Craig J. Cantoni
President Obama is accomplishing the impossible. He’s making George W. Bush look good, which
is almost as difficult as making okra look good to a kid.
more amazing, he’s proving that the nation’s smallest and most maligned
political minority group has been right all along about our broken government,
broken banking system, and broken Democrat and Republican parties. I’m speaking of classical liberals like me,
or, in today’s parlance, small “L” libertarians.
Unfortunately, being right feels terrible, for it means
that the nation is doomed to a future of more statism, socialism and economic
crises, unless Obama’s stimulus package stimulates the lumpenproletariat to buy
pitchforks and pikes at Home Depot.
and change have been Daschled, er, dashed, on the rocks of Chicago-style
Democrat machine patronage. Obama is the
reincarnation of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, but without the jowls and the
“Youse guys” English of Chicago’s Southside. Like Daley, he speaks about the little guy while handing out jobs to
there a bigger hack than Tom Daschle? And is there a bigger plutocrat? Obama has invented a new political species: the plutohack.
Obama promised to have an ethical administration devoid
of lobbyists. Yeah, right. Daschle made $5 million in four years after
leaving the Senate, including payola from the healthcare industry, the very same
industry that he’ll be overseeing as Health and Human Services Secretary. Oops! Daschle, like Treasury Secretary Timothy
Geitner, didn’t pay his income taxes. Double
oops! Mrs. Daschle is a
lobbyist. Triple oops!
this is an ethical administration, then Bernie Madoff ran an ethical investment
Plutohack Daschle is so far removed from the common folk
that he thought that a free limousine and driver were not imputed and taxable
income for private citizens. His
defense? He didn’t have to report such
freebies to the IRS when he was in the House of Lords.
Similarly, plutohack Pelosi doesn’t have to report her
use of a large Air Force jet to fly back and forth between Washington and San Francisco. Yet Obama rails against corporate fat cats who use corporate jets while
on the public dole but says nothing about plutohacks who use government jets
while on the public dole.
the way, the Washington metropolis is so full of plutohacks
that the metropolis includes five of the top ten counties in the nation in
per-capita income. Have you noticed that
massive layoffs aren’t taking place in the federal government as they are in the
private sector? Doesn’t that make you want to buy a pitchfork or pike?
no, then this will: Today’s economic
crisis was decades in the making by both political parties. The crisis was not caused by a failure of
markets. It was caused by the government
having a monopoly on the printing of fiat money and by the
government establishing a cartel of the Federal Reserve and its member banks to
distribute the money to their cronies in the financial industry. It’s no coincidence that plutohacks move with
ease between the monopoly, the cartel and the financial industry. They’re all in the same exclusive insider’s
club, a club that excludes you, unless you storm the door with pitchforks and
Let’s look at the revolving door: Treasury Secretary Timothy Gietner moved from
the Federal Reserve to the Treasury. Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson moved from Goldman Sachs to the
Treasury. Former Treasury Secretary
Robert Rubin moved from Goldman Sachs to the Treasury and from there to
Citigroup, where he “earned” $126 million while helping to destroy the
company. Former Treasury Secretary
William Simon moved from Salomon Brothers to the Treasury. And former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul
Volcker moved from Chase Manhattan Bank to the Federal Reserve.
a pattern here?
Speaking of Salomon Brothers, in the mid-1980s the
investment bank recognized a business opportunity in the way that mortgages were
financed by Ginnie Mae (Government National Mortgage Association) and by the
politically powerful savings and loan industry. It created what is known in the trade as collateralized mortgage
obligations, or CMOs. Salomon bought
mortgages from S&L’s, packaged them into CMO bonds, and sold the bonds back
to the S&L’s, which didn’t have to show them on their balance sheets, thus
evading the eyes of regulators. Mortgage
debt skyrocketed in the United States and around the
of the plutohacks mentioned above knew that this was going on and knew about the
dangers that the practice posed for the economy. In fact, the head of bond research at
Salomon, Henry Kaufman, wrote the following in the July 1987 edition of Institutional Investor: “One of the most remarkable things that
happened in the 1980’s was [the] sharp explosion in debt, way beyond any
historical benchmark. It was way beyond
anything you would have expected relative to GNP, relative to monetary expansion
that was taking place.”
summary, it’s clear that President Obama is not going to end the monopoly, the
cartel, and the financial industry cronyism. Nor is he going to end Chicago-style patronage and the appointment of
plutohacks to high office.
sorry if your hopes have been Daschled.
author and columnist, Mr. Cantoni can be reached at