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Consumer Watchdog Says Wall Street Spent Millions To Influence Financial Reform Outcome

February 9, 2010 by  

Consumer Watchdog says Wall Street spent millions to influence financial reform outcome As the financial reform bill makes its way through Congress and the tug of war continues between the proponents and opponents of greater regulation, a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization has released a report that details the Washington lobbying efforts of the financial industry.

According to the report, the Senate Banking committee members received $41 million in contributions since 2005, and representatives of Wall Street banks and investment firms spent $336 million lobbying Congress in the first three quarters of 2009.

Those who received the highest contributions during 2005-2009 included Democratic Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut ($9 million), while the top grossing Republican was Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who netted more than $2.5 million.

Among the biggest contributors were the American Bankers Association ($1.26 million), Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, both of which donated more than $400,000.

The report also found that contributors in particular opposed the creation of The Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), preferring the authority to remain with the current regulators who failed to prevent abuses such as predatory mortgage lending that led to the near-economic collapse, according to Consumer Watchdog.

"To ordinary voters, this flood of dollars looks like Wall Street buying votes," said Carmen Balber, Washington director for organization.

"The fate of an independent consumer regulator is a test of whether politicians will rise above financial industry influence to enact meaningful regulatory reform that directly aids ordinary Americans," she concluded.
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  • J C

    “To ordinary voters, this flood of dollars looks like Wall Street buying votes,” said Carmen Balber, Washington director for organization.

    It sure does…because that’s what it is.

    • Disgusted

      Absolutely, that is exactly what it is! Look at the unions and Obama. They invested heavily in him on the way up and they continually benefit. Our politicians have all been bought and paid for – but not by our tax dollars! They don’t represent us, they represent the highest contributor……period. Sickening!!!!!!!!

      • denniso

        Disgusted….you’re off base, the article says ‘financial firms and large banks’…NOT UNIONS!! Where did you pull that in from? Your anger should be directed toward the financial firms that got us into this recession,cost us hundreds of billions and have been and still are trying to avoid regulation. The problem is that it’s legal, nothing prevents this, and since most people and all rightwingers are against public financing(and even campaign finance reform)this is what happens when we have billions of $$ mixed in w/ our political system. Note that most of the $$ mentioned went to lobbying,336million, which again is perfectly legal,and will continue unless the law is changed.

        • http://Don'thaveone Sally

          Yea Denniso and did you see in what year the 336M was spent? To the one that says we are no longer going to have Lobbyist on panels or whatever! Citigroup was one of the early bailouts. My personal opinion is that no group can donate to campaign funding. To me all that money spent on Campaigns is wasted anyway. The only way that one can donate, be it a corporation or individual, would be when they file taxes, and check the block that they wish to donate (This could then havr a blank and put in what amount) When election time comes up, each party has an equal share of the donations collected. Also, cannot put in any of their own money.

          • denniso

            So,you are in favor of public financing of national elections? Good. The ONLY way we will ever get most politicians to listen to the voters and not to the special interests is w/ exclusively public financing…it would cut the money cord between the reps and their big money backers. We have tried more and more $$ in the system and we see what we have gotten for it. It’s like an arms race for big money to get reps elected.

  • Norm

    In the US we live by the golden rule. If you have the gold, you make the rules.
    I’m not that big on government intervention into the private sector, but when greed and arrogance cause financial distasters, policeing is needed.
    As I told my kids when they were growing up: You can have all the freedom that you can handle.

    • George

      Norm,

      I see a lot of wisdom in your thoughts. I think the government does have a legitimate role in properly regulating our markets so that they remain open to all who care to compete, non-preferential to any person or company or industry, unobstructed by onerous government regulation, encourages sound economic growth, and operates in an orderly manner within the laws of the U.S. This is a fine balancing act. Too much, or bad regulation is just as bad, and some would argue worse than too little regulation for the economy as a whole. So, we need to regulate the regulators (government) as closely as we expect them to regulate our markets, I think.

      • denniso

        Too much regulation can lead to a generally slower economy and lower lifestyle for the people,but essentially can rule out a huge cataclysmic collapse. Too little regulation leads to a larger economy and especially huge wealth generation for the very few at the top,and always to disastrous market collapses.

        • George

          Denniso,

          I pretty much agree with you. However, I think you’d probably prefer to err in the direction of too much regulation, while I would probably prefer to err in the direction of too little regulation. That puts us pretty close in our thinking, especially if we could agree in concept as to what kind and how much regulation should be the goal. Thanks.

