggests that this goes into their wallets as opposed to their campaign accounts.

    •  Getting that 41 million handed over means that's (5+ / 0-)

      41 million less that they have to hussle (sp) for from other people.

    •  Well, the money is worthless anyway, (5+ / 0-)

      except as an accounting measure.  On the other hand, legislators funneling millions into the accounts of an army of consultants, publicists, pollsters, marketers and advertisers is maintaining an industry that's not even artistically edifying or entertaining.

      Attaining longevity in office is not considered a personal benefit, just as a prosecutor looking for the death penalty to enhance his resume is not considered to have a personal interest.  That's one benefit which flows from having let property rights trump human rights. Servicing pride and anger and sloth isn't considered significant, unless there's some material benefit involved.

      by hannah on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 11:39:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That isn't the point AdamB (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RFK Lives, cmorrison, opinionated
      I do take some issue with language like "Wall Street has paid $41 million to the members," insofar as it suggests that this goes into their wallets as opposed to their campaign accounts

      They OWE the criminals VOTES for CAMPAIGN MONEY. After they get reelected, then they give the bastards what they want. They either get paid for votes or to write legislation that favors their campaign donors.  Don't be shy to say it.  It would take tons of research to follow the votes, but it's probably been done and exists somewhere on the Web.

      It is like that and this is just unbelievable.  We need to close down that damn committee.  You know what they're doing and so do I.  Worse yet, with help from Obama who's too weak to stand up for anything, they will end up with a neutral vote and then they'll have to wait until sometime down the road and the voting for his relection will be over.  What a person we fought for and look what we got.

      I got that envelope from the DNC, tore it up and threw it in the trash without opening it.  The man does not speak for me.

    •  Link to Kerry page specifically excludes 2004 run (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B

      Admittedly, it doesn't exclude leadership PAC.  Out of his $6.1mm from FIRE, how much of it was 2004 leadershp PAC?

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:52:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wall Street has flipped again (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      In 2006 and 2008, it was the Dems who got the majority of Wall Street money.

      In 2010, it was split almost 50/50.

      And now the Wall Streeters are switching sides again, and giving most of their money to the Repugs. But they seem to be doing it in a very interesting way . . .

      Look at the list of top money-getters:

      Top 20 Recipients
      Rank    Candidate    Office    Amount
      1    Romney, Mitt (R)        $2,477,838
      2    Obama, Barack (D)        $1,003,230
      3    Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY)    Senate    $609,900
      4    Boehner, John (R-OH)    House    $517,400
      5    Pawlenty, Tim (R)        $440,465
      6    Brown, Scott P (R-MA)    Senate    $362,778
      7    Cantor, Eric (R-VA)    House    $250,950
      8    Khazei, Alan (D-MA)        $240,800
      9    Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI)    Senate    $211,650
      10    Corker, Bob (R-TN)    Senate    $203,399
      11    Kaine, Tim (D-VA)        $166,750
      12    Camp, Dave (R-MI)    House    $165,300
      13    Mandel, Josh (R-OH)        $156,500
      14    Murphy, Christopher S (D-CT)    House    $151,900
      15    Menendez, Robert (D-NJ)    Senate    $133,950
      16    Cruz, Ted (R-TX)        $126,450
      17    Garrett, Scott (R-NJ)    House    $124,400
      18    Tester, Jon (D-MT)    Senate    $123,650
      19    Whitehouse, Sheldon (D-RI)    Senate    $120,883
      20    Snowe, Olympia J (R-ME)    Senate    $112,971

      It doesn't look to me as if this is really a Wall Street move to back Repugs over Dems--after all, the top 20 are split almost 50/50 between Dems and Repugs. What strikes me immediately, though, is that I don't see many Teabaggers on that list, and I think that is no coincidence. The Baggers have scared the living shit out of the corporados, since ideological madness is bad for business--it's one reason why the Dems have previously been getting most of Wall Street's money.  So it looks to me as if Wall Street is trying very very very hard to support the few remaining sane Repugs over the Teabagger loonies.

      We should probably thank them for that.

      I'll be interesting to see if, after the Repug primaries are over, the Wall Streeters continue to give majority money to the Repugs, or if they switch yet again back to Dems.

  •  Since most people don't hand over (7+ / 0-)

    money unless asked, I'd call those payments extortion.  That the money goes into PAC accounts to promote reelection campaigns is a convenient fiction which relies on the premise that longevity in office and the power that comes with it is not a personal benefit.  Only office holders who use these moneys for more than limousines and lunch can be accused of taking bribes.

