The following is an excellent article from the Campaign for America’s Future website written by Dave Johnson on December 12, 2014 titled “Call Senators: Stop the Citibank Budget–No More Rigged Backroom Deals” and I quote:
The “Citibank budget” has not passed the Senate. There is time to fight this giveaway to Wall Street. Call your senators today and tell them take the Citibank bailout part out or block the budget. Tell them to let Wall Street know that their days of controlling our government are over. Tell them, “Don’t let Citibank win.”
And while they’re at it, take out the parts that gut the IRS’ ability to collect from the billionaires, gut working peoples’ pensions and rig campaign finance in favor of the wealthiest. Because We the People have had enough of this. People are tired of the ways the system is rigged against us.
The last-minute, just-before-shutdown tactic used here is obvious: load up the budget with favors for Wall Street, the biggest corporations and the billionaires. Rig the system. Then hold off the budget until the very last minute so it either passes or the whole government shuts down. This makes the vote about shutting down the government instead of about all the favors that rig the rules for the few. By waiting until the very last minute they pressure “pragmatic” Democrats to save us from a shutdown, instead of looking at what Citibank and others were able to buy for themselves. It makes it about the deadline, about “avoiding a shutdown” and not about the substance and the rigging of the system. (P.S.: This rush factor is exactly what “fast track” for trade agreements is about.)
Here is just a bit of what they threw into the budget to rig the rules for the wealthiest few:
● Citibank and Wall Street provisions to weaken the Dodd-Frank bill that put new rules on the biggest banks. This particular provision guts the “swaps push-out” rule that made banks stop using taxpayer-backed subsidiaries to buy risky derivatives. In other words, it reintroduces taxpayer bailouts for Wall Street gambling losses.
● Raises the amount that billionaires can give to the political parties. In a must-pass “budget” bill.
● Gut the IRS. Funding for the agency is cut and the rules are changed so that Republican political groups can get tax-exempt status and keep their donors secret.
● Gut pensions. Many pension funds turned to Wall Street to manage their investments. Wall Street charged huge fees while providing investment returns that were well below what they should have been. As a result, many pensions are now underfunded. This allows pension funds to cut payouts well below what was promised.
● Other things: Hamstrings the EPA, the Clean Water Act, school-lunch nutrition, blocks lightbulb energy-efficiency standards to help coal company profits, stops funding for high-speed rail to help oil company profits, restricts enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, relaxes rules on how many hours truck drivers can be required to drive – raised from 70 to 82 hours a week (a setup for more of the kind of traffic accidents caused by fatigued commercial drivers that left comedian Tracy Morgan seriously injured and another comedian riding with him dead.).
People Are Fed Up — No More Back Room Deals That Rig The Rules
People are fed up with the back room deals, the rule-rigging, the favoring of the wealthy few. Politicians take notice: From now on every vote, every action, every show of support will be viewed through the filter of “are they on our side?”
Democrats especially should take notice. From now on ANYthing that ANY Democrat does that helps rig the rules, will be a hot button. Every. Single. Time. Every betrayal will be publicized and remembered.
This isn’t something that “left-wing groups” are engineering; this is a description of what is happening out there. People are fed up and they are watching for any sign of betrayal. No more backroom deals that help Wall Street, the giant corporations, the 1 percent, the polluters, the fraudsters, the vote-riggers, the haters, the tax-dodgers, the outsourcers, the union busters, the wage-thievers, the pension-cutters and the rest of those who are rigging the system against the rest of us.
We the People have had enough.
(FROM JUNK BONDS TO DERIVATIVES, ALL BIG LOSERS AND THE TAXPAYER GETS THE BILL. NO WONDER THE BIG INVESTMENT BANKS WANT TO GET RID OF ALL REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE DODD-FRANK BILL. TELL YOUR LEGISLATORS TO SUPPORT SENATORS LIKE ELIZABETH WARREN AND BERNIE SANDERS.
LaVern Isely, Overtaxed Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen and AARP Members