Un-American Activities

Following the financial crisis in 2008, the crisis that some called the second Great Depression, many pundits predicted that there would be new restrictions placed on the financial industry to prevent Wall Street from running our economy into the ground again. After all, with Congress’s repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act in 1999 under President Clinton, our government removed the regulations that prevented Wall Street from looting the country, and most experts believe this led directly to the financial crisis. However, while there have been some isolated attempts to restrain Wall Street, the overall trend for the past six years of Obama’s rule has been less regulation, less protection for working Americans, and rapidly increasing profits for the top 1% of the wealthiest Americans.

Last December, President Obama gave a speech lamenting the exponential growth in inequality that our country has experienced during his Presidency.

“The problem is that alongside increased inequality, we’ve seen diminished levels of upward mobility in recent years. A child born in the top 20 percent has about a 2-in-3 chance of staying at or near the top. A child born into the bottom 20 percent has a less than 1-in-20 shot at making it to the top. He’s 10 times likelier to stay where he is.

In fact, statistics show not only that our levels of income inequality rank near countries like Jamaica and Argentina, but that it is harder today for a child born here in America to improve her station in life than it is for children in most of our wealthy allies, countries like Canada or Germany or France. They have greater mobility than we do, not less.”

If President Obama is really so concerned with income inequality in America, this is the first sign he’s shown. Everything he has done during his six years in the White House has shown him to be a staunch supporter of Wall Street and corporate interests. From 2009 until 2012, as the economy “recovered,” the top 1% of earners received 95% of the income gains, while nearly everyone else saw their real income reduced with inflation. Congress has been passing bills to continue to tear down legislation that restricts the banks, and President Obama has continued to sign these bills into law.

Furthermore, Obama has continued the tradition of integrating Wall Street bigwigs into the government. He recently appointed Antonio Weiss, a Wall Street tycoon, as the Under Secretary for Domestic Finance at the Treasury Department. This is a role that oversees consumer protection regulations, as well as many other banking policy issues. Antonio Weiss spent the last 20 years of his career at Lazard, a financial giant that specializes in helping corporate giants avoid paying their taxes. Just last year, he was involved in the controversial Burger King purchase of Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee-and-donuts chain. In a process called “corporate inversion,” the ownership of Burger King suddenly became nominally Canadian, allowing Burger King to avoid paying all of the taxes they owe in the United States. A man who has devoted his career to robbing the American people has been put in charge of protecting them from other men like him. It would be foolish to expect him to stop robbing the American people now that he has official government power.

Even those Wall Street tycoons who aren’t given influential positions in Washington exert more influence than any other American could imagine. In 2014, Wall Street banks and other financial interests spent over $1.2 billionon campaign contributions and lobbying. This legalized bribery has guaranteed that Congress, the President, and all of the other politicians in Washington have devoted themselves to doing everything they can to rob America and fill the accounts of the bankers.

Any sane society would consider this behavior to be treason. Wall Street and Washington have conspired to rob America’s wealth and remove it from the country through tax loopholes. Our government has no interest in representing the people, and their corporate masters have paid to create a plutocracy: government by the rich, for the rich, and of the rich. These activities are truly anti-American, and we, as Americans, should not put up with it. If you’re sick of the robbery and intimidation and you want a government that is devoted to protecting the interests of real Americans, then it’s time for a change. I urge you to join me in 2016 by casting your write-in vote for Art Drew for President of the United States.