How our politicians sold out America

Campaign cash prevails over a stable society

By Jack E. Lohman

This economic crash should have been expected. It mirrors 1929 except for one thing; they had jobs to recover to and today we don’t.

It started years ago, when business leaders saw that Americans were being paid ten times what foreign workers earned. So after paying the one-tenth in wages, shipping costs, and paying off the politicians for making it all happen, the CEOs could quadruple their personal income. The rest is history. They chose and you lost.

Problem is, now there are fewer American jobs, depressed wages and few people to even pay the lower product prices. Foreclosures and bankruptcies are up, middle-incomes down, and low-end wealth non-existent. The supply is there, the demand is not. But the CEOs remain.

It’s “globalization” made possible by one-sided free trade agreements negotiated by conflicted politicians. But they weren’t free.  They took campaign money from corporate CEOs to pass laws that allowed off-shoring of jobs and importing goods made by low-wage workers (NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, et al).

It didn’t stop there. Bankers wanted to take bigger risks with your money, so in 1999 they paid off the politicians to repeal the Glass-Steagall banking regulations that were implemented following the 1930’s depression. Thanks to today’s robber-barons, fixing that system is not going well.

When today’s rip-off went sour the politicians offered up the taxpayers to repay the bank’s losses. You know, from the earlier failed risks and unearned bonuses and exorbitant executive salaries.

We are a really great people, aren’t we? Our politicians privatized the gains but socialized the losses for their favorite campaign contributors, all while the Forbes 400 wealthiest gained $30 billion and the rest of the country crashed. 401(k)’s and retirement accounts gone, forever.

Are we having fun yet?

Then the financial whiz-kids bought up inventories of oil and hoarded it, and when prices skyrocketed to $4.00 per gallon they sold it back into the crippled market and reaped masses in profits. That the politicians were also on the petroleum payroll certainly didn’t hurt, and our trusted SEC sat by and watched. Gas prices are again on their way up, though the increased unemployment may help put the brakes on. That’s called “capitalism.”

Now we’re faced with two critical decisions. Who knows where the war in Afghanistan will lead us, but you can rest assured that the defense industry will keep the money flowing to the political hawks calling the shots. It reminds me of private prison contractors lobbying against stronger drug laws so more people go to jail. It’s sick.

And then there’s health care, an issue controlled by the for-profit insurance industry and the politicians they own (which is nearly all of them). Instead of eliminating that wasteful insurance bureaucracy, the politicians are poised to expand it, complete with taxpayer subsidies to the industry. If you thought the $780 billion Medicare giveaway to the drug industry in 2003 was big, wait for this whopper of a bill.

It does no good talking about a “recovery” when the jobs are elsewhere. And the jobs will not come back as long as the politicians from both political parties remain corrupted by business cash.

Our nation’s Number One problem is that private political graft is driving policy! Until we get the bribery out of the political system we are destined for further inequality and future national rebellion. Corruption always destroys countries.

Who’s to blame for all of this?

You are. The voters.

You believe the politician’s rhetoric and lies, ignore their payola, and then vote him or her back into office.

We must turn this around with a 100% turnover in congress — forced term limits — until they eliminate the bribery from the political system. Throw them out in the primary so your party of choice remains.

If politicians are to be beholden to their funders, those funders must be the taxpayers. At $5 per taxpayer per year, public funding of elections would be a bargain.

15 Responses to How our politicians sold out America

  1. And oh… Transparency International listed the U.S. as 19th in their The Corruption Perceptions Index. Got that? Our government is 19th in honesty!!! Not first, New Zealand got that, and Canada was 9th.

    And PLEASE, look at the first graph at inequality.org. If you believe all of this crap about “reducing taxes and increasing wealth for those at the top so they can create jobs,” where are all the jobs today now that the top 1% again owns 25% of the wealth???

  2. Anonymous says:

    sounds like a left wing wacko!!!

  3. Yea, wacko for sure. I voted for Bush twice and McCain in 2008, but I’ve never let my political biases stand in the way of reasoned thinking.

  4. Rodrian Roadeye says:

    As we embrace policies and strategies that
    erode our army, we risk more than a weakened
    military; we risk breeding resentments and
    recriminations that could lead to a future
    domestic surge of militant nationalism of
    our very own, conceivably imperiling the
    foundations of our democracy.
    - William J. Astore retired lieutenant colonel (USAF).

    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
    time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
    It is its natural manure.” – Thomas Jefferson

    Isn’t it time we took back our country?

  5. Actually, it’s time for a 100% turnover in congress!

  6. [...] All rights reserved. View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/145667/ Also read How our politicians sold out America, and then throw them all out of office. There is not a politician worth his [...]

  7. [...] dominoes began to fall in the 1980’s and included the deregulation of banks in 1999 and the passage of NAFTA in 1994. Jobs left the country and state revenues began to fall, [...]

  8. [...] I found amusing the Billionaire Sea Castles, which of course faces only sea storms, pirates and torpedoes. But well-deserved anyway. Even if you like some of these ideas, our corrupt political system will block them. Only passage of the Fair Elections Now Act will give them (and the nation) an opportunity to survive. Pressure your congressman to co-sign the bill. Our government is controlled by corporations rather than voters, and with political complicity they trashed our economy. [...]

  9. [...] How our politicians sold out America [...]

  10. [...] The banking deregulations of 1999 are the main cause of the crash, but the Bush tax cuts turned a budget surplus into a deficit and [...]

  11. usurykills says:

    Corrupt campaign finance and bloated health care costs are but two symptoms of the same financial disease: usury.

    Usury is just cheating. Everybody cheats but nobody likes a cheater. Our laws even encourage cheating!

    That our accepted ways of doing business are self-destructive in the long run has no negative impact on short-term profits. Cash in now.

    The power to corrupt politicians (and everyone else) comes directly from the power to not only create money, but to collect interest on all money created.

    Good loans given interest-free to hard-working people would generate the sort of economy we can only dream about, today.

    The sooner we move to a fair monetary system, the less chaos we must endure. Most people have no clue what money really is or who creates and controls it.

    The scam is nearing its end. There is a diagram for “change” that is not good for the common people. I think you should note the price of gold and who has the money to buy it. Is a gold standard coming?

  12. Well, I hear that gold will drop by 10-15% soon, so I don’t think so. And (I believe) what makes it possible for CEOs to make all their money is the laws that have been written by the politicians that share in the booty.

  13. Our politicians sold out out jobs for money and now they are selling our liberty for money.

  14. You are absolutely correct Paul, but how do we fix it?

  15. Gart says:

    This was done by design a long time ago by the same people that put the pyramid on the back of our money back in 1776. We were doomed years ago.

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