    Fact is that all artificial bodies (companies, corporations, LLCs) are authorized and created according to legislative direction and whim.  So, in theory, if legislators are displeased, they can put commercial enterprise out of business. "Tax cuts" are a euphemism for "give me what I want and I'll leave you alone."

    But, to answer the main question, consider the fact that our economic analysis is divided into two parts. There are producers and there are consumers.  Where, in this model, does the commercial/financial/insurance class fit?  Presumably, they sit at the nexus where producers and consumers meet.  But, there's no line for them in the organizational chart and, for that matter, there's no real accounting for the income they scalp for themselves.  Because, in fact, the commercial class nips a bit from both the producer and the consumer side.  Even when a product is so good it virtually sells itself, the commercial sector has got its hand out for its cut.

    Of course, when you come to think of it, our public corporations also aim to capture revenue at the point where producers and consumers meet.  And, while the goods and services our public corporations are obligated to provide are quite specific, from the perspective of the commercial class, what government collects is not available to them.  Which is why governmental agencies and the chamber of commerce are competitors and the commercial class is antagonistic unless it gets its pound of flesh. "Privatization" which involves governmental agencies letting the commercial class get a cut via contracts and grants and consulting services is evidence of chamber of commerce success.

    Or you could say that producers and sustainers have all been bled dry by the middlemen -- a cadre of parasites.

    by hannah on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 11:31:46 AM PDT

  •  asdf (7+ / 0-)
    So maybe the powers that be are less concerned with actually cutting the deficit than with cutting our social programs, and deficit cutting is a convenient cover.

    So Wall Street has paid $41 million to the members of Congress tasked with cutting the deficit. And those members of Congress, and the lobbyists who love them, think Wall Street should be exempt from that "shared sacrifice" they love to talk about. But I'm sure one has nothing to do with the other. It must just be a coincidence.

    The answer is both.  The powers want to strip both the safety net and be exempt from taxation and/or responsibility.

  •  Bribery: The Best ROI Wall Street's Ever Had. nt (7+ / 0-)

    Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

    by Into The Woods on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 12:24:32 PM PDT

    •  Yup, imagine how much (4+ / 0-)

      hedge fund billionaires (a few make more than a billion a year) save because they're paying income taxes at 15 percent.

      Plus, they oppose any financial transactions tax, no matter how modest, because they make their billions, in large part, from aggressive day trading.  

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:13:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wall Street and the Supercommittee: The $41.. (7+ / 0-)

    ... Million Question
    Will supercommittee members do what it takes to raise the revenue necessary or bow to the strong influence of their Wall Street backers?

    ...according to a report from Public Campaign and National People’s Action.
    •The 12 members of the supercommittee have received at least $41 million from the finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sector1 during their time in Congress.
     •They have received nearly $900,000 from three of the top American banks: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.
     •Since 2000, the financial sector has spent over $4 billion lobbying elected officials.
    •At least 27 current or former aides to supercommittee members have worked as lobbyists for financial sector interests.
    - emphasis added

    Both organizations believe the unfair tax code is a direct result of a political system skewed to benefit those with the wherewithal to make large political donations and deploy armies of well-connected lobbyists.

    A committee we did not elect & represents a tiny minority - FIRE -  how is this any good for the country [?]

    •  "During their time in Congress" (4+ / 0-)

      The 12 received an average of $3.4 million, over cumulative scores of campaigns (most of these guys have serious seniority).

      Wall Street and big banks, plus insurance and real estate interests, have always invested in national politicians. including most Democrats.

      And have generally gotten what they want.

      Including from Obama.  

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:23:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Taxation to reduce risks from HFT (13+ / 0-)

    High Frequency Trading (HFT) is a dangerous part of the Wall St. Casino.  Firms try to outrace each other by microseconds in order to get a slight price advantage.  Do this often enough, with lots of sales, and you make money.  Brokers do this to have an advantage over their clients.  Computers do the decision-making, so if the computer program senses a downtrend forming, it jumps in and sells fast, which tends to cause prices to fall more rapidly.  This makes the market very volatile, to the detriment of human investors.

    A good solution would be a tax on transactions.  If even a 1/10 of 1% tax (1 part in 1000) were imposed on each stock trade, HFT would be taxed to death, but ordinary trading, long-term investing and the like, would be barely impacted.  And the government would get a little bit of money out of the Street.

