American taxpayers are still feeling the sting from bailouts. Every taxpayer in this nation has bailed out banks, auto manufacturers and businesses too big to fail. Why? Unregulated business lobbyists and corrupt government officials brought on the crash of 2008.
For example, Countrywide Financial Corp., was buying favors from elected officials and members of congressional staff and top government officials who were receiving favorable mortgage rates in return for favorable legislative action.
This was a bipartisan scam.
Among those who received loan discounts from Countrywide, a House report said, were:
Former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D. Mary Jane Collipriest, who was communications director for former Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, then a member of the Banking Committee.
Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., former chairman of the Oversight Committee, left out documents related to Towns’ loan.
Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif.
Top staff members of the House Financial Services Committee.
A staff member of Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas, a member of the Financial Services Committee.
Former Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Calif.
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretaries Alphonso Jackson and Henry Cisneros.
Former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala.
Former heads of Fannie Mae James Johnson, Daniel Mudd and Franklin Raines. Johnson in 2008 resigned as a leader of then-candidate Barack Obama’s vice presidential search committee after The Wall Street Journal reported he had received $7 million in Countrywide discounted loans.
Perhaps it’s time to pass legislation to prohibit lobbyists from the Hill.
No one in a free market system favors regulations. However, if individuals, businesses and elected officials are incapable of self-control, then it becomes necessary to regulate both businesses and their lobbying efforts and the elected officials who are supposed to represent the people of this nation.
These men and women were trusted by the American people. That trust was broken.