Thursday, November 10, 2011

Clinton And Gingrich Now Say It Was A Mistake To Help Wall Street End Glass-Steagall


Wall Street made it clear to the political class they would pay-- and pay big-- to get out from under the restrictions of Glass-Steagall. They tried all during the Reagan and the Bush I years but it wasn't 'til the right had the disgraced Bill Clinton by the balls that they were able to get what they wanted. Conservative Democrat turned reactionary Republican, Texas Senator Phil Gramm, one of the most corrupt Members of Congress in the entire 20th Century, teamed up with conservative Republicans Jim Leach (IA) and Tom Bliley (VA) to help Wall Street game the system in such a way that they could be sure to drain immense wealth from the middle class.

Although the bill passed the Senate 54-44, with only one Democratic vote-- ultra conservative corporate shill Ernest Hollings (SC)-- 2 months later it passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, 343-86. During the debate, one of the Democrats voting NO, John Dingell (MI) warned that if it passed the Wall Street-controlled banks would become "too big to fail" and that it would only be a matter of time before taxpayers would be bailing out predatory banksters. [Speaking of predatory banksters, as soon as Gramm-- whose wife Wendy was on the Board of Directors of Enron but never went to prison-- delivered the legislation, he left the Senate and... became a bankster, of course. Right now he's the Vice Chairman of UBS's investment bank.]

With Clinton, who signed the bill, and Gingrich, who supported the bill as Speaker-- but had been driven from office in a series of sordid scandals a few months before the vote-- now admitting what a mistake they had made, let's take a look at some of the key players from 1999 and see where they are today. Like Gramm, Harold Ford (D-TN), a big supporter, now works as a bankster himself and Wall Street tv shill. I'm not sure where Rob Blagojevich (D-IL) is now-- in prison?--but he voted for the bill, as did Tom DeLay (R-TX), who has also been sentenced to prison but has managed to avoid serving any time. Two other big boosters, Duke Cunningham (R-CA), who is in prison, and Bob Ney (R-OH), who served some time and is out now, are unlikely to ever run for office again. Dick Armey (R-TX) was a key player in passing the bill and he's getting a fat paycheck from the Koch brothers today to run the Tea Party for them. Congressmen who voted yes and then found themselves the recipients of huge amounts of Wall Street money to finance their career jumps to the Senate include these egregiously corrupt senators:
Roy Blunt (R-MO)- $4,812,944
Richard Burr (R-NC)- $3,874,328
Susan Collins (R-ME)- $2,431,440
Jim DeMint (R-SC)- $2,895,397
Lindsay Graham (R-SC)- $2,235,575
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)- $4,792,431
Robert Menendez (D-NJ)- $5,222,119
Rob Portman (R-OH)- $3,966,426
Jim Talent (R-MO), defeated after one term- $3,515,804
John Thune (R-SC)- $4,650,253
Pat Toomey (R-PA)- $3,036,265
David Vitter (R-LA)- $2,866,054
Roger Wicker (R-MS)- $1,592,269

Other boosters of killing Glass Steagall who went on to political grandeur include Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, John Boehner (R-OH), now Speaker of the House, Nathan Deal (R-GA), now Governor of Georgia, Denny Hastert (R-IL), former Speaker of the House, Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the # Democrat in the Democratic House leadership, John Kasich (R-OH), current Governor of Ohio, Buck McKeon (R-CA), Chairman of House Armed Services Committee, Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, Joe Scarborough (R-FL), current TV right-wing talk show host, Chris Shays (R-CT), current candidate for the Senate, Fred Upton (R-MI), current Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and a Member of the SuperCommittee.

So who voted NO, in the House? Nancy Pelosi didn't vote. Among the no-votes were Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), a candidate for Senate now, Sherrod Brown (D-OH), now a senator, Tom Coburn (R-OK), now a senator, John Conyers (D-MI), Barney Frank (D-MA), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Ray LaHood (R-IL), now the Secretary of Transportation, Barbara Lee (D-CA), John Lewis (R-GA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Ron Paul (R-TX), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), now a senator, Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA).

Compare the lists. One is mostly bad guys who support the 1% and the other is mostly good guys who try to protect the 99% against the predators from within the 1%. Shame voters don't pay attention to history, isn't it? Brad Miller, a senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee-- and one of Congress' staunchest supporters of ordinary working families-- does pay attention to history. Brad is one of the most consistently thoughtful Members of the House. I called him this morning because his primary opponent-- Rep. David Price-- often votes with the Republicans on matters of interest to the 1% and, predictably, Price voted for deregulation and to end Glass-Steagall. Brad wasn't in Congress at the time but everything about his record supports his claim that he would have voted against Gramm-Leach-Bliley. This is what he had to say about it today:
"All the serious, sophisticated people back in the nineties said that Glass-Steagall was an anachronism, that everything then was completely different from the 1920s, and only the populist rabble thought we still needed to separate investment and commercial banking. Score another one for the populist rabble. Repealing Glass-Steagall and the other financial deregulation votes in the nineties obviously was largely responsible for the financial crisis and the enormous shift of wealth from working and middle-class families to the financial sector."