    Of course they won't do it, unless the public catches on and it becomes too popular to ignore.

    •  Which is why you'll never hear it on MSNBC, or... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DrFood, Matt Z

      ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.
      At least not without such a thick layer of bullshit and obfuscation that its simplicity, common sense and basic justice are rendered invisible.

    •  Transaction taxes are a bad idea. (0+ / 0-)

      First, High-Frequency Trading isn't dangerous to the country. It's only dangerous for the firms involved. As long as we don't bail them out, it is ok.

      Second, HFT is actually good for small investors. It increases liquidity, which means you can sell your stock when you retire without taking a 1% haircut because your stocks are thinly traded. It does increase volatility, but "long-term" investors should not care about volatility.

      Third, transaction-taxes won't end HFT. HFT will just move overseas where we can't regulate it.

      I am all for raising taxes. I am all for raising taxes on Wall Street. Raise the capital gains tax. Raise the top bracket income tax. Stop loaning banks cheap money from the Federal Reserve.

      But these Transaction Taxes are a bad idea. All they will do is take a business that is under American regulation and pays (fully taxable) salaries to American workers and ship it to Dubai, Hong Kong, or Tokyo.

      •  Much Better (0+ / 0-)

        To simply ban HFT at the exchange level.

        "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

        by bink on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:50:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  perhaps, perhaps not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It is a pretty safe bet that within the next 10-20 years the WTO will gain jurisdiction over international finance, and then American regulation by American government won't matter diddley doo. Everyone, everywhere, will play by the same rules then, and the US will no longer be able to make those rules unilaterally. We are no longer the economic poo-bah, and WTO doesn't give a rat's ass about America's "national interests".

      •  That's a real stretch (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        HFT pulls money out of the market.  HFT speculators make it; somebody else has to pay.  The stock market in this case is basically zero-sum.  HFT "liquidity" is hardly necessary for normal investors; I think it's illusory.

        The overseas argument is a standard deregulatory one.  If they want to go overseas, fine, but NYSE has become a casino and I don't think that's good.   Besides, if necessary, the tax could probably be levied on the speculators rather than on the exchange...

        •  Any trading... (0+ / 0-)

          ...HFT or not pulls money out of the market.

          If you do not like the bid or the ask, don't trade.

          But at least with HFT, the spreads will be lower, so small investors won't get screwed.

          The ones who get hurt by HFT are those speculators who don't have fast computers. Average Joes benefit from having HFT guys there to make markets.

          The overseas argument should not be so lightly dismissed. Would you rather have your mortgage traded in NYC or in Dubai? If we lose trading, we lose the ability of our government to regulate. Instead it will be a foreign government regulating...and collecting taxes...and collecting data...

      •  "Vote" for a Financial Transaction Tax (0+ / 0-)

        A Financial Transaction Tax is a great way to tax speculators (those folks who feel free to gamble, either because they already have so much money or because they're playing with other people's money) and the high frequency traders who build server farms physically proximate to Wall Street so they can buy and sell multiple times per second.

        I put up a petition on

        It won't get "published" on the We The People section until it has 150 signatures, so if you agree, please share this link.  The Obama White House promises to address every petition that gains at least 5000 electronic signatures in 30 days.

        Universal Health Care - it's coming, but not soon enough!

        by DrFood on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 08:13:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please think before you sign. (0+ / 0-)

          Suppose there are 3 billionaires. They engage in High Frequency Trades against each other. It's zero-sum, so two of them lose $100 mill and one gains $200 mill.

          This is good. We get to lay an income (not Capital gains. Income.) tax on the "winner" for $200 mill x 35%.

          They have also built server farms in the USA and hired programmers, mathematicians, and other white collar workers in the USA. Those people get jobs, and their income gets taxed.

          What is there to hate about this?

          I understand that there are good reasons to tax them at more than 35%, but why do you want to send the whole game to Hong Kong?

    •  HFT is a big profit center, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      victoria2dc, Eric Nelson

      most days, and those who make those profits have been able to kill any legislative effort to tax HFT.

      There is a sales tax on toilet paper in most states, but no similar national tax on short-term financial speculation, because that's what Wall Street wants, and gets.

