It's a quid pro quo. Only the most gullible rube ready to buy swampland in Florida could think otherwise. The citizen's watchdog MAPlight.org found that congressmen who voted for TARP, the "Troubled Assets Relief Program," received nearly 50 percent more in campaign contributions from the financial services industry (an average of about $149,000) than congressmen who voted no.
And House Energy and Commerce Committee members who voted yes on an amendment in 2009 favored by the forest products industry, to allow heavier cutting of trees, received an average of $25,745 from the forestry and paper products industry. This was ten times more than each member voting no. The pattern repeats itself over and over, ditto for why wars go on when polls show most of the population is against them.
TARP is the most well-known, but by no means the only or even the largest according to projections, of the government bailout programs which are projected to cost around $50,000 for every man, woman, and child in America, on top of normal taxes. The costs are borne in systemic and most times intangible ways. Bridges don't get maintained by states. Schools don't get repaired. College loan and grant amounts are capped at a lower level. A soldier doesn't get the psychiatric help he is begging for after he gets cuts loose from the Army, it being cheaper to prescribe a handful of meds and send him home.
The cost are intangible, that is, until a bridge collapses. A potential academic star decides he or she can't afford the first choice college. Until another soldier blows his brains out.
David DeGraw, the intellectual founder of OWS and author of "The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States," asserts:
Current statistical societal indicators clearly demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched and an analysis of current governmental policies prove that conditions for 99% of Americans will continue to deteriorate. The Economic Elite have engineered a financial coup and have brought war to our doorstep" and make no mistake, they have launched a war to eliminate the US middle class."
The roughly $50,000 per every man, woman, and child figure is according to Neil Barofsky, former special inspector general for the government's financial bailout programs, whom Glenn Greenwald called "easily...one of the most impressive and courageous political officials in Washington."
A series of bailouts, bank rescues and other economic lifelines could end up costing the federal government as much as $23 trillion, the U.S. government's watchdog over the effort says -- a staggering amount that is nearly double the nation's entire economic output for a year.
$23 trillion is more than the total cost of all the wars the United States has ever fought, put together. World War II, for example, cost $4.1 trillion in 2008 dollars, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Despite all efforts to contort Occupy Wall Street into a mob of malcontent losers of the economic race, looking to take what is not theirs, OWS persists in educating the American public that they are the ones getting stolen from. As one sign at a protest said, "They only call it class war when you fight back."
Now Occupy DC has scored a bulls-eye with its descent on Congress yesterday and its unmistakable message: Get the money out of politics. Because as long as money drives politics, no other change is possible.
Reuters said yesterday:
"Demonstrators from the Occupy movement rallied at the Capitol and congressional office buildings on Tuesday to protest against the influence of money on lawmakers....Occupy protesters from around the country who gathered on the Capitol's rain-soaked lawn carried signs saying, "Face it liberals, the Dems sold us out," "Congress for sale" and "Banksters of America.""
And the NZ Herald reported in "Occupy protesters storm Washington DC":