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|January 1-7, 2009
Back to Letters
Let’s bust Wall Street bank robbers
by Jim Hightower
On Sept. 19, Ryan Mueller was sentenced in Sheboygan, Wis., to six years in prison for stealing $20 from a toddler’s piggy bank.
Think how much better things would have gone for him had his name been Freddie Mac, Bear Stearns, or any of the other monikers of the high-flying Wall Street investment banks. These institutional street thugs have robbed the piggy banks of millions of American homeowners. Yet, only two days after Ryan Mueller’s conviction, Treasury secretary Henry Paulson went running after the Wall Street Gang — not to arrest them, but to cover their wrongdoing with a $700-billion bailout.
That’s more than $2,000 for every man, woman, and child in our land — victims being forced to pay the perpetrators of a legalized theft that has wrecked the housing market, eliminated thousands of jobs, and sent our economy into a deep tailspin.
Paulson (formerly a Wall Street Banking honcho, himself) wanted what he called “a clean” bailout bill. In other words, an 11-or-12-figure transfer of wealth from us to them, with no strings attached — no punishment for the scofflaws who were in charge, no help for homeowners who got robbed, no protection for taxpayers, and no re-regulation to keep the kleptocrats from repeating their grand larceny.
Bush & Company has had to choke down a huge serving of ideological crow here. He and his laizzes-faire wrecking crew forced this jerry-rigged system of “Yee-Haw!” capitalism on America, and now they want socialism to clean up their disaster.
The Bushites tell us we have no choice, for these giants are “too big to fail.” Well — hello — if that’s so, it’s time to break them up, not make them even bigger and fewer. Let’s put a little competition in the system, so America does not remain at the mercy of a handful of financial greedheads and boneheads.
For more information on Jim Hightower's work — and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown — visit www.jimhightower.com.
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