On December 21, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed a bill called the Commodities Futures Modernization Act. This law ensured that derivatives could not be regulated, setting the stage for the financial crisis.
Just two months later, on February 5, 2001, Clinton received $125,000 from Morgan Stanley, in the form of a payment for a speech Clinton gave for the company in New York City. A few weeks later, Credit Suisse also hired Clinton for a speech, at a $125,000 speaking fee, also in New York.
The dirty secret of American politics is that, for most politicians, getting elected is just not that important. What matters is post-election employment.
It’s all about staying in the elite political class, which means being respected in a dense network of corporate-funded think tanks, high-powered law firms, banks, defense contractors, prestigious universities, and corporations. If you run a campaign based on populist themes, that’s a threat to your post-election employment prospects.
In 2004, Clinton got $250,000 from Citigroup and $150,000 from Deutsche Bank. Goldman paid him $300,000 for two speeches, one in Paris.
As the bubble peaked, in 2006, Clinton got $150,000 paydays each from Citigroup (twice), Lehman Brothers, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors.
In 2007, it was Goldman again, twice, Lehman, Citigroup, and Merrill Lynch.
Those are “message” payments. They tell all politicians, “See how if you play ball now, you’ll be rewarded later.”
Today, the Democrats lie, “The deficit should be reduced,” the Republicans lie, “the deficit should be reduced,” and Obama and the media say the same thing.
But, economics says there is no reason to reduce the deficit. In fact, it should be increased. The government can pay any bill of any size, and inflation is widely predicted not to be a threat for many years.
So why do Congress, the President and the media lie, knowing their lies not only hurt America, but specifically hurt the middle- and lower-income classes?
Answer: They are paid to lie.
The upper .1% income group derives its power from the income/wealth gap between them and the 99.9%. If there were no gap, no one would be rich, and the greater the gap, the richer and more powerful the .1% is.
Even if you made $1 million a year, you wouldn’t be rich, if everyone else also made $1 million a year. But, if you made $10K a year, and everyone else made $1K, you would be fabulously wealthy.
In short, “rich” and “wealthy” are not absolute terms; they are comparative terms.
So the top .1%, wanting more power, bribe the politicians (via campaign contributions and promises of lucrative employment later) to widen the gap by cutting the deficit. And, of course, the media are owned by the rich,so they lie, too.
Because the vast majority of deficit spending benefits the 99.9%, cutting the deficit widens the gap — exactly what the rich want.
Before the past election, I urged readers to vote for Obama as the better choice between two really bad choices. My opinion was Romney would have been a greater disaster for America than Obama.
That said, Romney at least, could point to some pre-politics accomplishments. Although he hated the underclasses, he did build Bain Capital, and he successfully led the Salt Lake Olympics.
And what were Obama’s pre-politics accomplishments? He was a “community organizer” (whatever that is), and he . . . er, ah, was sort of a lawyer, briefly.
So, how did Obama rise though the ranks to attain his position, despite having few accomplishments. As a Chicago-style politician, he understood the way to success is to do the bidding of the moneyed class. He was trained to do as he was told.
I’m a life-long Chicagoan. I know how Obama came to be a state senator, a national senator and the President. Big money backed him, because he was dependable (for them) and now, he wants big money to reward him retires from the Presidency, by building a large Obama library in Chicago and by making him “Clinton-rich.”
That is how it’s done, and those who don’t understand these facts, continue to argue economics, when the real argument revolves around the income/wealth gap.
The words “rich” and “wealthy” are not absolute terms; they are comparative terms. Many years ago, someone making $50K per year was fabulously wealthy, because most people made less than $5K. Today, $50K is middling.
If I asked you, “Is someone making 20,000 naira per year, wealthy?” your first question would be, “How many naira does the average person earn?” Wealth is defined by the gap.
Not only does the income/wealth gap define wealth, but the wider the gap, the wealthier and more powerful the rich are. So the rich are not interested in absolute dollars; they are interested in comparative dollars. They are interested in the gap.
You can widen the gap by giving the rich more money or by taking money from the poor. Cutting Social Security widens the gap, as does cutting food stamps, cutting Medicaid and increasing FICA payments — all Obama proposals and initiatives.
For the sake of his wealthy supporters, Obama’s goal is to widen the gap, so he will be “Clinton-rich” after he leaves office.
To understand today’s sequester arguments, forget about the lie that the debt is “unsustainable” or that the government is “broke” or that the government, like you, “should live within its means.” Those claims all are misdirection from the real issue.
The real issue for politicians, left and right, is how best to curry favor with the rich. The rest is just to brainwash you, the public.
Don’t pay attention to what Obama says. He doesn’t want to “compromise.” He doesn’t want to “save” Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He doesn’t want to lift the middle class.
He wants to please the wealthy by widening the gap. And if you’re real generous, he’ll invite you to dinner in the White House, with him and Michelle.
How do I know? A dear friend of mine was quite generous, and recently had that very dinner. I guess his contribution was pretty good, but for a few bucks more, he might have had Obama cut food stamps.