04-16-2012 11:33 AM - editado 04-16-2012 12:53 PM
QUID PRO QUO
President Obama, echoed by the establishment media, routinely trumpets Warren Buffett’s support for higher taxes.
If this rich guy is willing to pay more, the story goes, then surely the rest of us peasants should just roll over and acquiesce to the President’s class-warfare tax policy.
Well, one reason we shouldn’t surrender is that Buffett is either stupid or dishonest. In previous posts, I’ve exposed his fiscal innumeracy and explained that he is understating his own tax rate.
I also posted a video exposing the hypocrisy of rich leftists, who refuse to write checks to Uncle Sam notwithstanding their self-proclaimed willingness to pay more. As far as I’m aware, this also describes Buffett.
But maybe all this tax talk is a distraction. Perhaps the real story is that Buffett is a clever political manipulator and that his support for higher taxes is a way for him to pay back the politicians who have enacted policies to line his pockets.
Here are some very revealing passages from a new Reason column by Peter Schweizer. We start with the image that Buffett is creating for himself.
He frequently takes to the nation’s op-ed pages with populist-sounding arguments, such as his August 2010 plea in The New York Times for the government to stop “coddling” the “super-rich” and start raising their taxes.
Schweizer than puts forth an alternative hypothesis.
Warren Buffett is very much a political entrepreneur; his best investments are often in political relationships. In recent years, Buffett has used taxpayer money as a vehicle to even greater profit and wealth. Indeed, the success of some of his biggest bets and the profitability of some of his largest investments rely on government largesse and “coddling” with taxpayer money.
Buffett’s self-interested behavior during the Wall Street bailout is especially revealing.
…on September 23 that he became a highly visible player in the drama, investing $5 billion in Goldman Sachs, which was overleveraged and short on cash. Buffett’s play gave the investment bank a much-needed cash infusion, making a heck of a deal for himself in return: Berkshire Hathaway received preferred stock with a 10 percent dividend yield and an attractive option to buy another $5 billion in stock at $115 a share. Wall Street was on fire, and Buffett was running toward the flames.
What’s remarkable is that Buffett basically admitted he was investing money in the expectation that Uncle Sam was going to make his investment profitable.
But he was doing so with the expectation that the fire department (that is, the federal government) was right behind him with buckets of bailout money. As he admitted on CNBC at the time, “If I didn’t think the government was going to act, I wouldn’t be doing anything this week.”
According to Schweizer’s analysis, Buffett very much needed a pipeline to the Treasury because of his investments in Goldman Sachs and other financial institutions.
Buffett needed the bailout. In addition to Goldman Sachs, which was not as badly leveraged as some of its competitors, Buffett was heavily invested in several other banks, such as Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp, that were also at risk and in need of federal cash. So it’s no surprise that Buffett began campaigning for the $700 billion Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) that was being hammered out in Washington. …Buffett received better terms for his Goldman investment than the government got for its bailout. His dividend was set at 10 percent, while the government’s was 5 percent. Had the bailout not gone through, and had Goldman not been given such generous terms under TARP, things would have been very different for Buffett. As it stood, the arrangement with Goldman Sachs earned Berkshire about $500 million a year in dividends. “We love the investment!” he exclaimed to Berkshire investors.
The same was true for his investment with General Electric.
The General Electric deal also was profitable. As Reuters business columnist Rolfe Winkler noted on his blog in August 2009: “Were it not for government bailouts, for which Buffett lobbied hard, many of his company’s stock holdings would have been wiped out.” …Buffett did very well with Goldman Sachs and GE too after they received their bailout money. His net gain from General Electric as of April 2011 was $1.2 billion. His profits from the Goldman deal by then had exceeded the gains of July 2009, reaching as high as $3.7 billion. He had bet on his ability to help **noallow** the bailout, and the bet paid off.
I don’t know whether the $1.2 billion and $3.7 billion profits were for Berkshire Hathaway of for Buffett, but he still would be accumulating lots of additional wealth even if it was the former.
It also seems that Buffett’s support for the faux stimulus may have been for pecuniary reasons, or at least has a self-interested component.