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:33:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, HFT is bad (0+ / 0-)

      and either Goldman Sachs needs to move it's trading computers away from the ones that the Market uses (to increase latency) or there could be installed a network latency black box into the Stock Market  to negate the ultra-high-speed trading done by certain traders. Just a 1 minute delay and pooling of trades processed randomly would stop that. Without a tax.

      Goldman Sachs is front-running but nobody wants to admit it.

      Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

      by blindcynic on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 06:43:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Extortion (5+ / 0-)

    Extortion  is never pretty--but the banks know they own many politicians and the threat of economic chaos.  If only they knew that jail is a probability.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 03:44:12 PM PDT

  •  and now they're paying millions... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, devtob, r2did2, Matt Z

    to mittsie...

    larger version

    I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

    by nonnie9999 on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 03:45:05 PM PDT

  •  Governments don't rule the world, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, devtob

    Yes we can, but he won't.

    by dkmich on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 03:47:48 PM PDT

    •  It sounds like Alessio Rastani (trader) isn't.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      .worried for traders like himself...

      "For most traders we don't really care about having a fixed economy, having a fixed situation, our job is to make money from it," he said. "Personally, I've been dreaming of this moment for three years. I go to bed every night and I dream of another recession."

      Rastani said traders aren't the only ones who can benefit from the crisis.

      "When the market crashes... if you know what to do, if you have the right plan set up, you can make a lot of money from this."

      ..but is he predicting a short term depression (6 months long) like the 1921 (pre 1929/ The Depression) to occur where the monied few bought everything in sight for a song & a prayer? If so then hold-on/don't panic-sell is the best advice - if you can afford to - I think

      If everybody holds it would lessen the opportunities for traders to extract huge gains from the system - I think

  •  Great timing for the question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Does Barack want to be right or be president (again).

  •  Kudos to your for calling out members or (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, victoria2dc, Nailbanger

    both parties on this.

    Matt Taibbi is smiling somewhere.

    Assent- and you are sane- Demur- you’re straightway dangerous- And handled with a Chain- - Emily Dickinson

    by SpamNunn on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 03:58:39 PM PDT

  •  Prima facie corruption. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, Eric Nelson

    They will say that there is no linkage between the "contributions" and their votes.

    And they will expect that to be reported as fact.

    And they will expect us to swallow that swill straight, no chaser.

    And if we don't, it's immaterial to them because they have the money on their side.

    "It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." George Carlin

    by psnyder on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 03:59:27 PM PDT

  •  Disaster Capitalism (0+ / 0-)

    And it really IS a disaster, after even more than before.

    But, it is eating itself with its internal contradictions.  :-)

    -9.00, -5.85
    If only stupidity were painful...

    by Wintermute on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:01:15 PM PDT

  •  Almost every Senator and Member of Congress (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, victoria2dc, cmorrison

    gets campaign money from Wall Street.

    And most of them let that affect their legislative work.

    It will only get worse, post-Citizens United,

    A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

    by devtob on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:02:00 PM PDT

  •  Deficit Peacocks, not Deficit Hawks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obsessing about the deficit in a time of grievous economic recession is colossally stupid of course, because reducing the deficit will cause further economic contraction, leading to larger unemployment numbers and even more frightening deficits as tax revenues crater even faster.

    So even if you credit these idiots with sincerity, they'd still be, well, idiots.

    But they're not "deficit hawks". Deficit hawks would go after goals that would actually, you know, reduce the deficit. Like slashing spending on the morbidly obese Pentagon budget, ending disastrously expensive wars, and reimposing sane taxation levels on billionaires and banksters. Instead they're deficit peacocks. Willling to strut and primp and fluff their feathers for the camera; willing to talk about sacrifice for the 'little people' and viciously regressive Federal policies; but never, ever willing to engage in serious deficit reduction by going after the true sources of the hemorrhage.

    •  Part of the plan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "because reducing the deficit will cause further economic contraction, leading to larger unemployment numbers "

      Thus Obama Loses 2012. Its' all about Obama loses. If it crashes the economy, well, that's just too bad. The price of doing business...Collateral Damage, y'know.

      Just goes to show you how desperate these people are to get Obama out of office...

      Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

      by blindcynic on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 09:44:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Quite so. "Treason" is the proper term for this. (0+ / 0-)

        That's what you call it when folks intentionally work to sabotage the National welfare, throwing millions more people into crushing poverty, just to gain a transient partisan advantage. There are other words too, words not appropriate for polite company.

        It goes way, way beyond the bounds of legitimate political competition.

