The Love Behind the Most
Parachute of All
October 2, 2008
We expect it from the likes of Barack
Obama and Nancy Pelosi, but when we hear conservatives from George
Bush to David Brooks speak as if it’s a scientific fact that the
only solution to the mortgage/liquidity mess is to put the geniuses
of the federal government in charge of $700 billion of the people’s
money, we immediately detect a powerful stink in the air.
Yes, something smells rotten when a gang of politicians,
bureaucrats, and CEO’s tell us they are so certain about their
solution to a problem (which their rapacity created) that there is
no need to consider competing ideas.
No need to seek advice from entrepreneurs who know a few things
about finance, real estate, and business in general. ("We know
Barney Frank. Barney Frank is a friend of ours. And neither Donald
Trump nor Steve Wynn is half a Barney Frank.”)
No need to worry about waste, theft, and rampant corruption when
ACORN loving Democrats; Wall Street worshipping Republicans; greedy
executives; and a million consultants and lobbyists get a sniff of a
mountain of cash so high and so thoroughly entangled in red tape
that they believe no mere mortal, let alone a Washington bureaucrat,
will ever notice that its height is reduced by a few billion.
No need to worry if we just trust the prodigal monstrosity that is
the federal government.
No need to worry about anything.
What is that except a pile of rot that ignores every common sense
reality regarding the love of power and the love of money,
Washington’s most deadly evils.
Unfortunately, many Americans are unaware of the connection between
those evils and the bailout bill, a sad and dangerous fact that the
Center for Responsive Politics labors mightily to change.
According to the Center, "In this election cycle, Democrats backing
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's proposal have collected 78
percent more from the finance, insurance and real estate sector
[FIRE] than those in their caucus who opposed it and, over time, 88
"The 65 Republicans who backed the bill have collected $1,078,533
from the finance sector in their careers and an average of $185,461
toward this election. The 133 Republicans who led the opposition to
the bailout have collected, on average, $705,297 over their careers
in Congress and $150,381 in this election cycle alone.”
"...[FIRE] has been the top campaign contributor in federal
politics, giving more than $2 billion to federal candidates and
political parties since 1989.
Which Senators have received the most money from the FIRE sector in
the current election cycle? The Center reports these numbers:
Barack Obama, $25,149,976; John McCain, $22,345,205; Hillary
Surprise, surprise, the cycle’s three top presidential contenders.
Now, guess which Senator comes in at #4. Not sure? Think of the
Senator whom Fannie, Freddie, and ACORN love as a brother. Need
another hint? O.K. He’s the top Senate Democrat negotiating the
bailout bill. Yes, you’ve got it!
Chris Dodd, $5,999,668
(If you’re wondering about blue-collar but black robe activist judge
loving Joe Biden, he’s right up there at #8 with $1,594,344.)
Now to the FIRE amounts the Center reports for selected House
members, with notations by this author regarding how those members
voted on the bailout bill.
#1 Ron Paul ($1,334,821). Alas, $1.3 million wasn’t enough to buy
Ron, who burned FIRE with a "no.”
#2 Charles Rangel ($1,208,295). Charlie, a "man of the people,”
heads the powerful Ways and Means committee. Charlie is also a small
real estate player who consistently forgot to report rental income
from his property in the Dominican Republic to the IRS until the NY
Post recently jogged his memory. Charlie voted "yes” — most likely
as a favor to his hugely big real estate friends who have hugely
bigger problems than he does.
#3 Rahm Emanuel ($1,007,325). Rahm learned everything he knows about
real estate deals in the Bill and Hill administration and now serves
as Speaker Pelosi’s chief helpmate on things financial. Without
having his arm twisted a bit or being subjected to even one spank
with a Whitewater board, he voted "yes.”
#4 Paul "Earmark” Kanjorski ($888,298). This Democrat from PA who
always puts country second (or lower) voted "yes.”
#9 Barney Frank ($783,898). Mr. Barney F. F. Frank ("Freddie
Fannie”) is the raving Massachusetts liberal who was betrayed by 12
"no” voting Democrats of his own committee but somehow mistook them
for Republicans. Barney voted "yes” before dashing off to stick his
motoring mouth in front of the nearest television camera.
#14 Steny Hoyer ($666,549). The Majority Leader just can’t wait to
whip President Barack Obama’s tax and spending bills through the
"People’s House.” Right now, he’s busy appearing in every bailout
photo that features friends Nancy and Barney. Of course, Steny stuck
up a "yes” vote.
So there it is, the truth about what’s behind the golden parachute
proposed by Bush and amended by Congress. How appropriate that it
gets gilded, folded, packed, and deployed by our most "experienced”
and "knowledgeable” legislators, that is, those who know everything
there is to know about how to pull the strings that will open into
Washington’s already fetid atmosphere a rotten, reeking pit of cash
undreamed of in their wildest power and money loving dreams.