In late 2009, Buffett made his largest investment ever when he decided to buy Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF). It was not just an endorsement of the railroad industry’s financials; it was also a huge bet on the budget priorities of his friend Barack Obama. …the railroad industry saw Buffett’s involvement as very helpful, precisely because he was so politically connected. “It’s a positive for the rail industry because of Buffett’s influence in Washington,” Henry Lampe, president of the short-haul railroad Chicago South Shore & South Bend, told the Journal. …After Buffett took over the railroad company, he dramatically increased spending on lobbyists. Berkshire spent $1.2 million on lobbyists in 2008, but by 2009 its budget had jumped to $9.8 million, where it more or less remained. Pouring money into lobbying is perhaps the best investment that Buffett could make. …Buffett also owns MidAmerican Energy Holdings, which received $93.4 million in stimulus money. General Electric, in which he owns a $5 billion stake, was one of the largest recipients of stimulus money in the country.
By the way, Bloomberg reported that the President’s decision to kill the Keystone Pipeline was a boon to Burlington Northern.
Was it part of a quid pro quo? We don’t know, but Schweizer’s conclusion is right on the mark.
Warren Buffett is a financial genius. But even better for his portfolio, though worse for the rest of us, he is a political genius.
And if you want more info on Buffett’s unseemly connections with Washington, the invaluable Tim Carney has a column about how the political elite coddles Warren Buffett and another looking at how Buffett profits from bailouts.
The bottom line is simple. When people get rich by providing goods and services in a competitive market, that’s capitalism. When they get rich because of subsidies, bailouts, preferences, and handouts provided by the ruling class, that’s Argentina.
I have no idea whether Buffett is corrupt, but I know he is benefiting from a corrupt system. So it’s understandable that people like me suspect that his endorsement of higher taxes is not because of a mistaken view of fiscal policy, but rather because he wants to do something nice for the politicians who rig the rules to give him more wealth.
04-16-2012 12:37 PM - editado 04-16-2012 12:48 PM
WHAT WOULD OBAMA’S BUFFET RULE TAX REALLY ACCOMPLISH?
Energy Fact of the Week: Why Obama deserves little credit for U.S. oil and gas boom »
By James Pethokoukis
April 9, 2012,
The New York Times:
President Obama and Senate Democrats will kick off a coordinated pressure campaign on Republicans next week ahead of a tax day vote on legislation to enact the president’s “Buffett Rule,” which would ensure that the rich pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. … “Making sure that everyone plays by the same set of rules is key to ensuring the economic security of the middle class,” said Amy Brundage, a White House spokeswoman, “and the president will continue to make this case next week.”
Now I would say that an economy a) capable of growing at least as fast as its historical average and b) not facing a deluge of debt is what’s really “key to ensuring the economic security” – and prosperity! — of the middle class. Not sure that the Buffett Rule really does much in this regard.
Actually, I’m not sure what the Buffett Rule accomplishes other than to give the Obama campaign a populist political cudgel with which to bash Mitt Romney.
Would the Buffett Rule tax raise much money? No, it wouldn’t. According to Congress’ official tax analysts, a Democrat bill designed to enact the tax would generate just $31 billion over the next 11 years. And that’s assuming crafty tax lawyers can’t figure out some new ways to hide that income, meaning less tax revenue. Of course, a simple way of doing this is to simply not realize capital gains. As e21 points out:
The higher the tax rate, the more powerful the incentive to avoid realizations. A “Buffet rule” or similar device to increase the capital gains tax rate on the top 1% would lead to economically damaging “lock-in effect,” where capital is not allocated to its most efficient use because of the tax disincentive to liquidate an existing investment. (A related issue is the elaborate tax-planning schemes where some investors use derivatives to replicate a sale without triggering tax liability.)
Would the Buffett Rule tax really make the tax system more progressive? Not so much. According to the Tax Policy Center, “middle-income households, on average, will pay 2015 taxes totaling about 15% of their income (using the legislation’s definition). Without the Buffett rule, more than 99 percent of millionaires will pay more than that and only about 4,000 will pay less. Barely 10 percent of them will pay less than 20 percent.” As it is, the total average effective tax rate—including payroll taxes—for the top 1 percent is already 30 percent vs. just 12.6 percent for the middle 20 percent. In fact, the top 0.1% pay 32.1% vs. 0.8% for the bottom 20%.
Also, taxpayers who only pay the 15% capital gains/dividend tax aren’t really just paying a 15% rate. That income is actually double taxed, first at the corporate level and then at the individual level. Indeed, a new report from Ernst & Young found that the current top U.S. integrated dividend tax rate is 50.8 percent—which will rise to 68.6 percent in 2013—while the 50.8 percent integrated capital gains tax rate will rise to 56.7 percent in 2013. So the whole premise of the Buffett Rule — that some group of superwealthy Americans are paying some minimal tax rate — is false.
