The Most Corrupt Administration in Modern American History
Kickback: The payment of something of value to a recipient as compensation or reward for providing favorable treatment to another party.
A kickback in the form of money, gifts, credit, or anything of value may be viewed as a corrupt practice that interferes with an employee or official’s ability to make unbiased decisions. - Investopedia
Kickbacks are an insidious form of corruption, not just because they are illegal and obstruct the political process, but also because they compromise the ethics of officials who have been charged with enforcing regulations that govern the activities of the bribing entities.
For example: If I lobbied a key member of Congress to write a bill to fund my efforts to evict a property owner whose refusal to sell his home is blocking the development of a new shopping center; and then, to insure my success I paid a lobbyist $6 and gave the Congressman $4 in campaign contributions; and those efforts paid off to the tune of $2,457,540, then it would be impossible to claim the kickback didn’t corrupt the legal and political processes. The profits earned under that type of transaction would be considered reprehensible, and it would be the equivalent of a real estate agent purchasing a Beverly Hills mansion for $10. In essence, you could say the rate of return on my investment was 245,754%, and besides, it allowed me to steal the property of a rightful owner. And to make the situation even more intolerable, what if I asked the Congressmen to then write a bill that would exempt me from prosecution.
Seem impossible? Not really. That’s what happened under TARP.
The rate of return earned on TARP funds given to JP Morgan Chase, a Wall Street firm that contributed $847,895 to Barack Obama’s campaign, was exactly 245,754%. And before you argue it was justified because the money was used to bailout the company, consider this statement made by Jamie Dimon during a telephone call to company executives – a call that was secretly monitored by a New York Times reporter:
“Twenty-five billion dollars is obviously going to help the folks who are struggling more than Chase. What we do think it will help us do is perhaps be a little bit more active on the acquisition side or opportunistic side for some banks who are still struggling. And I would not assume that we are done on the acquisition side just because of the Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns mergers. I think there are going to be some great opportunities for us to grow in this environment, and I think we have an opportunity to use that $25 billion in that way….”
By his own admission, Dimon revealed that JP Morgan & Chase did not use the bailout money to achieve its intended purpose, but instead used it to take over other financial institutions. And to pull off that $25 billion scam on American taxpayers, all it cost the corporation – with no strings attached – was $10,168,638 in lobbying fees and campaign contributions, ergo, generating a 245,754% return on investment.
And the big losers were the American taxpayers, not the criminals who caused the 2007 global financial collapse. And the icing on the cake for Jamie Dimon – Obama’s close friend and a top campaign contributor – was a “get-out-of-jail” card given by the president’s Justice Department. Even worse for taxpayers, the enormous profits earned from TARP funds, and the resulting mergers and takeovers – according to former Attorney General Eric Holder – have resulted in the creation of financial institutions that were too big to prosecute. And many of those investors have used the new capital to illegally buy up huge sections of land, water, and housing.
But the impact of that corruption was lost to many progressive voters because Democratic operatives accused Republican Congressional leaders of getting rich off the TARP program; but that type of accusation was misleading because it was the Democrats who became the top recipients of TARP kickbacks, including: Barack Obama (the largest recipient - $4.3 million from Wall Street employees), Sen. Chris Dodd (Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs - $854,200), and Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, (Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee - $279,000).
According to Open Secrets.org: “In total, members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Senate Finance Committee and House Financial Services Committee received $5.2 million from TARP recipients in the 2007-2008 election cycle.”
That is corruption and recreancy at the highest levels of government.
And even though the TARP process was developed under the leadership of former President, G.W. Bush, it was the Obama administration that essentially used the program to design and implement one of the greatest ponzi schemes in American history. It gave cover to criminal bankers and CEOs who not only pulled off the biggest heist in history, but also managed to use taxpayer money to bribe officials into rewriting laws to protect their corporations from being held accountable for financial crimes. And now, the incredible amount of wealth generated by that ponzi scheme has allowed them to buy elections, buy a president and Congress, scoop up millions of homes that were lost to the financial collapse, create the greatest income gap in modern history, and literally, rewrite our nation’s future by limiting opportunities for anyone who was not allowed to participate in that scheme.
