Sunday, May 17, 2009

who rules america?

Creators Syndicate | What do you suppose it is like to be elected president of the United States only to find that your power is restricted to the service of powerful interest groups?

A president who does a good job for the ruling interest groups is paid off with remunerative corporate directorships, outrageous speaking fees and a lucrative book contract. If he is young when he assumes office, like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, it means a long life of luxurious leisure.

Fighting the special interests doesn't pay and doesn't succeed. On April 30, the primacy of special over public interests was demonstrated yet again. The Democrats' bill to prevent 1.7 million mortgage foreclosures — and, thus, preserve $300 billion in home equity by permitting homeowners to renegotiate their mortgages — was defeated in the Senate, despite the 60-vote majority of the Democrats. The banksters were able to defeat the bill 51 to 45.

These are the same financial gangsters whose unbridled greed and utter irresponsibility have wiped out half of Americans' retirement savings, sent the economy into a deep hole and threatened the U.S. dollar's reserve currency role. It is difficult to imagine an interest group with a more damaged reputation. Yet, a majority of "the people's representatives" voted as the discredited banksters instructed.

Hundreds of billions of public dollars have gone to bail out the banksters, but when some Democrats tried to get the Senate to do a mite for homeowners, the U.S. Senate stuck with the banks. The Senate's motto is: "Hundreds of billions for the banksters, not a dime for homeowners."

If Obama was naive about well-intentioned change before the vote, he no longer has this political handicap.