So that's why Alan Grayson endorsed him-- and why Blue America did as well. We need more men and women in Congress like Brad Miller-- and fewer who just go along to get along and do whatever Steny Hoyer tells them to.

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At 3:18 PM, Anonymous CIA Jon said...

Clinton already admitted he was wrong

Now Gingrich admits it?
Took him long enough

At 6:32 PM, Blogger Rick said...

John Thune is R-SD (South Dakota). He defeated Majority leader Tom Daschle in 2004. It was the most expensive campaign in SoDak history: $30 million spent.

At 7:51 PM, Anonymous me said...

Clinton And Gingrich Now Say It Was A Mistake To Help Wall Street End Glass-Steagall

We told those cocksuckers that at the time. They didn't care what we thought.

Why isn't Phil Gramm in prison?

At 7:56 PM, Anonymous me said...

Shame voters don't pay attention to history, isn't it?

Voters are not exactly known for their intelligence.

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." - Winston Churchill

At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Shame voters don't pay attention to history, isn't it?"

Voters don't know history, they need the Big Picture explained to them, clearly, in common terms, as you've done beautifully here.

There used to be a way to explain the real story to people, called the mass media, but unfortunately it's also now too compromised to do its job.

P.S. What a loathsome clown Bill Clinton is to only recently say, oh gee, oops.

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous isaac said...

Goes back to the old saying that before you tear down a fence, understand why it was built in the first place.

Of course, these jokers knew why Glass-Steagall had been put in place. But it got in the way of the wrong people making too much money so it had to go.

And Clinton sure earned his wings as a Republican president with that one. And with NAFTA, and "welfare reform"... etc.

At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a deal! Pentagon Budget.
Andy Pasztor "When The Pentagon Was For Sale" warns us the more they spend the more Fraud.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Marc McDonald said...

Good article.

I've repeatedly tried explaining this to the Rush crowd (which is much of the population here in Texas) and I can tell I'm not getting through the Cone of Silence. (God knows why I even bother).

Mention the 2008 Great Economic Crash to these people and they robotically start regurgitating what they heard on right-wing talk radio (that it's "all the fault of Democrat programs like Freddie and Fannie").

And it's not just the Rush-lobotomy crowd that spews this horseshit. Recently, I was shocked to hear the supposedly "moderate" Michael Bloomberg spew similar nonsense in a press conference.

The worst part of this whole Glass-Steagall-repeal disaster is that the word is simply not getting out to tens of millions of people, thanks to the Great GOP Noise Machine. As a result, it's doubtful that we as a nation will learn anything from this crisis.

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Ruth-Ann said...

Finally, someone is actually telling it like it really is and was.

To the commentor from Texas: I live in a part of California where I swear everyone has their head buried (or at least, their brain) buried in rush's ass. It is very disheartening that so many so-called intelligent human beings actually believe the shit that he spews. Disgusting.

All I can say is thank you very much all of you who decimated the Glass-Steagall act. What a bunch of idiots!

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Peter John said...

When it comes to the rights to steal the public's money Wall Street is relentless. Right after the 2008 crash Wall Street started lobbying Congress to deregulate. Look at the Republican Debates, all of the candidates are for more deregulation of Wall Street.

At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After listening to the right wing "clap trap" emanating from the "rush" crowd I'm reminded of the line from "The Boxer" ..Simon & Grafunkle,, 1969.. "man believes what he wants to believe and disregards the rest. Some people want to believe poor people caused the econimic collapse and, as it fits their ideoilogy they will defend it to the death... sick, but true...

At 2:31 PM, Blogger Marc McDonald said...

In response to the last anonymous commenter who wrote, "Oh, yeah....Obamaa hasn,t created any jobs with all his spending...":

"A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimates that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased the number of people employed by between 1.0 million and 2.9 million jobs as of June."

I will give you wingnuts credit for one thing, though. By repeated the mantra "Obama's Stimulus was a failure" over and over, they have managed to convince a lot of people, including many in the MSM, that it was a "failure."

At 4:06 AM, Blogger Obwon said...

Of course they knew what they were doing. It's all about short term personal gains -- Horse trading-- and to hell with the needs of their nation.
Didn't they defeat the Constitution they swore to uphold for Bush? So, how do we expect Obama to suddenly make Congress into a group of Statesmen/woman? We have to keep throwing out those who don't qualify as statesmen and to do that we need a recall power. Until we get it we're just along for the ride.


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