Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), left, introduced legislation Friday aimed at removing corporate cash from politics by amending the constitution to outlaw corporate money in elections. Cleverly named Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy (OCCUPIED), the law would reverse Citizens United.
Suzy Khimm: I understand this amendment was directly inspired by Occupy Wall Street. Tell me more about how this all came to be.
Ted Deutch: One thing that’s been clear throughout the protests all across the country is that people are tired of a political system that they believe doesn’t respond to their needs, that doesn’t reflect the interests of the American people, and that caters to the corporations that have occupied Washington for far too long. […]
SK: So corporations don’t have any right to participate in elections? Why should they be treated differently than, say, labor unions or nonprofit organizations ? Unions also benefited from Citizens United, but, as I understand it, they wouldn’t be affected by your amendment.
TD: Corporations that are formed for the purpose of earning profits do not have the constitutionally protected rights that natural citizens have. They should not spend their corporate dollars, Treasury dollars to influence outcome of elections.
[As for unions and nonprofits], the amendment gives Congress the authority to create a campaign finance system that ultimately is fair across the board . . . that gives the government back to the people. The amendment specifically reverses Citizens United in making clear that for-profit corporations shouldn’t be spending money on elections. Any other group of people, group of individuals, is going to be in same position as they are now.
SK: If there’s such overwhelming support for these kind of changes though, why not wait for the legal system to come to that conclusion?
TD: [Justice] Stevens vehemently disagreed with the position of the court, legal scholars across America have disagreed . . . but there is every reason to believe the Supreme Court may well continue down this path and move beyond Citizens United and allow corporations to contribute to candidates directly. I don’t believe the American people should wait to see if this is the direction that the Supreme Court goes. We ought to act now. It’s what the framers of the Constitution and people across America understand. [read more]
HOLY BAILOUT - Federal Reserve Now Backstopping $75 Trillion Of Bank Of America's Derivatives Trades
This means that the investment bank’s European derivatives exposure is now backstopped by U.S. taxpayers. Bank of America didn’t get regulatory approval to do this, they just did it at the request of frightened counterparties. Now the Fed and the FDIC are fighting as to whether this was sound. The Fed wants to “give relief” to the bank holding company, which is under heavy pressure.
This is a direct transfer of risk to the taxpayer done by the bank without approval by regulators and without public input. You will also read below that JP Morgan is apparently doing the same thing with $79 trillion of notional derivatives guaranteed by the FDIC and Federal Reserve.
What this means for you is that when Europe finally implodes and banks fail, U.S. taxpayers will hold the bag for trillions in CDS insurance contracts sold by Bank of America and JP Morgan. Even worse, the total exposure is unknown because Wall Street successfully lobbied during Dodd-Frank passage so that no central exchange would exist keeping track of net derivative exposure.
I’m Herman Cain. I made Godfather’s Pizza into a profitable business.
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Hey Stinky, You’re Too Fat, and You’re Skin’s Bad Too! — Imprint-The Online Community for Graphic Designers
“Advertising helps to keep the masses dissatisfied with their mode of life, discontented with ugly things around them,” reported an advertising trade journal in the late forties. “Satisfied customers are not as profitable as discontented ones.”
62 million Americans have zero or negative net worth. Wow. Think about that for a second.
These are hard working people. They made good decisions. They did not take massive risks. Deregulated markets were going to provide the ways and means, they were told.
But a decade of unparalleled financial thievery and corruption, of artificially inflated commodity prices, we now have millions displaced from their homes through a rotten and perverted mortgage market, all the worse because of the crimes of the modern financial elite.
Take your pick: from bribery and insider trading and market manipulation, to backroom dominance of government and the usurping of the regulatory structure from within, the 50-headed hydra of Wall Street corruption simply can’t be seen by the public or put on TV.
So what do people do? They pick on a myth. Are 62 million people lazy? Should they just “get a job” to make it better? When the real evil is clearly the banks, certain types vindictively want to pick on their fellow man, the 99%, and place blame on them. For not struggling enough? For not having 3 or 4 jobs which still are not enough?
The point is we should not all be struggling. The system played us all. It’s time to change the system.