Would the Buffett Tax rule make the economy stronger? No, it wouldn’t. The Buffett Rule tax would move the tax code further away from the necessary goal of eliminating its bias against investment and toward consumption. Economic simulations have repeatedly indicated that replacing the income tax system with a consumption tax would boost economic growth. Even without the Buffett Rule, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and new taxes under Obamacare would raise taxes on capital gains to 24% and dividends to 45%, triple today’s rate. Of course, just last year, the Obama administration noted in its budget that the lower dividend rate “reduces the tax bias against equity investment and promotes a more efficient allocation of capital.”
Instead of reforming the tax code, the Buffett Rule would deform it further.
Publicado: 04-18-2012 07:02 PM
Some people have the vocabulary to sum up things in a way you can understand them. This quote came from a friend in the Czech Republic . We have a lot of work to do.
"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America .
Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama,who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."
OBAMA SE NIEGA A PERMITIR CONSTRUIR EL OLEODUCTO DE CANADA A HOUSTON OBLIGANDO A CANADA A VENDER SU PETROLEO A CHINA, PETROLEO QUE HUBIERA LIBERADO A U.S. DE COMPRARLO A CHAVEZ.... ASI OBAMA CASTIGA A LOS AMIGOS Y AYUDA A LOS ENEMIGOS DE U.S.
OBAMA"Wanted Higher Gas Prices, and He Got Them"
LA GUERRA DE OBAMA CONTRA LA INDUSTRIA DOMESTICA DEL PETROLEO ES RESPONSABLE DE QUE EN CALIFORNIA YA ESTA A $7 EL GALON.
April 7, 2012 | Reaganite Republican
Publicado: 04-20-2012 04:49 PM
Cheering Black Radical Killers
By Arnold Ahlert On April 19, 2012 In Daily Mailer,FrontPage
Alice Kaplan’s latest book, ”Dreaming in French,” illuminates a pivotal year in the lives of Jackie Kennedy, Susan Sontag and Angela Davis, each of whom spent time in Paris between World War II and the start of the Vietnam War. In his review of the book, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Thomas Chatterton Williams contends that Angela Davis was the beneficiary of French intellectuals, whose works Davis had mastered, when they returned the favor by supporting her “against the racism of trumped-up charges she later would face.” Williams is referring to charges Davis faced in a 1972 murder case for which she was acquitted. Trumped up charges? Historical revisionism at best, outright lying at worst. Yet “racist-motivated” or “trumped-up charges” has been a recurring motif used to defend a coterie of radical black criminals who, despite mountains of evidence against them, have also benefitted from the support of leftists. It is those same leftists who are determined to turn the Trayvon Martin case into another racially-motivated circus–one where genuine justice takes a back seat to a leftist mob agenda.
Angela Davis is a former member of the Black Panther Party, who became a Communist in 1968 because she believed that “the only path of liberation for black people is that which leads toward complete and radical overthrow of the capitalist class.” In 1979, Davis was awarded the Intenational Lenin Peace Prize (formerly the International Stalin Peace Prize) by then-communist East Germany. In both 1980 and 1984, she ran for Vice President of the United States on the Communist Party ticket. She currently leads her own movement against what she refers to as the “Prison industrial complex,” contending that all incarcerated minorities are nothing more than political prisoners who should be freed.
On August 7, 1970, 17-year-old Jonathan Jackson pulled out a gun in the middle of trial and ordered everyone to freeze. He then passed out guns to the defendants and took five hostages as part of an escape plan. One of the hostages was presiding Judge Harold Haley, who had a sawed-off shotgun taped to his chin during the ordeal. During the subsequent gun battle attempting to prevent the escape, the judge’s head was blown off.
Davis was indicted as a result of two over-riding factors. First, more than 20 witnesses indicated that the hostage-taking was an effort to free fellow Black Panther George Jackson who was reportedly her lover, and that Davis had been in the area at the time of the crime. Second, Davis was the owner of the shotgun that killed Haley, and owned all of the other guns used in the attempted escape as well.
