Money Power Runs America - by Stephen Lendman
Monied interests run America.
Wall Street does it by controlling money, credit and debt, as well as manipulating markets for private enrichment. House and Senate millionaires do it their way for greater wealth, privilege, power and status.
New Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) figures show it. More on them below. New York Times writer Eric Lichtblau commented in his article headlined, "Economic Downturn Took a Detour at Capitol Hill," saying:
In 1991, Representative Ed Pastor (D. AR) entered Congress with around $100,000 in savings and as much debt owed banks. Now he's a millionaire, one of 250 in Congress.
"(A)nd the wealth gap between lawmakers and their constituents appears to be growing quickly" as austerity cuts harm most Americans needing help during harder than ever hard times.
Since 2008, they've lost jobs, homes, personal savings, and futures. At the same time, congressional members are richer than ever. Perhaps never "has the divide (been) so wide, or the public contrast so stark, between lawmakers and those they represent."
No wonder Gallop's year end poll showed Congress getting its lowest ever 11% approval rating. At the same time, growing numbers of Americans reject both parties for independent or unaffiliated status.
On November 14, the Atlantic Wire headlined, "How Members of Congress Get Rich Through 'Honest Graft,'" saying:
"A 60 Minutes report examined the ways members of Congress trade on inside, privileged information" to get rich. "Congresspeople are exempt from insider trading rules" so profit in ways others can't legally.
They do it through stock trades and privileged business deals. Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert earmarked funding for a federal highway project on land he owned. He later sold it for $2 million.
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi profited from eight IPOs, including some "that had business before her House." So have other congressional members, past and present.
Former Senator Bob Dole bought shares in Automatic Data Processing four days before GHW Bush signed legislation with new military data processing rules benefitting the company handsomely.
Former Speaker and Republican presidential aspirant Newt Gingrich bought Boeing stock just before he helped kill amendments to cut International Space Station funding. It helped Boeing secure a lucrative contract.
Numerous others in Congress profit the same way. Some hit the jackpot. In 2004, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis published a report showing Senate portfolios outperformed the market by about 12% annually. It didn't happen by chance.
A 2011 study showed House member investments exceed market performance by 6%. Do it annually and it adds up. For example, $100 invested at 6% for 40 years grows tenfold. At 12%, it's 80-fold.