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Archive for October, 2011

Occupy Wall Street is not getting its message across. They’re seen as leftists, or ant-capitalists, just homeless/jobless with nothing better to do. The truth is, OWS, started with, and is advancing an important message:

Wall Street isn’t winning – it’s cheating (as in, breaking the law) and is using our Congress for its illicit gain.

We have banks, investment firms, and Congress in bed together, collectively ripping us off, stealing our taxes, and running our country into the ground. We need to break the tie between Washington and Wall Street, un-elect our corrupt congress, and prosecute the fraud in the financial sector.

But we can’t do any of this while the current ruling class is in place – Congress won’t reform the laws, and the Executive branch won’t prosecute. The vast majority of Americans don’t understand that we – “the 99%” – continue to be victimized by the NY-DC oligarchy. That’s the message of OWS. Get enough people aware, and we’ll either vote for change, or we’ll spark a revolution. Either of those is better than being swindled into debt slavery.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/owss-beef-wall-street-isnt-winning-its-cheating-20111025

How does Wall Street continue to get away with it? They own the media, too. And they can use their own “Cheat Codes” to describe in pleasant terms how they can continue to rape America:

FREE MONEY. Ordinary people have to borrow their money at market rates. Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon get billions of dollars for free, from the Federal Reserve…

CREDIT AMNESTY. …Citigroup and Bank of America overextended themselves by the hundreds of billions and pumped trillions of dollars of deadly leverage into the system — and got rewarded with things like the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program, an FDIC plan that allowed irresponsible banks to borrow against the government’s credit rating. Banks got better credit for being less responsible. Click on freecreditscore.com to see if you got the same deal.

STUPIDITY INSURANCE. Defenders of the banks like to talk a lot about how we shouldn’t feel sorry for people who’ve been foreclosed upon, because it’s their own fault… …Time after time, when big banks screw up and make irresponsible bets that blow up in their faces, they’ve scored bailouts. When was the last time the government stepped in to bail you out? When Joe Homeowner bought too much house, essentially betting that home prices would go up, and losing his bet when they dropped, he was an irresponsible putz who shouldn’t whine about being put on the street. But when banks bet billions on a firm like AIG that was heavily invested in mortgages, they were making the same bet that Joe Homeowner made, leaving themselves hugely exposed to a sudden drop in home prices. But instead of being asked to "suck it in and cope" when that bet failed, the banks instead went straight to Washington for a bailout — and got it.

UNGRADUATED TAXES… …As for the banks, as companies, we’ve all heard the stories. Goldman, Sachs in 2008 – this was the same year the bank reported $2.9 billion in profits, and paid out over $10 billion in compensation — paid just $14 million in taxes, a 1% tax rate. When GM bought the finance company AmeriCredit, it was able to marry its long-term losses to AmeriCredit’s revenue stream, creating a tax windfall worth as much as $5 billion. So even though AmeriCredit is expected to post earnings of $8-$12 billion in the next decade or so, it likely won’t pay any taxes during that time, because its revenue will be offset by GM’s losses. Thank God our government decided to pledge $50 billion of your tax dollars to a rescue of General Motors! You just paid for one of the world’s biggest tax breaks.

GET OUT OF JAIL FREE. …Virtually all 2.3 million of those in prison in America come from "the 99%." Here is the number of bankers who have gone to jail for crimes related to the financial crisis: 0. The Abacus case, in which Goldman helped a hedge fund guy named John Paulson beat a pair of European banks for a billion dollars, tells you everything you need to know about the difference between our two criminal justice systems. The settlement was $550 million — just over half of the damage. Can anyone imagine a common thief being caught by police and sentenced to pay back half of what he took? Just one low-ranking individual in that case was charged (case pending), and no individual had to reach into his pocket to help cover the fine. The settlement Goldman paid to to the government was about 1/24th of what Goldman received from the government just in the AIG bailout. And that was the toughest "punishment" the government dished out to a bank in the wake of 2008.

These inequities are what drive the OWS protests. People don’t want handouts. It’s not a class uprising and they don’t want civil war — they want just the opposite. They want everyone to live in the same country, and live by the same rules. It’s amazing that some people think that that’s asking a lot.

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