Trumped up charges? Davis seemingly didn’t think so. She fled California to avoid arrest, using aliases and changing her appearance until she was apprehended in New York City two months later. And even if one concedes the former charge might be untrue, the latter charge is indisputable. Davis owned the guns. Yet for people like Thomas Chatterton Williams and other see-no-radical-evil disciples, a prosecutor bringing charges against the owner of weapons used in a murder constitutes race-based railroading.
See-no-evil is a recurring theme for leftists when it comes to black radicals. Assata Shakur, aka JoAnne Chesimard, was part of a revolutionary activist organization known as the Black Liberation Army (BLA). On May 2, 1973, Chesimard and two accomplices were stopped for a motor vehicle violation on the New Jersey Turnpike by two state troopers. Chesimard was already wanted for her involvement in several felonies, including bank robbery. The trio opened fire on the troopers, wounding one. The other trooper was shot and killed execution-**noallow** at point-blank range. In 1977, Chesimard was convicted of first-degree murder. Two years later, she escaped prison and is currently thought to be living in Cuba.
A societal pariah as a result? Hardly. In 2005, a grassroots movement, “Hands Off Assata” generated support for Chesimard in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and other cities. Other supporters claim she was the victim of “racial profiling and political targeting.” In 2011, the controversy touched the president when rapper Common was invited to the White House, despite penning “A Song for Assata” and naming his child Omote Assata Lynn. “Assata had been convicted of a murder she couldna done,” Common rapped. New Jersey state troopers were understandably outraged by the invitation. How is the president associated with Common? “It is likely Obama met Common at the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ were both men were members,” reported the NH Journal in 2011.
Tellingly, Common has voiced support for another cop-killing radical and former Black Panther, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who murdered Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. Despite this reality, Abu-Jamal has been the darling of innumerable leftist crusaders, a partial list of which, compiled by the Fraternal Order of Police, can be found here. Once again, supporters insist Abu-Jamal was convicted in “a kangaroo court on trumped up charges.” And once again, one of Abu-Jamal’s apparent supporters was another associate of president Obama: in 2008, the Chicago Tribune reported that former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers decorated the door of his University of Illinois office with a picture of Abu-Jamal, along with radicals Che Guevara, and Malcolm X.
And in a poetic close to the circle of radical support that began with Parisian intellectuals backing Angela Davis in the ’70s, the socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, made Abu-Jamal an honorary citizen of his city in 2003, followed by Mayor Didier Paillard naming a street after the cop-killer in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis in 2006.
Which brings us to Sanford, Florida. No one can say with any degree of certainty what occurred during the fateful exchange between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. Yet what can be said with certainty is that a leftist constituency of racial arsonists, including Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the latest incarnation of the Black Panther Party, the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), is every bit as interested in mob justice, absent the facts, as the original Panthers and their supporters were. Their pre-determined verdict in the case is already in: Trayvon Martin is an innocent victim, and George Zimmerman is a racist, cold-blooded killer.
Yet as ironically as it gets, the same leftist protesters who have so often demanded freedom for those whose guilt has been established beyond all reasonable doubt now demand law enforcement officials to find George Zimmerman guilty of something. If that same reasonable doubt they ostensibly champion leads to an acquittal? As NBPP leaders have made clear, America should get ready for a “race war” if that particular verdict is reached by a jury.
But it’s not just the NBPP or other radicals looking for street justice. Daily Beast columnist Mansfield Frazier worries about America “facing Rodney King, Part II…if this case goes all the way to trial.” As opposed to what? “To my mind, the government offers Zimmerman a plea deal that has him back on the street within this decade, and he accepts it quietly. That seems like a conclusion most reasonable Americans could live with,” writes Frazier, who apparently eschews constitutional due process when it is threatened by mob violence. One is left to wonder whether Mr. Frazier would be willing to “live with” a similar plea deal even he were innocent, in order to placate a mob.
As for Angela Davis, she considers Trayvon Martin the victim of “racist violence,” further contending that “it’s difficult to keep all of the other examples of racist violence in focus when we demand justice for Trayvon Martin.” In other words, as far as Ms. Davis is concerned, racism is an established fact in this case. She further emphasized that conclusion during a speech at Cal Poly Pomona, when she contended that George Zimmerman could be compared to a “modern day slave catcher.”
One can only wonder how Davis, et al., can be so monumentally oblivious to their own hypocrisy. For decades they have decried “racially motivated” jury verdicts, based on “trumped up” charges, played out in “kangaroo courts.” They have rallied to protest against a “rush to judgment” and the “railroading” of “innocent” suspects. Yet it is now glaringly apparent that such earnestness only applies to the “right” kind of suspect.
