A Dylan Ratigan Show panel talks about the top political stories of the day, including America’s decision to lend support to European banks.
At first glance, the December jobs report seems to be a step in the right direction. An unemployment rate of 9.4 percent, the lowest level in 19 months. And a president, happy to boast about another 103,000 jobs being created last month.
However, renowned economist Peter Morici points out two important caveats. For one, 260,000 Americans simply dropped out of the labor force in December. They are out of work, yet no longer counted as unemployed by the government. And secondly, 103,000 jobs is nowhere near the number of jobs we need to be adding each month. To bring unemployment down to 6 percent by 2013, businesses need to hire an average of 350,000 new workers each month.
Even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who continues to defend his Quantitative Easing (aka money-printing) program, couldn’t ignore the writing on the wall during a Senate hearing Friday morning. “If we continue at this pace”, said Bernanke, “we are not going to see sustained declines to the unemployment rate.”
This “pace” that we’re operating at is working out just fine for the incumbent power structure, but it is strangling the rest of America. And it’s not the first time a group of outdated industries has controlled our government for their own benefit, and at the detriment of everyone else.
It took a courageous — and at the time crazy — leader by the name of Teddy Roosevelt to step up and change that. He took on the biggest financial giant there was, JP Morgan, and he won. Roosevelt’s underlying premise — if you’re too powerful and you’re profiting at the expense of the American people — then you are an enemy of freedom and the government must break you up. It was that simple.
Here we find ourselves today in a similar situation, where six industries have a stranglehold over Washington. And the draining of our current and future wealth will only continue as both the media and the political class not only tolerates but spreads the phrase “free market” when the reality doesn’t match the rhetoric.
Our politicians continue to take money from massive corporations to subsidize them in a rigged marketplace that only cares about protecting the incumbent structure. At the same time, the American people are drowning in a red sea of debt caused by perpetuating banking, health care, energy and defense systems that are expensive, ineffective and protected from competition.
So I have a challenge for those so-called free market Republicans who rode a wave of voter discontent into Washington. I challenge you to end massive corporate subsidies. To end tax loopholes. And to end rigged trade with China and release the true power of free markets.
This can no longer be simply a talking point to win votes. Because this broken system is not only costing American jobs… it’s costing us the very prosperity and freedoms that this country was founded on.
WATCH: “The Bears Talk China’s Manipulation” ….
As we sit here today, Wall Street continues to exploit a policy of government-sponsored giveaways and secrecy to pay themselves billions.
Record-setting bonuses due to banks like Goldman Sachs as early next week.
Yet instead of acting as our cop, Secretary Tim Geithner has become central to what may be a cover-up of the greatest theft in U.S. history.
Here is the evidence.
COUNT 1: The AIG Emails:
Recently-released emails show Geithner’s New York Federal Reserve Bank directing AIG to keep details of the 100-cents-on-the-dollar bailout secret in 2008 — A reversal of the traditional role of government, which is to force companies to become more transparent, not less.
A Treasury Spokeswoman says: “Secretary Geithner played no role in these decisions and indeed, by November 24, he was recused from working on issues involving specific companies, including AIG.”
Friday, the White House also defended the Treasury Secretary:
Gibbs: These decisions did not rise to his level at the fed.
CNN’s Ed Henry: How do you know that he wasn’t involved? He was the leader of the New York Fed.
Gibbs: Right, but he wasn’t on the emails that have been talked about and wasn’t party to the decision that was being made.
He wasn’t party to a decision to hide $62 billion dollar payouts to firms that became insolvent during his 5-year watch at the New York Fed?
Congressman Darrell Issa speculates that maybe Geithner wasn’t on the emails in question because his people felt so strongly they already knew their boss’s intentions, they didn’t feel the need to bother him with the details.
COUNT 2: He wasn’t even a regulator!
In Geithner’s own words during confirmation hearings in March:
“First of all, I’ve never been a regulator…I’m not a regulator.”
According to the New York fed bank’s website, that was your job!! And I quote from the Fed’s website: “As part of our core mission, we supervise and regulate financial institutions in the Second District.”
That district of course is the epicenter for bailed out banks and billion dollar bonuses.
Count 3: “The Christmas Eve Taxpayer Massacre.”
As you were wrapping those last presents, Geithner’s Treasury Department lifted the 400-billion dollar cap on taxpayer responsibility for potential losses for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The new cap? Unlimited taxpayer funds! Interesting timing… Christmas eve, Tim?
Still no word on recovering the hundreds of millions paid to the CEOs who created this mess.
COUNT 4: He’s too cozy with certain banks.
Remember those call logs when he first started… 80 contacts with Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and CitiGroup CEOs in just 7 months!
But Bank of America’s CEO only got three calls. Apparently Bank of America is not one of Geithner’s favorites, especially when you consider that there are still many unanswered questions about Tim Geithner’s role in threatening to fire Bank of America management if they didn’t go through with a deal to buy Merrill lynch.
COUNT 5: TARP Special Investigator Neil Barofsky’s report says Geithner’s New York Fed overpaid the big banks through AIG by billions of dollars.
Geithner says it had to be done. Maybe so, maybe not, but this takes us to our final point.
Since then, the Treasury Secretary has yet to really prove whose side he’s on — the Wall Street big wigs or the American taxpayer? Here’s the litmus test: Mr. Geithner, show us the past ten years of AIG emails or step down so that we can get somebody who will. A crime has been committed against the American taxpayer and right now you are standing at the door of the crime scene refusing to let anyone in.
Show us you’re not involved Mr. Geithner, prove the white house correct in defending you. All we are asking for is the transparency promised by the President you serve.