With the crashing of the economy, and the up-coming taxpayer bailout of hundreds upon hundreds of billions of dollars, Americans and Kentuckians need to take a hard look at the root causes of the reversal of budget surpluses into TRILLIONS of dollars of national debt. In Kentucky, one need not look past the failed Republican Congressional delegation of the time, many of which are still serving and running for re-election.
Led by Mitch McConnell, this bunch of Corporate Profiteers never met a Corporate Welfare or de-regulation bill they would not vote for. One need only look back to the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, which overturned many of the protections of FDR’s New Deal to find the root of our current woes. While there, one will also find that Kentucky Republicans were unanimous in their support, and failure of leadership.
But there was little dissent in 1999, when Sen. Mitch McConnell and the rest of Kentucky’s congressional delegation voted to deregulate Wall Street banking and investments. They – and most other members of Congress – brushed aside concerns that deregulation could create massive financial institutions that would be “too big to fail,” requiring a government bailout if they started to stagger.
Of course as always with Kentucky Republicans, their votes garnered them huge dollars in campaign contributions from the very industries taxpayers must now bail out:
The Kentucky delegation went on to collect millions of dollars in combined campaign donations from the financial sector, while the banking, securities and insurance industries merged into the creature that is now collapsing and calling for government aid.
The numbers are staggering:
McConnell has been individually feted in New York City by major banks, including a 2005 luncheon given in his honor by UBS and Citigroup, which raised at least $60,000 for his campaign fund. Former Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, who sponsored the Wall Street deregulation bill and then left Congress to become an investment banker at UBS, helped organize that event and donated $4,000 to McConnell.
Among others in the Kentucky delegation who voted for Wall Street deregulation in 1999, and who are still in Congress, Bunning got $2.4 million; Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Hopkinsville, got $697,116; Rep. Ron Lewis, R-Cecilia, got $551,266; and Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, got $406,765, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Totals are for donations from 1989 to 2008.
As you can see, Congressman Ed Whitfield was not only tied up in the failure by voting for this bill, but actually was rewarded with $700,000 worth of campaign contributions for his irresponsibility, and failed judgement.
His response would be laughable if it was a joke, and not a $700 billion or more debt for our children and grandchildren to pay off:
A Whitfield spokeswoman likewise noted that her boss was far from alone in supporting the 1999 law, and she said the congressman doubted whether deregulation – as opposed to greed – led to the current meltdown.
“It’s always easy to point fingers and try to place blame when any kind of crisis arises,” Whitfield wrote in a statement. “Addressing our current financial situation and turning our economy around is a difficult challenge we as a nation face and we in Congress must address.”
In the immortal words of mothers everywhere, if everyone else was jumping off a bridge, would you jump off of it too? That IS NOT leadership!! At Ryan for Kentucky, we submit that it was the greed of men like Whitfield, following the leader Mitch McConnell that led to the current meltdown. Their greed caused the de-regulation they profited from, and that went on to crash our economy.
Of course Exxon Eddie doesn’t want us to “point fingers” and “place blame” because he knows he showed horrible leadership and judgement, and profited handsomely to the tune of $700,000 to smear his opponents with. At Ryan for Kentucky, we submit once more that a Congressman who was so tied up with the terrible failure of 1999 has not the vision, judgement, courage, or leadership to “Address our current financial situation and turn our economy around”. This same failed leadership is what created this mess, led by all Kentucky Republicans in 1999, including Exxon Ed Whitfield.
In fact, Exxon Ed Whitfield and the whole Republican delegation lined up firmly behind now disgraced Senator Larry “Foottapper” Craig:
“The Financial Services Modernization Act overhauled the financial services industry by eliminating outdated Depression-era laws that have hampered the industry’s ability to increase its efficiency,” Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, wrote in a 1999 article on behalf of the Senate Republican caucus.
Is this the kind of leadership we need in Kentucky? Blindly lining up behind corrupt industries and leaders that crash our economy off a cliff? I submit that this debacle brings to light exactly why we need new leadership in Kentucky, including the First Congressional District:
This has left us with a huge opening against Exxon Ed Whitfield in this district. As you can see by his own statement, he knows he is intricately tied into this failure. All we need to do is let these voters know just how dirty his hands are.
Please consider supporting Heather Ryan in Kentucky’s First. With the resources to bring Exxon Eddie’s failed record in crashing the economy to these voters, she will win in a landslide. Voters of this district hate to see their tax dollars wasted, and will hold Exxon Eddie accountable. Please, contribute to expand our Congressional majority with real leadership here:
As of now, this race is on the map!!