Why Wall Street Criminals Go Unpunished (a goal for “occupy wall street”)

Barack Obama - photo: The White House

Democratic process?  A representative government?   Time to end the denial and get real.

It’s been right there in front of us for years, most recently in Wisconsin, where Republican Congressman Paul Ryan compared pro-union demonstrations to the Arab Spring.  A charge which led to the following comment about Wisconsin’s union-busting governor Scott Walker, from Paul Krugman in the New York Times –

“What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin — and eventually, America — less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy. And that’s why anyone who believes that we need some counterweight to the political power of big money should be on the demonstrators’ side.” -NY Times

And now comes even more proof that Wall Street criminals go unpunished despite the meltdown, because our elected representatives on both sides of the aisle have been thoroughly bought off by the banking and finance industry.   Dennis Egan and T.W. Farnam report in the Washington Post, that President Obama is ahead of all the Republican candidates in the race to attract campaign funding from the Street.

The newspaper reports-

“Obama’s fundraising advantage is clear in the case of Bain Capital, the Boston-based private-equity firm that was co-founded by Romney, and where the Republican made his fortune. Not surprisingly, Romney has strong support at the firm, raking in $34,000 from 18 Bain employees, according to the analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

But Obama has outdone Romney on his own turf, collecting $76,600 from Bain Capital employees through September — and he needed only three donors to do it.” -Washington Post

Our system is badly broken.  Only a heavy dose of campaign finance reform will fix it.   The best solution would be to get private money out of politics altogether, with donations being replaced by limited public funding and a greatly shortened campaign season.    Seems like an impossible dream considering the lock big money has on the process.  If the “Occupy Wall Street” folks need a goal to help their movement coalesce, this might be a place to start.

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