Thursday, December 03, 2009

Bailouts And Your Typical Republican Corporate Shill


At the end of September, 2008, George Bush, a very lame duck president, demanded-- and then pleaded-- with his party to go along with Secretary of the Treasury Paulsen's bankster bailout bill (the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008). Bush and Paulsen failed and the bill was defeated in the House, 205-228, even though 65 Republicans, most of them heavily indebted to banking interests for financing their political careers, voted for the Bush-Paulsen bailout. Among the most heavily leveraged members of Congress to the finance sector, who voted for the bailout are rabid corporatists:

Spencer Bachus (R-AL- $4,030,924)
Melissa Bean (D-IL- $2,102,431)
Roy Blunt (R-MO- $2,997,255)
John Boehner (R-OH- $3,343,459)
Mary Bono-Mack (R-CA- $596,033)
Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK- $641,563)
Allen Boyd (Blue Dog- FL- $1,048,609)
Henry Brown (R-SC- $479,705)
Ken Calvert (R-CA- $878,856)
Dave Camp (R-MI- $1,461,583)
John Campbell (R-CA- $981,686)
Eric Cantor (R-VA- $3,640,035)
Mike Castle (R-DE- $2,596,612)
Tom Cole (R-OK- $628,226)
Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN- $1,296,793)
Joe Donnelly (Blue Dog-IN- $419,811)
David Dreier (R-CA- $2,197,788)
Jane Harman (Blue Dog-CA- $1,067,409)
Wally Herger (R-CA- $1,072,345)
Bob Inglis (R-SC- $506,821)
Peter King (R-NY- $1,467,678)
Mark Kirk (R-IL- $2,799,445)
John Kline (R-MN- $915,558)
Jerry Lewis (R-CA- $737,980)
Dan Lungren (R-CA- $590,217)
Jim Marshall (Blue Dog-GA- $801,914)
Buck McKeon (R-CA- $1,044,298)
Mike Rogers (R-AL- $952,183)
Mike Ross (Blue Dog-AR- $980,285)
Paul Ryan (R-WI- $1,704,095)
Pete Sessions (R-TX- $2,905,640)
Mark Souder (R-IN- $353,782)
Fred Upton (R-MI- $879,784)
Joe "Liar" Wilson (R-SC- $516,954)
Frank Wolf (R-VA- $1,068,313)

(Bolded names are congressmembers with big teabagger problems.)

Wall Street and the banksters went bonkers and pulled all Bush's strings and he and Paulsen easily got the monstrosity passed in the House of Lords and then went back to the House with a no less odious version of the bill that they had rejected a few days before. This time it passed 263-171 with not 65, but 91 Republicans joining in. Among Bush's new recruits:

Gresham Barrett (R-SC- $807,723)
Judy Biggert (R-IL- $1,675,717)
Charlie Dent (R-PA- $760,872)
Mary Fallin (R-OK- $336,576)
Jim Gerlach (R-PA- $1,670,352)
Pete Hoekstra (R-MI- $295,830)
Gary Miller (R-CA- $807,688)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL- $928,068)
Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH- $458,449)
John Shadegg (R-AZ- $1,218,261)
Lee Terry (R-NE- $1,246,007)
Patrick Tiberi (R-OH- $2,438,284)

These votes should be a big problem when these members of Congress come up before the teabagger purity board to take their purity pledge (even if teabagger queen Sarah Palin wouldn't pass this part of the test herself). Among the Republican senators who went along with this-- a majority, 34, voting for it-- are several who are in trouble with teabaggers back home as they come up for re-election next year:

Bob Bennett (R-UT- $2,294,467)
Richard Burr (R-NC- $2,730,319)
Tom Coburn (R-OK- $1,056,422)
Chuck Grassley (R-IA- $2,503,580)
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX- $4,686,688)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA- $3,682,574)
John McCain (R-AZ- $33,422,021)
Arlen Specter (R-PA- $6,360,585)