          • denniso

            When we have people who think we should have no regulation because ‘the market’ will take care of itself and enrich us all,then we have a problem,because we lurch from that extreme back to some reasonable position repeatedly and seldom achieve a balanced point of pragmatic regulation.

          • George

            That’s why I think it might help if we could all agree that 1) we do need some form of regulation to make sure the markets work well, and 2) define in conceptual terms what these regulations should and should not accomplish. Then, if we want to argue for one detail or another, that’s a lot less inflammatory than arguing for no regulation or total regulation, which I’d bet almost none of us are comfortable with.

          • Claire

            George—denniso—-A happy medium must be reached. We do need regulation. not too much, but yet enough.

          • denniso

            To regulate or not is a choice the country makes. We’ve essentially chosen the path that gives us huge ups and downs in our economy,and the downs are very painful,like now. If we as a country can’t come to some general agreement that gives our system some stability,then this is what we will continue to have…remember the savings and loan crash?? The dot com bust? The recession in the early 80′s after the hyper inflation of the late 70′s? Not to mention the ’29 disaster. Our history is one of booms and busts,but w/ the global economy and our increasingly complex society,the stakes and results are more serious.

          • George

            It seems fairly obvious to me that we certainly should have some standards in place for the investment banking business. If that had been done, we “might” have avoided some of the current financial crisis. On the other hand, I think the larger underlying cause of this crisis is the level of borrowing that’s been going on by most sectors and most countries around the globe. As long as there is so much leverage being used, it takes very little to trigger another financial crisis. So, I think we will be continually faced with crises of this sort until we get our debt down to reasonable levels.

            Also, regarding regulation, please keep in mind that there are “good” regulations and “bad” regulations. No amount of bad regulation will solve any problem without causing a bigger problem. I don’t trust any politician or their staff or certainly not the industry being regulated to write good regulations, especially when there is so much money and possible graft in the system, not to mention political pressure from activist groups who know little about economics and growing wealth.

            Finally, I guess it’s only fair to point out that some will argue that many of the crises we’ve had were actually started by or intensified by actions of the government in the first place. So, if the government hadn’t interfered or written bad regulations to begin with, the industry and market may have policed themselves and avoided the level of suffering that was actually experienced.

          • denniso

            Hi George…you’re right that some say that the gov’t is the problem w/ it’s meddling in the ‘market’. Mostly these complaints come from big biz that wants a free rein to maximize their income,which is what they are designed to do,and from people who wind up believing the spin from big biz. So,what we have to do is look at history and learn from it…and history clearly points to the ‘free market’ needing controls to keep it in a sort of balance,to smooth out the extremes of boom and bust.

      • eyeswideopen

        Hands clapping….

        • Joe H.

          brain ratteling!!!!

    • Claire

      Good post!!

  • Les

    The politicians taking the money are elected over & over till they feel entitled. It is the fault of the American people that much of this curruption occurs. They vote for the person that offers them the most entitlements & welfare regardless of how honest he is. TERM LIMITS would cure a lot of this problem.

    • Joe H.

      Les,
      Term limits won’t solve the problem. they will just try to make their millions faster. Voting them out works better as they don’t always know when it’s coming!!!

  • http://www.waterandyou.com Beverlyc

    Term Limits…EXCELLENT! Knowing who you vote for in the first place is Excellent too. “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. There is only one way to get knowledge…study for yourself and not by what some forked tongued whoever and whatever tells you about the matter (or person). SOMETIMES….one might even have the ‘creeps’ about a matter or person which SHOULD send you to the net, library, or wherever to find information about it. We just have to do better to do better. I did my part to get knowledge on the last BIG election…but…too many did not do the same.

    • http://Don'thaveone Sally

      You are exactly correct Beverly. Its too much work for a lot of people and they just vote “Party” instead of digging in and finding the truth. This is what we did this election also because there wasn’t much choice. Again if Obama had run on the Repulican ticket, he wouldn’t have made it.

  • http://www.waterandyou.com Beverlyc

    OOps…I mean do better to get better.

  • Raggs

    This is nothing more than corruption!!!!
    How does these people get away with this?

