WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2016 – Socialist Democracy is on the march in New Hampshire, where avowed socialist and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders leads former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the polls.
What separates the two candidates should concern every American. The main issue separating the Clinton and Sanders camps are their views on economics. And either way you lose.
Hillary’s Crony Capitalism
If the FBI investigation into Hillary’s illegal handling of top secret government information was not damaging enough, participants to her paid speeches to Wall Street’s crony capitalists are leaking to the press.
“It was pretty glowing about us,” a Wall Street source told Politico of Hillary’s remarks. “It’s so far from what she sounds like as a candidate now. It was like a rah-rah speech. She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Mrs. Clinton received $675,000 for delivering three paid speeches to Goldman after she left the State Department” and “received $2.2 million in speaking fees from Goldman between 2005 and 2013.”
“How does Wall Street get away with it?” asked the narrator in a pro-Sanders, anti-Hillary attack ad running in Iowa. “Millions in campaign contributions and speaking fees… As long as Washington is bought and paid for, we can’t build an economy that works for people.”
Hillary turned immediately to a trusted Clinton defense strategy: when cornered, start parsing words:
“When you talk about Wall Street,” Hillary told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “are we talking about every bank or are we talking about a particular part of New York? That’s never really clarified. What I believe is that there are good actors and bad actors in every part of our economy.”
By “good actors” Hillary clearly meant the forward-thinking investment bankers who paid her $2.2 million in speaking fees as a thank you for the “rah-rah speech.”
It was around this time in 2007 that Goldman Sachs bundled thousands of toxic subprime mortgages in bonds to sell to investors. Goldman promptly shorted (bet against) these instruments, making a tidy profit as they tanked and their customers lost their shirts.
Last month, Goldman agreed to pay $5.1 billion in penalties to the feds and state governments, with $1.8 billion going toward loan forgiveness for select underwater homeowners.
Just in passing, President Obama’s treasury secretary, Jack Lew, served as chief operating officer at Citigroup’s Alternative Investments unit in 2006. Multi-Adviser Hedge Fund Portfolios LLC was part of this group and invested $26.4 million in the hedge fund Paulson Advantage Plus LP, run by John Paulson.
John Paulson, whose firm shorted toxic mortgage bonds, earned him a personal fortune of $4 billion, “believed to be the largest one-year payday in Wall Street history,” said the Wall Street Journal.
That trade earned Jack Lew a cool $1.1 million.
If you hate free markets and the freedom and prosperity it gives individuals, allow Congress to pass legislation demanding subprime lending and quasi-governmental institutions like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to underwrite these asset-crushing economic time bombs.
Then profit when things go BOOM.
Bernie’s Democratic Socialism
It is at this point in discussing the great Democratic Party divide that we explore Bernie Sanders’ “democratic socialism.” Fortunately, it has never been tried in America.
However, there is one example we can explore.
Venezuela ranks 14th among the world’s oil-producing nations, pumping out 2,689,000 barrels a day. But with the collapse in oil prices, Venezuela’s state-owned oil industry and the social democracy it supports have hit hard times.
You can read an excellent personal account of social democracy’s economic impact in Nicholas Casey’s “Reporter’s Notebook” in the New York Times (here).
The following is an excerpt:
In the capital, water is so expensive and scarce that residents wait for hours with bottles at the side of a mountain where it trickles out onto the highway… sugar cane fields rot, and milk factories stand idle, even as people carry bags of money around to buy food on the black market in every city and town… No one would pillage Puerto Cabello today. There is nothing to take anymore.
Have you noticed that Hillary and Bernie’s competing economic visions for America end in destruction and misery?