We've already made our choice for the best headline of the year, so far: "Citigroup Replaces JPMorgan as White House Chief of Staff." When we saw it on the website Gawker.com we had to smile" but the smile didn't last long. There's simply too much truth in that headline; it says a lot about how Wall Street and Washington have colluded to create the winner-take-all economy that rewards the very few at the expense of everyone else.
Mitt Romney is casting the 2012 campaign as "free enterprise on trial" - defining free enterprise as achieving success through hard work and risking-taking. Tea Party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina says he s supporting Romney because "we really need someone who understands how risk, taking risk" is the way we create jobs, create choices, expand freedom." Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donahue, defending Romney, explains "this economy is about risk. If you don t take risk, you can't have success."
A Pew study released this week shows that the growing number of religious advocacy groups in Washington spent nearly $400 million last year to influence public policy. The groups are ideologically diverse, but data collected by Pew shows that conservative groups tend to have the biggest budgets:
The biggest fear that politicians and regulators have when a bank nears death is the possibility of contagion that the collapse will spook investors, depositors, and the public in general, causing a run on other banks. So the initial knee-jerk reaction by the authorities is to prevent the fall. Of course, not every failing lender is saved. Small banks around the world get taken over by authorities and wound down all the time; the FDIC in the United States has been seizing one or two every week since the crisis started.
A few weeks ago, as the Occupy Wall Street protests were first spreading, something amazing happened: For 10 whole seconds, the local reporter on my TV screen actually talked about the realities of the recession. He even uttered the phrase "economic inequality."
In a column written just a few years before his death, Buckley condemned what he called the institutional embarrassments of capitalism, CEOs whose enormous compensation packages defy the gravitational pull of poor stock performance. Buckley was no egalitarian, and he drew a contrast between the "executive plunder" reaped by certain CEOs and the allowances that may be made for the likes of a Thomas Edison. Were such a person alive today, he said, "it would be unwise to cavil at any arrangement whatever made by a company seeking his services exclusively."
George W. Bush 8 month's after his election passed a sweeping tax cuts to a group he called "The haves and the have-mores" or his base . Given current hysteria over what a recent Washington Post article called the runaway national debt, it requires an act of historical memory to recall that the Bush administration rationalized reducing taxes on inherited wealth because paying down the debt too soon might roil financial markets.