    • denniso

      Ragg…this is not corruption! You and other ‘conservatives’ prevent real campaign finance reform to try to stop some of this money flowing into the system,then you scream about corruption. This stuff is perfectly legal under the current laws. Politicians need millions to run for office,and people and biz can legally donate $$ to them. The vast bulk of the $$ went to lobbying,which is again legal..you can do it, I can do it. Now the rightwing is cheering over the Supreme Court ruling that will allow even more $$ into campaigns…the rightwing also fights campaign finance reform,which then allows exactly this sort of thing to continue. We need exclusively public financing for national elections to take the taint of big money out of the system, but you won’t stand for that.
      Hypocrisy anywhere??

      • George

        Denniso,

        I agree with you that this is a complicated issue, and should be carefully sorted out. Obviously, no one wants to limit free speech, but by the same token, we don’t want to encourage corruption in the process either. How do you think we might accomplish both of these objectives?

        • denniso

          Hey George, like I said above,the only way to clean up the mess we have is through public financing of national elections. The increasing amount of $$ we pour into elections doesn’t seem to be making anyone happy,except the TV stations that get most of it. I don’t think that tying $$ to speech is legitimate. If we do that then the people w/ the most money get the most speech and the lowly voter/contributor is swamped by the disproportionate amout of money spent by the largest contributor. The ‘speech’ of the actual voter is diminished by the huge $$. If we stop the big money from deciding elections,then maybe when a voter calls up or writes a rep, he/she would get the ear of the rep. Wouldn’t that be nice?

          • George

            Denniso,

            I’m definitely sympathetic to your arguments. I think it’s true that we (citizens) often do find ourselves competing with the large campaign donors for our representatives’ attention. That’s definitely not a good thing. On the other hand, I think we would be served well by letting each group make their arguments directly to the public. At least this is a recognition that the public needs to decide these issues (or at least have an input), not politicians, staffers, and big money donors behind closed doors. This is a complicated issue, for me. I welcome anyone’s serious thoughts on how this might be better managed. Thanks.

      • http://Don'thaveone Sally

        Denniso, I finally agree with you. You are absolutely correct, see my proposal above.

        • denniso

          Sally, I’m glad we’re in agreement. I see below that joeH is accusing us of hypocrisy for wanting finance reform now…I’ve argued for it for a 20 yrs and don’t care who is in office if and when it could come to be. It really is the only hope and people smarter than me agree.

          • Joe H.

            denniso,
            Funny this is the first time I’ve seen it from you. never before the elections!!!!

          • denniso

            Whether you’ve seen it from me or not, I have argued for public financing since it’s become clear that big money in our politics is way out of hand…so, you prefer to keep the current system of big money lobbying and huge campaign contributions going and even increasing now w/ the recent Supreme Court ruling on corporate $$??…because you think I am only in favor of radical change now w/ the Dems in power?

          • Joe H.

            denniso,
            fine then I will support it 100% right after the next presidential election!!!! Agreed? Also 100% transparency on donations, and no bulk donations from places like organizations IE unions, ACORN, you know places like that! Let’s take it a little farther and say no government funds to any organizations that support or campaign against a candidate!!!

          • denniso

            Sure thing…no corporate donations,no union donations. Public financing paid for by taxpayer $$ to insure they listen to us and not special interests.

      • Joe H.

        denniso,
        I find it ironic that you and eyes call for finance reform NOW when there is a lib majority and they will be hard to dislodge without money to work on it!!! hypocracy much????

      • eyeswideopen

        denniso, the Davos conference, (just recently held), have quoted major bankers of foreign countries,that they are going to enact banking laws, that will prevent countries from skirting around International banking laws. They are going to protect themselves from the US banking industry. Maybe when the world won’t do business with us, we will see that uncontroled greed is how we got here.

      • Claire

        denniso–I agree with you. This is exactly what I have been afraid of. This has opened a huge can of worms. We shall see.

        • denniso

          Hi Ladies…I hope you are both doing well. So, the lobbying millions being used by the finacial corps to stall banking/financial reforms shows very clearly what’s wrong w/ the system. It is legal so we can’t even call it corrupt,but can we imagine that the $$ doesn’t have an effect on how the reps think and vote…big money talks,doesn’t it? Sadly,very often the rest of the world is ahead of us on things like this, and eyes,you may be right that we won’t do anything until the world forces us to take action.

