Who Does Congress Represent?
While listening to the Financial Regulation Congressional Reconciliation (includes both houses) thanks to the Sunlight Foundation, I wonder who these Congressional representatives constituency are? Do they represent the voters – average, every day people working to make a living and support their families and employees – or is their constituency the megabanks, their traders, their lobbyists, hedge funds, and monolithic corporations.
Listening to Sen. Dodd says he’s agnostic on a number of specific issues and knowing he’s in the last year of his Senate career, I would think that he’d want to secure his legacy by creating tough, strong legislation that protected the U.S. economy and American businesses and consumers. Yet, he votes more often than not with Republicans to weaken the legislation. Is he representing the American people – his voters – or has he chosen to represent Wall St?
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-Maine) too is in his last term in the Senate. Surely he knows that Section 716 of Sen. Lincoln’s bill is vital to protect the American economy. Still, he argues against it. Who does he represent? Wall St. or the hard working, hardy, independent people of Maine? Sen. Gregg is not stupid. He knows finance. So, certainly he knows that weakening Section 716 eventually will spell another financial collapse. So, why is he working so hard to make the legislation worthless?
Why are any of these representatives of the American people working to create meaningless regulation that does nothing to insure the safety of our financial system and our economy?
We have an oligarchy in this country that uses lobbyist money and campaign donations and future high-paying jobs to lure our elected representatives into giving them whatever they want, from weak legislation and carve outs to special tax breaks and tax exemptions. Just voting out the current representatives won’t work. We need to put a Constitutional paywall between mega-donors and Congress. We need to make public the sponsors of campaign ads. We need Sunlight! And we need to make sure that outgoing representatives and their staffs cannot jump to lobbying positions.
If anything really beneficial comes out of the Financial Regulations bill, I’ll be astounded. Even Don’t-Upset-Wall St Geithener and Financially-Captured Summers don’t want anything really meaningful from the legislation.
They all want a weak bill and to be able to say they solved the problem. Who do these representatives really represent? The American people or the banking industry?
UPDATE: While our Representatives are working hard to eviscerate financial reform and carve out innumerable special exemptions in political donation “sunlight” legislation, the Senate voted against extending unemployment benefits to the 18 million people unemployed thrown out of work by the financial melt-down. While Wall St. traders and hedge fund managers are making millions each quarter, ordinary workers, who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and have lost their savings and their retirement funds, are told to fend for themselves, that their Senate representatives don’t care about them. Let’s give the megabanks and other mega-corporations yet another chance to destroy what little economic viability the American populace has! Small and mid-sized businesses are being destroyed daily by an oligarchy that only sees them and the American populace as digits – statistics – to be played with. Not human beings. Just numbers!
Am I the only one who thinks this Country is being run by an oligarchy which cares less for the nation and its people and more for itself, and that our elected representatives have succumbed to the wishes of their oligarch masters? Give me a bloody break! I am sick of giving away the heart and soul of the American people to Oligarchs.