“Congress’s Regulatory Deception!”

Efforts to protect consumers are a deception!

Members of the Senate, under the guise of protecting the American people, are deceiving us into believing they have our best interests at heart. But that’s an untruth which elected officials have elevated to a fine art.

Everyone, including Senators and Representatives, realizes that the financial system in the United States needs reforming and that involves re-regulating all aspects of financial activities.

Our politicians understand the need for regulation because it was they that unleashed the predatory beast that is killing us, through a series of legislative deregulations; the ‘real’ cause of the financial meltdown and the extreme pain currently felt on Main Street.

After 30 years of stripping away most of the regulations that protected hard-working Americans from the ills of a predatory society we find ourselves in a political and financial morass.

Yet they are reluctant to help hard-working Americans fight the predatory practices of the Big Banks and other financial services institutions, and the health and pharmaceutical giants.

Proposed legislation is only a partial fix to a multitude of problems. It doesn’t seem like Senators really want to fix the financial problems consumers face.

The important question is why? Why the reluctance to help their constituents, the American people?

Why introduce weak legislation that does too little or works too slow to actually provide any immediate help for consumers?

It should be obvious to even the casual political observer. Members of Congress are bought and sold by corporations and their lobbyists! Though some still care and fight for their constituents and the American people, a vast majority only care about getting reelected.

Members of Congress appear to be intelligent people. People who should know the difference between right and wrong, between fair and unfair, between predators and victims.

Since corporations provide the bulk of Senators and Representatives’ campaign funds it is in their best interests to work with those that brung ’um to the dance, even if it means voting against the health and well being of the people they are elected to represent.

The biggest examples of this are the recent fights over financial protections and the healthcare bill.

With regard to financial reform, it is not hard to figure out who is responsible for this terrible financial crisis. Congress and some poor administrations are responsible as are corporations and executives of these huge predatory organizations.

Focusing on Congress, a little forensic digging will provide us with a clearer picture of who was responsible for what has become a complicated mess.

Though these crises began back when Ronald Reagan was president we will only go back to 1992 to unravel the steps that have dismantled our financial system and destroyed the American middle-class.

The biggest culprit in the financial crisis is Congress. No matter what your elected official tells you, they are the cause of most Americans’ financial problems today.

It would be remiss to deny that individual responsibility and personal avarice had nothing to do with adding to our current financial problems.

Irresponsible and poorly educated individuals were, in part, responsible for the declining economy and the subsequent crash. Consumers either lacked an understanding of even the simplest principles of economics or believed they were putting one over on the system. Eventually the system bites these people on the ass. And those individuals are paying for their irresponsibility. But those that caused the global financial meltdown have paid nothing for their irresponsibility, nor have the members of Congress.

Despite the actions of some individuals, the bulk of the responsibility for the economic failures can be traced to Congress and their senseless unleashing of corporate predators to feed on hard-working American people.

Many of our elected officials would like everyone to believe that Freddie and Fannie caused the worst financial crisis since ‘The Great Depression,’ and thus far their campaign to misdirect the people’s anger from their irresponsible governance has worked. Let’s not forget, they’re responsible for the irresponsibility of Freddie and Fannie as well.

After incessant finger-pointing, redirecting the public’s attention to the ‘real’ causes becomes almost impossible. But we can try.

The two most egregious mistakes Congress made were voting for the Gramm/Leach/Bliley Act (banking) and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (bankruptcies).

Representative Ed Royce, California’s 40th District, is an example of those doing everything they can to divert attention from their complicity in the financial crises. He constantly blames Freddie and Fannie, and irresponsible home buyers, diverting attention from the fact that he voted for two of the  most destructive financial bills in the last decade. And, he voted for three additional bills that have destroyed the middle-class while lining the pockets of his corporate partners in crime.

No matter how many Op-Ed’s and how many articles Representative Royce writes in his newsletters, he misrepresented all of his constituents when he voted for the Gramm/Leach/Bliley Bill in 1999 which caused the banking crisis. He then voted for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act in 2000 that caused the largest bankruptcies in our history: the collapse of Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, and a multitude of other big corporations.

Why would Ed Royce vote for bills as destructive as these? Bills that destroyed our economy!

For the same reason that 342 other Representatives and 90 Senators voted for the Gramm Bill. Campaign contributions from the same big corporations.

Corporate lobbyists pressure our congressional representatives to vote favorably for their industries, many times against the best interests of the voters in their districts. Like Ed Royce, they take hundreds of thousands of dollars from Special Interests and then vote in favor of their corporate contributors on bills despite the potential negative affect it might have on their constituents.

How many thousands are the politicians taking?

It adds up to millions, depending how long the member is in Congress. Using Ed Royce as an example: The Honorable Ed Royce has taken in over $9,000,000 since his election in 1992. The list of failed financial services corporations he’s taken money from since 1998 is appalling: $62,000 from WaMu; $56,000 from Bank of America; $28,000 from the infamous Countrywide; over $10,000 from Fannie Mae; and, though they have not failed, $60,000 from OCTFCU; and $82,000 from two National Credit Union Associations.

Ed Royce sold his House Finance Committee votes to the highest bidders. And the list goes on!

The failed bank, Washington Mutual, was Royce’s largest donor before the Gramm/Leach/Bliley vote and the year after, and one of his largest donors the next two campaigns. We all know what happened to Washington Mutual. He’s also taken substantial sums from Wachovia, Advanta Corp. (just taken over by the FDIC on Friday), and $33,000 from troubled UBS, the Swiss bank caught helping wealthy Americans hide hundreds of millions of dollars to avoid paying taxes.

My Representative also voted to remove usury laws from the large banks allowing them to charge loan shark levels of interest. He voted for universal default, allowing all credit card and loan companies to raise a customer’s interest rates if they were late or delinquent with any creditor, even if they were current on all other cards and loans.

But his record isn’t the only one that shows unbelievable examples of prostitution for campaign contributions.

There’s an easy way to find out how much your congressional member has taken, and from whom, by going to Open Secrets.org. Once you see the extensive information that Open Secrets has compiled on each of our elected officials you will begin to understand how corrupt the system has become and why this country is so screwed up.

Is it any wonder why Congress is loath to pass comprehensive reform?

No! After researching at Open Secrets it becomes clear that campaign financing needs to be reformed and explains Congress’s reluctance to pass hard-hitting financial regulation; their reluctance to help the very citizens that elect them to represent their interests in these matters.

It is, indeed, a corrupt system.

It is time to eradicate the political whores and take back this country from lifetime politicians and return to the expectations of our forefathers!

The weak legislation that Congress is currently considering fails to protect ‘the people,’ does nothing to break up the big banks in a manner that the Glass-Steagall Act did in 1933; a regulatory move that protected consumers’ money from predatory banks for 68 years. It does nothing to eliminate usury interest rates or fix the derivatives or credit default swaps that were a big part of the crisis and will be the cause of the meltdown that will come again as a result of weak, ineffective legislation.

Congress is the cause of our financial morass. Stand up against them and their corruption. Demand truth, honesty, and transparency.

If we don’t, if they don’t tighten the grip on this deregulated beast, if we let them continue down their same destructive path’s…

… We can kiss our middle-class asses good-bye!

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