    • George

      I don’t think it is an automatic thing that our representatives are corrupt just because they take campaign contributions from companies or organizations, or because they favor one cause or another. However, I do believe a system that allows so much money to flow without total transparency, oversight, and balance among the various advocacy groups is more likely to corrupt than one that doesn’t. I’m also inclined to believe the longer a representative stays in Washington the more likely he/she is to get sucked into a corrupt situation, especially when the gravity of our political system automatically pulls them to the right or left of a position to satisfy their base constituencies, party leaders, and largest contributors.

      I recently read an article which said that a lot of representatives are assigned to the House Financial Services (Oversight) Committee because they need campaign funds. It’s a well known fact that these committee members receive a lot of campaign funding from the financial institutions they are supposed to be regulating. They and their staff members also get a lot of perks in the form of entertainment from these companies. To further complicate matters, we try to force legislation through the system so fast that the staffers and personnel from the banks hurriedly write the bills with little time to review before giving them to their Congressman/woman to push through the committee. Obviously, the financial institutions that help write these bills largely get what they want in the bills. It sounds to me that if we slowed down the legislative process to allow a thorough review and airing of the language before voting on a bill, we might get better legislation out of our government, and perhaps a bit less corruption.

      • eyeswideopen

        Well, said, George!!!! Been liking every thing you’ve recently been saying, so I have not felt like I need to respond. Are you an Independent?

        • George

          Eyes,

          Thanks for your kind words. Actually, I’m about as conservative as you can get, or at least I think that’s the case. I generally vote Republican because I think they align more closely with my conservative philosophies than the other parties. On the other hand, I don’t think I’ve got all the answers, and I certainly don’t think the Republican Party is always right on every issue. They play politics just like the Democrats. All too often our politicians are more concerned with getting reelected to office while the parties are concerned with retaining or capturing power instead of putting the country first. We, the citizens of this country, must remain vigilant in understanding that no government or representative is perfect. We’re lucky if they aren’t corrupt to the core….spending our money on projects that do little for the country except buy votes for the politician, while building a debt that will take years for us to pay off, if at all.

          Eyes, I believe we’re all Americans who want the best for our country. I really don’t know of anyone, regardless what people say on this board or other boards, who want our country to go down the tubes, or ill to come to anyone. We just have different priorities and sometimes different values to guide our interests and decisions. I think Denniso and I showed in a discussion above, we can get pretty close to a solution that we can both agree on, even though he’s a liberal and I’m a conservative. Certainly, at a high level, we usually can agree on the objectives for our country. We just tend to try to solve these problems in different ways. When you dig into many of these issues, we’re really not all that far apart. And, even though I suspect many have fun throwing verbal insults at each other on this board, I really don’t think that kind of thing helps us constructively work through our differences.

          Thanks again.

          • J C

            People the world over basically have the same needs and wants.
            What divides us is that some of us feel we can and should attain these things for ourselves while others feel they are entitled and others should pay for it. The ones who want the liberty to provide for themselves subscribe to a system that works, while those that feel entitled seem not to understand that “someone” has to pay for their way of life…and that won’t work for long. Never does. That’s actually a pretty wide rift George and I don’t see it changing any time soon.

          • denniso

            J C…I agree that there are people who want to live off the system…but,the ‘conservatives’ seldom mention the biggest scammers, the giant corporations and wealthy bizmen. Large farmers,ranchers,military suppliers and high tech corp’s, all collecting billions of your tax $$ in subsidies that should only go to small biz. What the true fat cats suck up dwarfs what individuals scam off the system. I seldom see any ‘conservatives’ here rant against this horrendous abuse of us taxpayers. Why??

          • George

            Denniso,

            I think you’re probably correct, especially if one accounts for the total dollars going to corporations and other organizations from the government. I think I can speak for almost everyone here when I say, stop the subsidies, of all kinds, and to all groups. Organizations (of all kinds) found out a long time back that if they suck up to the right politicians they can get handouts and regulations which favor them. All these things combined do drain our treasury, and worse yet, drain our competitive, hard working spirit. By the way, this phenomenon is not attributable to only the right or left, they both are guilty. That’s where you get politicians playing “scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours,” and the American people pay the price. In my opinion, when subsidies are thought to be necessary, they should have an automatic sunset date when they are discontinued unless renewed by vote.

            Regarding handouts to individuals, we need to be compassionate, but careful we don’t incentivize poor behavior, or steal folks self-reliant spirit from them by making it easier to get government handouts than supporting themselves through hard work. We also need to be careful that we don’t build huge staffs of government employees to manage these programs. I’d guess that it should take no more than about 5% of the total money spent on these programs to accomplish this. If we can find the right balance here, I think most of us would be happy to support these programs.

