How did we get here?

State and federal corruption is costing us our economy, and eventually our democracy.

By Jack E. Lohman

We Americans clearly deserve the congress the Fat Cats have corrupted and we continually re-elect.

That we invent reasons that skirt the real cause of our demise is maddening. It is ONLY political corruption that got us here. Our state and nation continues in its spiral all while we blame the R’s or the D’s or their “ideology,” whatever that is. When in fact it is the traits that have been around for centuries… greed and political corruption.

And I blame the TV media for helping, because if they attacked it head on they’d lose politician interviews, and they surely don’t want that. So they tolerate it and perpetuate the problem.

This is serious business, because ultimately it will lead to a revolution, civil war or military coup. IN THE UNITED STATES! None of these are off the table, and we MUST fix the political system before our country is total trash.

So how did we get here? Payola and bribes.

In 1999 politicians passed a law (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) to repeal the 1933 Glass-Steagall regulations on banks, and then the banks went wild risking their investors cash and the people’s 401(k)’s and retirement accounts. This was put forth by Republicans and signed into law by Clinton. The banks later crashed and the taxpayers bailed them out, with much of the money paying for executive bonuses.

This was 100% due to payola from the bankers to the politicians. It could not have turned out any other way.

Then they passed NAFTA and CAFTA and GATT and joined the WTO, and started sending US jobs to India and China. Rep. Barnie Frank and the Dems added to the pain by demanding that Fannie and Freddie make more loans to people who couldn’t afford them. People out of work started losing their homes and now we are faced with a real unemployment rate of nearly 17% (unemployed, underemployed, and those who have given up looking for jobs). Congress even passed tax breaks to corporations who outsourced jobs to China and India.

This was 100% due to payola from the corporations to the politicians. The rest is history.

In the early 2000’s Bush passed his tax breaks for the wealthy, and converted a Clinton surplus to a Bush deficit, and the economy further tanked. Obama wants to leave the cuts in place for the bottom 98%, but the R’s are holding those cuts hostage to get the richest 2% included (a $750 billion giveaway to the nation’s wealthiest). Thanks Republicans.

This was and is 100% due to payola from the wealthy taxpayers to the politicians. What else would you expect?

In 2010 Obama passed an atrocious healthcare bill that mandated that 100% of Americans buy insurance from the for-profit insurance industry, rather than passing a single-payer system that would have extended care to 100% of Americans, saved $400 billion, and freed US corporations of the high cost of healthcare (which they could have spent adding employees).

Passage was 100% due to $125 million in payola from the health care providers and insurers, given directly to the politicians. We now are heading into a terrible health care system. Brace yourself.

It does not matter what your issue…

… it is affected by cash bribes to politicians. Follow the money and you’ll virtually always find a politician willing to share in Corporate America’s profits.

But if we had public funding of campaigns, politicians would not have to rely on the Fat Cats to fund their elections and they would not have to create or vote for laws that are not in the best interest of the public.

Truth is, if politicians were not “on the take” I could accept virtually any vote because I’d know it was not payola and therefore in the best interest of the public. Good political votes do not require bribes to flow.

Politicians spend money because they ARE PAID TO spend money, and without the payola none of this crap would have been allowed to happen. But Fat Cats pay off politicians because it works. Private funding of political campaigns got us here, and only public funding of campaigns will get us out of it.

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6 Responses to How did we get here?

  1. cmunit says:

    You say: In 2008 Obama passed an atrocious healthcare bill … Obama was not inaugurated until 2009.

  2. You are correct. I have changed that to 2010. Unfortunately I can’t change the “atrocious” part, but thanks for keeping me honest.

  3. CK says:

    Interesting but not genuinely factual rant. The Clinton surplus was a myth, they simply changed the bucket they were stealing out of. The only reason they were even close to a surplus was largely in part because of a stingier Republican congress. Repeal of part, not all, of Glass-Steagall had little to do with the failure of banks, that was largely due in part to Fannie and Freddie and abuse of mortgage instruments. Lehman didn’t avail itself of the changes by GLB and it still failed. Fannie and Freddie were largely under Democrats control and influence and despite Republican warnings, went on with business as usual. I don’t have more time to critique this article but you could at least be more accurate…

  4. Thanks CK, but I disagree. Many high-powered economists that are neither on the payroll of the banks or government support the contention that the Glass-Steagall repeal was a stupid and costly move, though I agree that the Dems share the blame for their roll in protecting Fannie and Freddie.

    But MY contention is that it doesn’t matter what your issue it will be controlled by the Fat Cats that fund the elections, and if we get the private money out of the electoral process these bastards (sorry, politicians) will start running the country as we would expect of any non-conflicted board of directors running a company. If they weren’t bought-and-paid-for I don’t think I’d care which party ran the country.

  5. gary beal says:

    did anyone ever find the so called clinton surplus?

  6. eyeswideshut says:

    Facts and accuracy questions aside, the bottom line is right on the money: it’s the dough that’s running our country; not the people. I think it’s time we leveled the playing field and forced our political “leaders” to dazzle us with genuine policy discourse instead of flashy, expensive campaigns and ads. Public funding of elections IS the way to make this happen.

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