There is a saying that is no more truer than in politics, “One hand washes the other.” Given the recent circumstances regarding TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) money, the $700 billion bill passed and signed in October, it appears that those who washed the right hands in advance are the ones who were taken care of.
This is especially distressing to some of us “ordinary people” whom were told that we could expect assistance, not that all of us wanted a hand-out. The gesture, at least, would’ve been nice.
The president and his Democrat leadership have now told us that certain institutions need this bloated stimulus package sooner in order to save jobs. Whether they’re right or not will be for historians to decide, but unless you did some early hand-washing, you may be SOL.
$302.28 billion was given to select businesses that were supposedly important to the financial solvency of our nation. However, after that sizable cash infusion, the economy continued to tank. The handling of our economy over last eight years has been blamed politically, while presidential candidates (in order to differentiate themselves from an opposing party’s incumbent) in unison talked-down the economy, calling it the worst since the Hoover Administration. Add to that the simmering Democrat Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-socialist experiment run amok, “bad bookkeeping” fraud, things went downhill.
We were told certain institutions couldn’t be allowed to fail, and they received no-strings attached TARP money. Now let me ask you; when was the last time (aside from receiving a tax refund) did the government ever give us something without any guidelines or laws directing us how to utilize what they gave us? Yet it was done and then some, given the perks, junkets, and parties our money allowed them.
Here’s one theory why: the recipients washed the hands of politicians.
For example, the Bank of America (incl. Merrill Lynch) received $45 million. Why would they get that kind of money, no strings attached? Maybe because Kenneth Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Bank of America, washed some hands, giving $56,300 to Republicans and $15,163 to Democrats. Stan O’Neal, Merrill Lynch Chairman and CEO from 2003-2007, donated $5,000 to Republicans and $7,800 to Democrats, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Current chairman John Thain has given $234,800 to Republicans, $18,000 to Democrats, and $108,750 to special interests.
Citigroup received $45 million, and I’m sure the fact that their 2002-2007 chairman and CEO‘s campaign donations got them some attention. Charles Prince gave $53,100 to Republicans and $100,700 to Democrats, including Barack Obama, the DNCC, and Charlie Rangel. Citigroup’s chairman-designate Richard Parson has donated another $259,850 to Republicans and $17,300 to Democrats. Current chairman Vikram Pandit gave $40,000 to Republicans and $5,000 to Democrats.
AIG received $40 million of TARP money, and the fact that CEO Edward Liddy gave $14,100 to Republicans and $250 to Democrats probably didn’t hurt.
$25 million dollars went to Wells Fargo, and Chairman Richard Kovacevich donated $181,500 to Republicans, $32,200 to Democrats, and $42,920 to special interests. Quite the coincidence….
And don’t let the party disparities fool you. That money was clearly meant as insurance, either way.
Another $25 million was used to keep yet another fine financial institution up and running. Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO, gave $46,800 to Republicans and $491,700 to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, Mark Warner, Steny Hoyer, Harry Reid, Rahm Emanuel, the DNCC, Mary Landrieu, and Barack Obama.
Remember all the outrage that was the automotive hearings, when our elected officials let the Big Three have it? It would appear that was probably all for show.
General Motors received $14.284 million after Chairman Rick Wagoner gave $17,100 to Republicans, $18,800 to Democrats, and $76,932, mostly to the GM Political Action Committee (which lobbies politicians).
Goldman Sachs got $10 million as Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein gave $5,000 to Republicans and $130,290 to Democrats, including the DSCC, Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton, Jon Corzine, John Kerry, Tom Daschle (reported?), Chuck Schumer, Bob Torricelli, and Al Gore.
You get the idea. It’s clear as day that to get any “assistance” from our lawmakers, you got to pay to play.
After months of anger and anxiety, our part in the Rick Senninger saga will be over on Monday when our house is sold from under us. I didn’t pay off any politicians requesting special treatment when our world was falling down around us, and we don’t have anything near the world of opulence like those mentioned above.
The good thing is, that unlike those CEOs and chairmen, we can sleep well over the coming days and weeks knowing that we’ll not have to continue paying out big sums of money to the elected just to keep them off our backs, or to get their attention when we need a boost.
As this vitally-important pork-payoff stimulus plan edges towards implementation, remember that those who washed hands will be the first ones helped. Those of us unwashed will be the ones to bear the brunt of the economic fiasco created by the very ones who now say they know how fix it.
For a price….