          • JC

            denniso, I agree in as much as subsidies have got to go. They create dependents…sometimes wealthy ones.

      • Claire

        George– very well said. I am happy you posted this information. So true!!

        • George

          Appreciate it, Claire. Take care.

  • TeresaE

    Ya’ think?

    Duh.

    Just like pharm and the AMA are spending millions for health care.

    They lobby, we pay.

  • Dorine

    Well apparently they’re still buying Democratic ‘favor’ – as proven by the weekend at the beach hosted by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a retreat at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach Resort, with the purpose of raising money for Democratic Senate candidates in the 2010 election. Attendees/donors included American Bankers Association…. along with Ford, Marathon Oil, Eli Lilly & Company, Lockheed Martin, Lanx Capital, Aflac, National Association of Realtors, David Rockefeller Fund, Merck, Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, American Land Title Assoc, Spinnaker Capital, Northrop Grunman, American Assoc of Advertising Agencies, VISA, American Hospital Assoc, Genworth Financial, Anheuser-Busch, Deloitte, McDonalds and American Institute of CPAs’. I’d love to know what the ‘take’ was…

    • Joe H.

      Dorine,
      I wonder if eyes and denniso would support a move to punish each and every politician at these get-aways??? I bet there were more libbies there and that just wouldn’t do!!!

      • denniso

        Joe…I think there should be NO political junkets for any politicians at all. No favors,no gifts,no parties…But, if we don’t change the very system and we continue to let this sort of thing be legal,then how can we complain?

  • http://Grow.mydealsplace.com Harry

    The sad and most disturbing thing is that these “bribes” are paid for by money created out of nothing. Placed on the backs of a class of people who, while working their backsides off, continue to unknowingly or misguidedly support this nasty behavior, while those who are knowledgeable do not know where to go or how to stop this robbery. Further,after Obama’s little spew on the day of the super bowl that the disaster has ratcheted up.

  • Warrior

    What came first, the politician or the lobbyist? Possibly people began as statesman than lobbyist came along and converted them to politicians. Ponder that folks.

    • http://Don'thaveone Sally

      Good question Warrior – however, we know the answer. It took a long time for the Lobbyist to get there when they found they could buy the politician. It happened after all the Amendments to the Constitution and Bill of Rights were made. Before the politians were called Patriots and were paid not by the people but by the tarrifs raised by the country. Then in 1913 everything changed – Wow, we had a Federal Reserve and IRS – supposed to have been only to pay for WWI.

  • soberhope

    To denniso; The supreme court simply upheld the first amendment, Mccain Fiengold was unconstitutional. It had noyhing to do with contributing to candidates, it had to do with making it illegal to raise money for political ads or even making political movies,etc, 60 days before an election! Mccain Fiengold threw private citizens in jail for simply expressing their first amendment right! Even the liberal leaning supreme court saw that, and was appauled I might add

    • denniso

      Liberal leaning court?? You joke,of course…

      • George

        4 – Conservatives, 4 – Liberals, 1 – moderate.

        • denniso

          The labels don’t always work,anymore then they do for individuals all the time. If you follow most rulings for the past decade, the court is clearly more ‘conservative’ than not.
          The problem w/ these general labels is precisely that, they are too general. Most people don’t fall neatly into the boxes of liberal,conservative,and we all tend to broadbrush people w/ these labels that can wind up being worthless sometimes. There are liberals who own guns and hunt…there are conservatives who are social liberals…we tend to short circuit the individual differences among people by the overuse of labels,even though they can be generally true,we have to be careful w/ them.

  • Claire

    Sorry, but I have to say this even though I am totally off the subject at hand. I heard a very disturbing bit of news (gossip??) today at my office. A lady was telling us that the Boy Scouts of America have a flag-burning ceremony. I asked her if it was because the flag was old and she said no. Her grandson used to belong to the Boy Scouts but his parents made him quit because of this. I was horrified. Does anyone know anything about this? Or is this lady off her rocker?

  • denniso

    Claire…I think the lady is ‘off her rocker’. The Boy Scouts are pretty conservative and would only burn a flag if it’s worn out.

