BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE
Sorry Mr. President, but We’ve Turned too Many Pages Already
President Obama has suggested that we “turn the page” on Republican misdeeds and move the nation forward. The president is a good natured sort, but there is such a thing as being forgiving to a fault, and I think we’ve long since reached that point with the Republican Party. The GOP reminds me of a woman who's been caught committing adultery, then when her husband confronts her with it the next morning, she becomes incensed and tells him that he's going to destroy their marriage if he doesn't learn to stop dwelling in the past.
It’s time for America to take a long, hard, and objective look at the Republican Party. The American people have been played for fools long enough by these people. Once we begin to take a serious look at the GOP an unmistakable pattern is going to emerge. We’re going to notice the same arguments being put forth by the same names, who are engaging in the very same practices, leading to the same kind of corruption being recycled every generation.
On October 29, 1929 the Republican Party ushered in the Great Depression under President Herbert Hoover, and it took Democratic president, Franklin Roosevelt, to bail the nation out.
Then on October 19, 1987, under Republican, Ronald Reagan, the stock market fell 508 points due to the excesses of Reaganomics. Then after that, due to the continued freewheeling fiscal policies of conservative Republicans, between 1986 and 1989, spanning the presidencies of Reagan and Bush Sr., the FSLIC had to pay off all the depositors of 296 institutions at a cost of over $125 billion.
Then in 1988 Silverado Savings and Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $1.3 billion. It was headed by Neil Bush, brother of George W. The investigation alleged that he was guilty of "breaches of his fiduciary duties involving multiple conflicts of interest." The issue was eventually settled out of court with Bush paying a mere $50,000 settlement.
Then there was the Lincoln Savings and loan scandal in 1987, involving John McCain. The scandal was very similar to the one that is currently playing out on Wall Street. He was one of a group of senators dubbed "The Keating Five" involved in a scandal by the same name.
In 1976 Charles Keating moved to Arizona to run the American Continental Corporation. In 1984, shortly after the Reagan era push to deregulate the savings and loan community, Keating bought Lincoln Savings and Loan and began to engage in highly risky investments with the depositors' savings. In 1989 the parent company, which Keating headed, went bankrupt, and it resulted in over 21,000 investors losing their life savings. Most of the investors were elderly, and the loss amounted to about 285 million dollars.
After having received over a million dollars from Keating in illegal campaign contributions, gifts, free trips, and other gratuities, the Keating Five--Senators John Glenn, Don Riegle, Dennis DeConini, Alan Cranston, and Sen. John McCain--attempted to intervene in the investigation into Keating's activities by the regulators. Later, they were admonished to varying degrees by the senate for attempting to influence regulators on Keating's behalf.
Charles Keating ended up being convicted for fraud, racketeering and conspiracy, for which he received 10 years by the state court, and a 12 year sentence in federal court. After spending four and a half years in prison, his convictions were overturned. But prior to being retried, he pled guilty to a number of felonies in return for a sentence of time served.
So fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. But if we allow them to continue to fool us every generation with impunity, we’re damn fools. We need to hang these people out to dry, or mark my words, they'll be back feeding from the frough in another ten years--convincing yet a new generation of Americans that they're socialists if they don't hand over their money to the “rich and deserving.”
Eric L. Wattree
Monday, March 09, 2009
BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE
Posted by Eric Wattree at 2:01 PM