Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Republicans Are Wall Street is a..Myth??

How did Republicans get saddled with Wall Street? Obama just got the biggest campaign haul from Wall Street in world history, and Republicans still can't shake the public perception that they are tied at the hip to Wall Street bankers who hate them.

It's as if National Rifle Association members conspired with Republicans to bankrupt the country and everyone blamed the Democrats for being shills of the NRA.

Maybe if the financial capital of the nation were located in Salt Lake City, rather than Manhattan, the financial community would support Republicans. But Wall Street is a street located in New York City.

No one in the top echelons of the financial industry who has a weekend place in the Hamptons is a Republican.

No, there is one. Teddy Forstmann. He has to throw his own parties and fly guests in. Otherwise, if they want to go to any half-decent parties, bankers must be Democrats. At their income bracket, multimillionaires will trade a little extra tax money for good cocktail parties.

Even the "Republicans" on Wall Street don't care about national defense or social issues. They just want to trade with China and hire illegal aliens.

Last September, The New York Times reported that individuals associated with the securities and investment industry had given $9.9 million to the Obama campaign, $7.4 million to the Hillary Clinton campaign and only $6.9 million to the McCain campaign. Either they're all Democrats or some commodity named "hope" was going through the roof last year.

Employees of Lehman Bros. alone gave Obama $370,000, compared to about $117,000 to McCain. (No wonder Bush let them go under.)

According to an analysis of Federal Election Commission records by the Center for Responsive Politics, the top three corporate employers of donors to Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Rahm Emanuel were Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and JPMorgan. Six other financial giants were in the top 30 donors to the White House Dream Team: UBS AG, Lehman Bros., Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse Group.

Since 1998, the financial sector has given a total of $37.6 million to Obama, compared to $32.1 million to McCain. But Obama ran for his first national office only in 2004. So McCain got less from the financial industry in a decade that included two runs for president than Obama did in four years.

As we've seen in recent weeks, Wall Street gets what it pays for. Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd included language in the stimulus bill allowing executives of the bailed-out banks to collect million-dollar bonuses.

And yet the Democrats' endless favors for their Wall Street friends never sticks to them because everyone treats Democrats' shilling for their own contributors as if it's a Nixon-goes-to-China moment.

On the March 23 edition of MSNBC's "Hardball," The Nation's David Corn said: "Remember -- What was it? A year or two back when there was talk about taxing hedge fund managers at the rate that the rest of us pay? Who intervened in that? Chuck Schumer."

But Corn then quickly added that this "got a lot of Democrats really mad. Here was a Democrat, you know, getting in the way of a populist issue at a time when the economy was already heading in the wrong direction."

Which Democrats got "really mad"? Chris Dodd? George Soros? Warren Buffett? Jon Corzine? Tim Geithner? Roger Altman? Bob Rubin? Jamie Dimon? Lloyd Blankfein?

Corn's formulation was wonderfully subtle: Admit that a Democrat preserved a sweetheart deal for hedge fund managers -- but then claim that his fellow Democrats were furious with him.

People are more likely to believe something if they think they came to it themselves. Hearing a liberal muse on TV that it was an aberration for Chuck Schumer to intervene to protect hedge fund managers -- risking the wrath of other Democrats -- the average person thinks: So Democrats must be the party of the people. I always thought George Soros was a Democrat, but he must be a Republican.

Democrats take care of the financial industry -- and the financial industry takes care of Democrats. After honing his financial skills as the bagman for Bill Clinton's White House, Rahm Emanuel was hired by the investment bank Wasserstein Perella, where he worked for 2 1/2 years.

For that, Emanuel was paid more than $18 million. (Maybe Rahm Emanuel was the Democrat livid at Schumer for preserving a sweet tax deal for hedge fund managers!)

Democrats have a beautiful system: They're showered with Wall Street money, but they also get to pillory Republicans for being the party of "Wall Street." The bankers don't care if Democrats attack them. They still get their bailout money.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent post.

scotterb said...

The real situation is that Wall Street and the elite are BOTH Republican and Democrat. When Democrats are ascendant, they get most of the Wall Street support and money. While the GOP was dominant, Wall Street leaned their way. The GOP and the Democrats are not that much different than each other, they are both connected with "big money" and each party plays a game of distraction by pointing fingers at the other party. At the very top, the difference between a Democrat and a Republican is very slight.

Mookie said...

Scott-
You're right, these days, there isn't much difference between the parties, despite all their political posturing. If either party was really effective at finding solutions to our "problems", surely we wouldn't be arguing in the halls of congress over the same stuff decade after decade, while letting real problems get so bad, we find ourselves in dire straits.

While the conservatives dominate the radio waves for the most part, when it comes to disseminating the message to the general population, the liberals have a much broader and more effective marketing campaign.

americanelephant said...

Great post.

I loved how Democrats excoriated hedge fund managers...but it is the hedge fund managers who are most likely to lean Democrat. John Edwrds is a hedge fund manager. Chelsey Clinton works for a hedge fund.

But Republicans are most associated with Wall Street because people, rightly for the most part, associate Republicans with free market principles. But Wall Street isn't a free market. It is, and has been for a very long time, highly regulated. Much of it good and necessary regulation, some of it bad, counterproductive and destructive.

The more government meddles in the marketplace, the more they pick winners and losers instead of letting success and failure in the marketplace decide, then the more corruption will exist in the market.

When government picks winners and losers, as Democrats are now by deciding "green" technology will win and others will lose, by bailing out this industry, while letting that one fail, then that means greasing the right palms to make sure government picks you as a winner.

When the marketplace (the people) picks winners and losers, as it should, that means providing products and services that people want better than your competitors is what determines who wins and who loses.

Democrats have been increasingly using the courts, and congress to pick winners and losers for some time now. Now that they control congress and the White House the practice is in hyper-drive. The markets will become even more corrupt as a result.

Companies now have to compete, NOT by providing goods and services that people want at a price they are willing to pay, but by making sure to get on Democrats good side.

For example, the American people want to buy incandescent light bulbs and they have rejected the compact florescents. They simply haven't been selling despite the relentless preaching everyone has heard about them in the media.

But light bulb companies WANT to get people to buy compact florescents anyway, not because they are good for the environment (they actually contain mercury and must be disposed of like hazardous waste) but because regular light bulbs are so cheap that the light bulb companies will make a much higher profit margin on the compact florescents.

Democrats passed, a law in 2007 that will ban all regular incandescent light bulbs within a few years. And unfortunately Bush signed it because it was part of some larger bill. And guess who wrote the bill? Philips, GE and other light bulb companies.

The more power government has to interfere in the market place in this fashion, the more corrupt and the more Democrat Wall St will become.