Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Politicians Bought and Paid For?

President Obama received $4.3 million in campaign contributions from employees of these financial companies. Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs received almost $850,000 in campaign contributions from these banks. Senator Max Baucus of Montana, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee received nearly $270,000 in campaign contributions from those same financial institutions in the 2007-2008-election cycle. All told, Senate members on these two committees were the recipients of $5.2 million in campaign contributions from the banks that ended up receiving TARP money.

Combined, the 161 financial institutions that have received $305 billion, so far, in TARP funds contributed about $37.5 million to candidates in last year’s election, and almost $76.7 million in lobbying expenditures in 2008. In total, therefore, these companies shelled out $114.2 million dollars to gain the ears of those running for or holding political office. In other words, these institutions, as a group, earned a more than 2,500 percent return on their “investment” in influencing the political process that resulted in a third-of-a-trillion dollar bank bailout thus far...

But, inevitably, many of those who have been winning friends and influencing people in the halls of Washington politics will end up coming out on top. Money talks, and it always does when it affects the ability of politicians to run for and stay in office.

read the entire essay

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