    Another thought on the $$ in our political system…The big and troublesome money comes from the corporations,the wealthy and special interests…all fighting for their particular favors. We all buy from corporations,food,clothing,gasoline,appliances,electronics,airline travel,heating fuel,insurance,etc…so, they make billions on our purchases and then take a percentage of our $$ to lobby OUR legislators for special favors and attention. That’s what’s wrong w/ the status quo…we essentially are having OUR money used against us and all of our interests and the general long term interests of the country.
    That’s an example of why we need less money in politics and instead a fair system that puts everyone on an equal footing if they run for office. It appears that the only way to do it is w/ public financing.

    • Claire

      denniso—my son was a boy scout for years and I never heard of this. This lady at work does have a tendency to go off the “deep end,” she is nice but everything in life always has something “wrong” with it.
      I agree with you about the $$ end of politics. The politicians OWE the corporations, insurance companies, etc. for donating to their campaigns. Your post is common sense.

  • http://tenurecorrupts.com Nelson Lee Walker

    950 characters 161 words

    A Congress of career politicians will never allow us to constitutionally term limit them by an amendment. But we can IMPOSE term limits on them by taking these steps in the coming Congressional elections (‘2010, 2012, 2014):

    1. Don’t reelect your Congressman or Senator.
    2. Always vote, but only for the strongest challenger ,regardless of party .
    3. If your incumbent runs unopposed, vote for his strongest challenger, regardless of party.

    If Congress has not passed a term limits bill by 2014, repeat this in 2016, 2018.

    Our only intelligent choice is to NEVER REELECT any of them!

    The only infallible, unstoppable, guaranteed way to get a truly new Congress, AND a new politics, is NEVER REELECT ANY INCUMBENT! DO IT EVERY ELECTION until term limits is ratified. In other words, don’t let anyone serve more than one term until Congress passes a term limits bill!

    NEVER REELECT ANYONE IN CONGRESS. DO IT EVERY ELECTION! … until we have term limits.

    • denniso

      Hate to rain on your parade,but if you lose incumbents,you lose power in congress. Incumbents have built up contacts/friendships and a knowledge base for how things there work…you put in a new rep and he/she is at a disadvantage until the process and workings are figured out…besides, didn’t the Repub revolution of ’94 try the same thing and clearly fail? Most of the new Repubs elected decided to stay and it turned out to be difficult to get rid of encumbents.

      • George

        You’re correct, of course, but I’m sure you’ll agree that we still need to refresh the team at each election just to keep the corruption and arrogance to a manageable level.

    • Joe H.

      Nelson,
      I disagree with you! If a congressman or senator is doing the things I agree with, why would I vote for someone who might not? I would never vote for a liberal as they have proven to me that they will never vote conservative! Most of the repubs have as well but they are at least slowe4r about their pace!!!

      • denniso

        JoeH…what is ‘conservative’?? Were Bush/Cheny ‘conservative’ in their use of military force? Were they ‘conservative in pushing through the trillion $ drug plan for seniors,that many observers saw as a ‘bribe’ to get senior votes? They increased the national debt from 5.7 to 10.6 trillion $$..is that ‘conservative? Clinton pushed through the biggest cuts in welfare in decades,is that ‘liberal’? Obama is being too ‘conservative’ for most liberals,yet the Repubs call him a socialist…doesn’t the overuse of these labels become a bit nonsensical?

        • Meteorlady

          Excuse me but……. Kennedy was responsible for writing the bill, Bush signed it into law with reservations. YOu seem to keep going back to the same old rant – blame Bush. Kennedy was also responsible for instituting the No Child Left Behind act. That also cost billions. Not sure why either of these bills were signed into law, except they certainly benefited the Drug Companies.

          Has poverty gone away in this country? We have spent billions on it and it is more prevalent than ever. Have we spent the same amount on education as we have on social programs? Heck no, the government does not want you to be smart – that would mean a loss of control over the population.

          The sad fact is that in order to get elected using the two party system, you have debts that you have to pay and that means big business and mostly big bankers and the super rich elite. Soros is the puppet master for Obama and I’m sure that Bush had his and Clinton certain had his.

        • Joe H.

          Dennislo,
          If you would read my posts rather than glance at them you would have seen as late as yesterday that I have said that Bush was a RINO and a PROGRESSIVE so don’t throw Bush at me like your hero does with everyone!!!

          • denniso

            Bush is hardly a progressive, more like a fatcat conservative. I think you’ll have a hard time electing a more conservative prez than Bush in this country. I think you’re trying to redefine ‘conservative’,since most of the repubs and even more conservative voters supported Bush as a conservative.

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