  •  I'm assuming that means Democrats are on the take (0+ / 0-)

    (it's a given that Republicans are) as there was no distinction made between which party sold us out.

    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:17:30 PM PDT

  •  Is it really just greed? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Or are monied interests positioning themselves to increase their chances of surviving something only they see coming?

    Think about it: WE don't matter to them. PEOPLE don't matter to them. NATIONS don't matter to them. They don't care if we have jobs; they have plenty of income. They don't care if we starve; they have plenty to eat. They don't care if we get sick; they can afford the best medical treatment.

    They don't care if we die. They don't care if the climate is changing. They don't care if countries collapse. They're acting like NONE OF IT REALLY MATTERS.

    All they care about is protecting themselves, encapsulating themselves, walling themselves off from the rest of the world. They already have more money than can be spent in multiple lifetimes. They KNOW they have the means to make things better. But they don't WANT to.

    And why not? Allow me a moment of paranoid speculation.

    Maybe it's because they think it doesn't matter. Maybe they think the end really IS nigh, and that only the Haves will survive what's coming. Maybe they want to buy their place in an ark or a spaceship or something, I dunno.

    Or maybe it's this: with indentured servants (disposable labor) available in other parts of the world to keep them comfortable, they don't need us anymore. And with us peasants out of the way, they can make the US their own personal playground. The whole nation, one giant gated community. Rich. Untouchable. Safe.

    Anyway, whatever it is, it occurs to me that something is motivating these bastards beyond outlandish avarice for its own sake.

    As a human being, endowed by my creator with certain inalienable rights--among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness--I vow to fight these corporatist oligarchs by whatever means necessary.

    Or: Mr. Tycoon, don't make us angry. You won't like us when we're angry.

    There are two types of Republicans: millionaires and suckers.

    by Phil T Duck on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:23:09 PM PDT

    •  This Is Key (0+ / 0-)

      A lot of top movers and shakers don't think of themselves as Americans.  The idea of having a national citizenship is "for the little people."

      They are internationalists, moving from Davos to Canary Wharf to Frankfurt to Wall St. to Bilderburg to Shanghai ...

      They go where the people who control the money go.  The reason that the ECB and IMF don't tell the big German and French banks to fuck themselves is ...

      They are the same people.  They went to school together, they worked together in Brussels or in Geneva, they sat on the same boards.  They might even be married to each other.

      It works the same here in the U.S.  Robert Rubin runs Goldman Sachs, then the U.S. Treasury, the Citibank.  His protoge Timothy Geithner goes to work for the Fed, then the Treasury.  Larry Summers is in the Clinton White House, then he goes to Harvard, then he joins a hedge fund, then he's back in the White House.  Rahm Emanuel works for Clinton, then dabbles at Deutsche Bank, dabbles with Congress, then works for Obama.

      It's the same people circulating around and around through government, the central banks and the investment banks.

      And there is no way they are going to screw each other over.

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:48:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would buy that premise except for the fact the (0+ / 0-)

      greed seems to make them myopic as to "seeing what's coming." You had Long Term Capital Management blow up in '98 and all the major investment banks were exposed to billions in losses. Ten years later you had basically a similar event with accompanied leverage issues, dummy holding with SIVs and too much debt they could not get off the books. Nothing has changed since and I expect greed will at some point blind them again.

  •  Congress's Only Concern (0+ / 0-)

    Is protecting the interests of its shareholders.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:39:47 PM PDT

  •  It has NEVER been about the deficit ! (0+ / 0-)

    Case in point - Congress has never discussed cutting their own salaries, expense - $3 billion a year and 23000 staff.

    They just want to trim the deficit enough in-order to run it  up more so they can social programs completely.

    We live in a quarterly cycle world - look good this quarter and to hell with the future.

    The idea that demand drives the economy is over their pay grade - its steal all I can now.

    The true is capitalism is failing - government is the only source of money/business left. Many businesses pay no taxes now and want a tax subsidy to boot or part of the outsourcing business.

    Do they know what's coming - sure, why do police departments look like armies.

  •  I'm not above bribery. Why don't we hire our (0+ / 0-)

    own lobbyists to represent the other 99% of Americans?

    There really is no other way.

  •  We all need to be calling this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Citizenpower, Matt Z

    BRIBERY. Because that's what it is.

    "Behind every great fortune is a great crime." - Honore de Balzac

    by mooremusings on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 07:16:08 PM PDT

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