But by identifying the people who silently sanctioned those crimes, it’s easy to see the theft would never have succeeded if the Democratic Party had simply done the right thing. By triangulating Democratic voters, Obama created a coalition of African Americans, Hispanics, Gay and Lesbians, and women’s rights activists – interested in promoting only their personal agendas – that prevented the American public from learning the truth. And the Internet hub of that corruption was the Daily Kos, where members of the OFA served as de facto, mob-style knee-cappers, and the site provided PR cover for the administration’s illegal activities, and the majority of the Democratic faithful who participated in the blog helped disburse the administration’s disinformation.
Traditional Democrats who tried to expose the corruption – much like the liberals who tried to gain access to Obama’s White House – were marginalized, and even ostracized from the site if their voices began to resonate.
If you haven’t read Matt Taibbi’s accounting of the TARP crimes, Secrets and Lies of the Bailout, then please do so; it’s eye opening, and you can find the article at this link: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/secret-and-lies-of-the-bailout...
And if you want to see a prime example of Wall Street corruption, then read Taibbi’s article, The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia. It illustrates how low bankers and traders will sink to steal anything they can get from the American public. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-scam-wall-street-learned-f...
At almost every level, Barack Obama’s policies, broken promises, and lies have corrupted the political process, essentially, thwarting the will of the American public. His administration is filled with corrupt Wall Street cronies and insiders, as was made evident by his response to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent attack on SEC head, Mary Jo White.
The Boston Globe:
Speaking from the White House briefing room, Earnest said the president believes the SEC chairwoman “shares his values and the priority that he has placed on promptly implementing Wall Street reform.” He also said that President Obama “does continue to believe that she is the right person for the job.”
In other words, he wants to ensure that no member of his administration actually holds his campaign contributors accountable for their crimes.
And of course, the financial industry’s response to Sen. Warren’s letter was predictable. Consider the title of this Business Insider article: Everyone thinks Elizabeth Warren went too far in a too-personal letter she wrote to the SEC chairwoman.
Each time, Warren has attempted to rein in corporate corruption, it has been met with the same accusation: she went too far. But if you compare that stance to the free-pass the Obama administration has given to the president’s corrupt campaign contributors, then you can understand why so many people in our nation are suffering.
And when you read Warren’s letter, it’s easy to understand how Obama’s and Clinton’s campaign contributors continue to escape accountability for their crimes, even when they confess to those illegal activities.
From Think Progress:
When other agencies have taken a tough line over financial lawbreaking, Warren writes, White has played the good cop, slipping the crooks a care package to limit the fallout from their misdeeds. The SEC grants a special status to certain large, long-tenured firms that allows them to speed up their work by reducing their regulatory compliance requirements. When a company on that list breaks the law, it’s supposed to lose its special privileges. Such companies can apply for a waiver to stay off the naughty list. White had indicated publicly that she wanted to toughen the agency’s approach to waiver requests in cases where they might “‘soften’ the impact of an enforcement action.”
But that’s exactly what the SEC decided to do when the Department of Justice forced several of the largest banks in the world to plead guilty to felony charges in May. Even though JP Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup, and Barclays all admitted to criminally rigging currency exchange rates at the expense of clients and other investors, White’s SEC decided to spare the four banks on the list from increased regulatory scrutiny going forward. Since the fines levied against the banks were far too small to meaningfully dent their bottom lines, the SEC waivers arguably gutted the most meaningfully punitive consequences the felonious banks would’ve faced.
One commissioner named Kara Stein blasted the White-led agency’s decision publicly. Stein called the banks recidivists who have requested and received numerous SEC waivers in recent years despite repeated instances of misconduct. Progressive activist group Credo has asked President Obama to appoint two more SEC commissioners who share Stein’s more aggressive mindset toward the job. White has reportedly clashed so much with Stein internally that the latter commissioner does not allow White’s chief of staff into her office.
Warren’s letter blasts White for going back on her “strong words” on waivers by granting more than half of the total requests she’s fielded, even in criminal cases. The agency had not granted a waiver in a criminal case since 2005 prior to White’s appointment, the letter says.
You can read the Think Progress article here: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2015/06/02/3665184/warren-blasts-sec-ch...
And here is a link to Warren’s letter; both are worth the read: http://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/2015-6-2_Warren_letter_to_S...
Investigative historian, Eric Zuesse, recently penned an article published at the Huffington Post, titled: “Is the Obama Administration the Most Corrupt in U.S. History?” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/is-the-obama-administrati_2_b_...
When you consider how much Obama’s policies have negatively impacted the quality of our nation’s future, and how much the TPP will degrade it even further, then I think the proper response begs another question: How can it not be the most corrupt administration in U.S. history?