People should be mad. Thanks to The Man on Wall Street, this country lost $17.5 trillion in wealth from 2008-9, more than the bottom 90 percent of Americans own (the lower middle class lost 70 percent of their wealth and the top 1 percent 27 percent).
The 261 millionaires in Congress, however, made out like bandits, with an astonishing 16 percent increase in wealth from 2008-09.
The parent of this catastrophe was the 2000 law concocted by Clinton’s Wall Street cronies (gleefully passed by Republicans) that allowed investment banks to sell bundled home mortgages. These securities were then sold to investors as Triple-A investments, but the banks secretly bet they would fall in value, and took out “insurance” if they did (credit default swaps). Sen.
Tom Coburn reportedly said the banks “embraced known conflicts of interest to accomplish wealth for themselves.”
And when the investments tanked, taxpayers forked over $180 billion to AIG (American International Group Inc.) to fully fund the default swaps, including $12.9 billion to Goldman Sachs that they used to help pay $16.7 billion in bonuses and the trifling $550 million fine. Foreign banks pocketed $58 billion from U.S. taxpayers.
Class warfare was invented by rich people; the Congressional Budget Office recently reported that after-tax income during the past 30 years soared 275 percent for the richest 1 percent, compared to 18 percent for working-class stiffs, while the effective federal rate for the top .01 fell from 42.9 to 31.5 percent.
We should be thanking, rather than mocking, the people protesting the rich hoodlums and crooked politicians who are stealing our democracy and the American Dream. Shame on The Oklahoman.
Tiffee ran as an independent for US Congress in 1994.