Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Speaks The Uncomfortable Truth About What Our Government Has Become

It was supposedly just another continuing resolution to keep the government operating while Congress tries the to perform the most important task entrusted to the Congress under the Constitution, which it has proven itself repeatedly incapable of doing: adopting a federal budget. Like other continuing resolutions, this one had a bunch of spare parts known as riders, which lobbyists are paid big bucks to coax lawmakers into attaching to continuing resolutions without much public debate, and for which members of Congress are rewarded with handsome campaign contributions.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rose to the occasion, unlike most of her colleagues in the House and Senate, and called out one of the worst of these riders for what it was. One particularly offensive rider inserted into the legislation by CitiGroup's lobbyists guts the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was enacted by Congress following the 2008 financial meltdown and resulting large bank bailouts. There were many bad riders, although this one said the most about everything that is wrong with Congress today.

The CitiGroup rider essentially allows banks to gamble on risky derivatives inside their taxpayer-insured depository institutions, thereby increasing the risk of future bank failures that taxpayers will be forced to bailout. CitiGroup, as Sen. Warren pointed out in her floor opposing the continuing resolution, received a half trillion dollars in bailout funds from the federal government following the 2008 financial meltdown. Warren called out the clout CitiGroup has at Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the White House because of all of the current and former high-level government employees who have or are currently working for CitiGroup.

Proving what a tool for Washington lobbyists he's become, Sen. Lindsay "Missy" Graham (R-SC) went to the Senate floor to chastise Warren's speech against the bill. "If you follow the lead of the senator of Massachusetts … people are not going to believe you are mature enough to run the place," Graham said. "Don’t follow her lead. She’s the problem." In other words, the American people are the problem, not the Washington lobbyists and the members of Congress like him who are beholden to them instead of their constituents.

Unfortunately, the Senate followed the House in approving this horrible legislation on a 56-40 vote. Both of Indiana's senators, Dan Coats (R) and Joe Donnelly (D), voted with the Wall Street bankers who obviously are more important to them than their Hoosier constituents. All but three of Indiana's representatives voted for the continuing resolution, which passed the House narrowly on a 219-206 vote. The three no votes included Andre Carson (D), Marlin Stutzman (R) and Pete Visclosky (D).

There were other bad riders in this bill to be sure. As seemingly a quick payoff for the Wall Street gift, Congress has raised the limits on what individuals can contribute to political party committees from $97,000 to as much as $777,000. Trustees of private pension plans will be permitted to cut benefits to people who have already retired. Trucking companies will be allowed to let their drivers work up to 82-hour work weeks, which will most assuredly make our highways less safe to drive. Pell grants to students are being cut so more money can be given to student loan contractors who have already caused a great deal of harm to student borrowers. Indiana-based Anthem will save tens of millions of dollars under a provision that will allow it to count "quality improvement" measures toward their mandatory health spending requirements under the Affordable Care Act. It also allows the government to continue providing aid to Egypt's military-run government. None of the riders benefit average Americans, which proves just how meaningless you are to your members of Congress.


Anonymous said...

Donnelly has become what Bayh was.
Says one thing when he's back in Indiana and campaigning that he's consumer orented and has 'Hoosier' values but then he wimps out in favor of big business in his actual votes.

Anonymous said...

Did Donnelly "become" another Evan Bayh or is that what the current lackluster Indiana Democrat senator was to begin with? I offer that the answer is more of the former than the latter.

Very sad when the extremist socialist Marxist Democrat Elizabeth Warren- who never knew a lie about race and familial background she didn't like- makes a point about what our politicians have wrought.

Warren is no friend of our former constitutional republic... but hardly are most of the "mainstream" politicians...

Gary R. Welsh said...

Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, all mentioned as being potential Republican presidential candidates, joined Warren in voting no. Warren appears to be the only viable alternative to Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side in 2016.

Anonymous said...

I do not at all care for Elizabeth Warren- her inherent dishonesty and her Marxist belief system- but I concur that Warren will run circles around Hillary Rodham Clinton who is little more than an angry old crone with not a credible accomplishment to her name. HRC does nothing but coast on her husband's coat tails and has little to offer but the same old failed divisive issues of lib race and gender politics. What is ironic is that both women are liberal leftists... both are elitists - but it is Warren on the ascendency for the socialist Democrat party.

Pete Boggs said...

By increasing number, voters know their right of free speech (vote) is being violated by the elected.

Considering the elected have no right to ignore their employer, the people; history suggests that we appear to be on revolutionary ground.

Anonymous said...

Another rider prevents the District of Columbia from legalizing marijuana even though the people of DC, and not just the politicians who live there, approved it in a referendum.

Flogger said...

I have been following Elizabeth Warren for some time. She is one of a very few Elected Officials who has pulled back the curtain on the what at this point seems to be over powering influence of Wall Street. Crony-Capitalism has rarely been this exposed.

Warren has been identified as target on the Crony-Capitalist Threat Board. So we get the Mega-Media pushing Hillary Clinton.

Roll back to 2007-08 and Americans were justified in their anger at Bailouts and the never ending wars in the Middle East.

Obama has been a gear in the Wall Street-Security-Military-Industrial Machine. Since Obama took office we had, Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail. There was the removal of the Single Payer system from consideration in the Health Care Debate. The recent revelations of the Criminal Activity of the CIA and the near silence of Obama on the issue is what you would expect.

Thus, it is not difficult to see the relationship between Crony-Capitalism Washington and Indiana and Indianapolis. Further as has been pointed some connected people will receive their immunization shot against Criminal Prosecution.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps America needs to try some good Western European socialism.

The current system sucks.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:21 exhibits part of the problem with the contemporary undereducated American public...
The reason "the current system sucks" is for the reason America actually HAS a system very close to European socialism.

Enlightened Americans fully understand that over the decades liberal Democrats aided and abetted by RINO Establishment Republicans enacted legislation and allowed bureaucrats to write regulations which in effect "Europeanized" the United States and took the US away from the common sense of its constitutional republic underpinnings. Our Founders had a new idea.... personal responsibility, opportunity through entrepreneurial work, and freedom from an intrusive, all powerful centralized government- a place to be who you wanted to be through your own hard work. Liberals have only old ideas...old ideas long ago discredited by history itself. Socialism is actually social control of the "masses" and money control for the wealthy; socialism keeps "the little guy" in his place so that those who are wealthy and powerful may retain that power and wealth.
The reason the US economy is failing is exactly because of the socialistic and fascistic mindset supported by the transnational corporations and our Wall Street financiers who own people like Barak Obama.

Anyone who believes they are freer or would be more successful under socialism has never lived under socialism.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure. All the countries with the highest standard of living and lowest unemployment rate are proud socialist countries.

They're also clean, healthy and have long lifespans.

America offers us military, wars, lockdowns and police who can kill you at will.

I'll take Socialism over Fascism.

Marycatherine Barton said...

How much better off would the American people be if Warren Harding were the president, not Barack Obama.