With banksters all over the world still threatening "retribution" if they are denied their oversized, taxpayer-subsidized bonuses, the bailouts-- as opposed to, say, legitimate jobs programs and homeowner mortgage amelioration-- is supremely unpopular. It will be interesting to see if Republican voters will hold duplicitous congressmen accountable. Take a self-proclaimed-- if screamingly hypocritical-- deficit hawk like Paul Ryan, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee and a member of the Ways and Means Committee. He's a spokesperson for fiscal austerity-- though he never said "boo" while Bush was in the White House. On the other hand, he's taken more money from the banksters than any other politician in the history of Wisconsin politics and he voted for the bank bailout not once, but twice. In fact, Ryan was one of the hypocrites exposed in Michael Moore's newest film, Capitalism: A Love Story:
In a section of the critically acclaimed examination of how Wall Street insiders diverted hundreds of billions of tax dollars into their accounts, Moore illustrates how the bailout happened. Democratic and Republican members of Congress who do the bidding of the bankers scared their colleagues and the American people into approving a massive bailout of the speculators whose misdeeds created the financial meltdown that shocked the nation in September 2008.

Ryan, the Republican congressman from southeast Wisconsin's hard-pressed 1st District, is shown playing the fear card by telling the House that it had to steer almost $800 million BILLION to Wall Street's sleaziest players.

"If we fail to do the right thing, heaven help us-- if we fail to pass this I fear the worst is yet to come," claimed Ryan.

The statement from the Wisconsin Republican who has positioned himself as a budget specialist in the House played a significant role in securing support for a bailout bill that had not been adequately analyzed and that included few protections against fraud.

Had Ryan used his reputation and his role on key committees to aggressively oppose the bailout, he might have blocked the rush to judgment that economists now say could end up costing American taxpayers trillions of dollars - and a big chunk of their country's future.

Instead, the GOP establishment's favored point man on fiscal issues claimed-- without benefit of facts, figures or any grounding in economic reality-- that a failure to give the bankers everything they were asking for could bring on a depression.

"This is a Herbert Hoover moment," Ryan told the House, as he reached a fear-mongering crescendo. "(Hoover) made mistakes during the Great Depression-- let's not make those mistakes."
It was a virtuoso performance. Moore was right to highlight it.

The filmmaker has given Wisconsin taxpayers a dramatic illustration of how it came to pass that we are bailing out bankers and billionaires at the same time that auto plants are closing in cities such as Janesville and Kenosha-- both of which are in the 1st District. More importantly, Moore has reminded the voters of southeastern Wisconsin how key members of Congress such as Paul Ryan determined to take care of the speculators on Wall Street rather than working families on Main Street.

Ryan was overjoyed to bail out his bankster/paymasters on Wall Street ($1,704,095) but when it came to bailing out their victims who, through no fault of their own, were swamped with screwed up mortgages, he changed his tune... drastically. Ryan always stands up for corporations and never stands up for working families.

UPDATE: DCCC Nails Paul Ryan

It's rarer and rarer that the DCCC and I see eye to eye. But they sure hit it out of the ballpark this morning when they finally took on Paul Ryan. "Up to 1.6 Million Americans Would Be Unemployed If Representative Ryan Had His Way" blares the headline of a press release that went out to all the media outlets in southeastern Wisconsin.
Today, the White House is holding a Jobs Summit with some of the leading voices in the public and private sector to further confront the challenges our workers and firms face, and explore creative, cost-effective solutions. The Summit comes just days after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report showing that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, opposed by Representative Paul Ryan, is resulting in as many as 1.6 million jobs for the U. S. economy.
“Given the overwhelming evidence that the Recovery package is working, Representative Paul Ryan needs to answer for the fact that if he had his way up to 1.6 million more Americans would be out of work today,” said Ryan Rudominer, National Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It’s long past time for Representative Ryan to put Main Street before Wall Street and start working across party lines to put Americans back to work.”

"Past time" is putting it mildly-- especially when you consider Ryan's role in helping decimate WI-01's manufacturing base!

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At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Paulette Garin said...

Excellent post, Howie! Right on target.

At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete Hoekstra is just letting everyone know who's side he's on if he wins the Republican primary to run for Governor in Michigan.

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