George Zimmerman is not the right kind of suspect. There is nothing to be gained by defending “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman’s constitutional rights–except justice. Yet when it’s not a fellow radical under the microscope, justice be damned.
Publicado: 04-21-2012 12:58 PM
Hotair ^ | 04/20/2012 | AllahPundit
The information's hiding in plain sight but it’s still a nifty catch by the Standard’s Daniel Halper. You know why? Because the idea that Jon Corzine is still raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for The One is so insane and implausible, virtually no one would have thought to check. Of coursethat's not happening. Of course.
He's in the $500,000+ club for the first quarter of this year, the most elite group there is among O's cash cows. You know what else happened during that quarter? News broke that more than a billion dollars in MF Global client funds had apparently been “vaporized” in the firm’s collapse, with investigators clueless as to where the money might have gone. As recently as last month, new evidence emerged pointing to Corzine’s direct involvement in using clients’ cash to cover the firm’s debts. And yet, presumably, he was squeezing his rich friends for dough for Obama the whole time. Ace asks a good question: “Why is a man under investigation by a government agency permitted to raise money for the man who controls that agency?” Wouldn’t be the first time Corzine’s used his political leverageto personal advantage.
If you missed it a few days ago, read Ed’s post on Patrick Kennedy claiming that the White House rewards its rich donors with certain quid pro quos. Can’t wait to see what Jon Corzine gets in return for his extreme diligence on behalf of the “Not a Republican” reelection effort. Exit question: Does Team O understand that transparency is supposed to act as a deterrent to impropriety or the appearance of impropriety? They love to pat themselves on the back for voluntarily disclosing the names of their bundlers, but the point of disclosure is that it dissuades you, at least in theory, from dealing with cretins lest you be scrutinized for it. Where’s the dissuasion, guys?
LA MADRE DE TODOS LOS DEFALCOS, CORZINE DONA MILLONES A OBAMA MIENTRAS DEFRAUDA ¡$1,800 MILLONES A SUS CLIENTES!!!
OBAMA/ CORZINE, UNA MANO LAVA LA OTRA...
LA MAFIA DEMOCRATA EN PLENA ACCION
QUID PRO QUO... LA MAFIA DEMOCRATA
Publicado: 04-22-2012 02:14 PM
Top 10 Obama flimflams
This list of half-truths, sleight-of-hands, and outright lies are a good reason why Obama doesn't deserve a title more ennobling than huckster-in-chief.
1. Unprecedented shorthand
After the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on ObamaCare, the President came forth with his thoroughly discredited analysis that it would be “unprecedented” for the high court to overturn a congressional action, perhaps thinking we all forgot about Marbury v. Madison (1803). After the nation's laughter subsided, White House spokesman Jay Carney explained away the fumble, saying “the President was not clearly understood by some people because he is a law professor, he spoke in shorthand.”
2. Invoking Reagan
Obama tried citing President Reagan's tax policies as a cover for his own tax-hiking fervor, referring to Reagan as “that wild-eyed, socialist, tax-hiking class warrior.” Not even close, Mr. President. We all know that Reagan cut the marginal rates for the top income bracket from 70 percent to 28 percent and reduced the capital gains tax from 28 percent to 20 percent, creating an economic boom.
3. Keystone cop-out
President Obama was obviously stung by the backlash to his Keystone Pipeline decision, as even his union backers were aghast that he jettisoned a jobs-creating project. Obama tried to change perceptions by taking credit for the Southern leg of the pipeline, from Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico. But the Pipeline to Nowhere was already in the works before Obama said he green-lighted it and, besides, it will not bring any Canadian oil to the U.S. Market.
4. False Rutherford B. Hayes smear
Obama's campaign rhetoric reached back to the 19th Century to make a point about Republicans opposing new technology. Obama said, “One of my predecessors, Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone, ‘It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?’ That's why he's not on Mount Rushmore because he’s looking backwards.” Actually, Hayes was something of a high-tech geek for his era, introducing the first telephone to the White House and hobnobbing with Thomas A. Edison.
5. Weathering budget cuts
It is a tried and true Democratic tactic to exaggerate proposed Republican budget cuts -- which are usually just slowdowns in future proposed spending. Obama got in on the act, saying that under Paul Ryan's budget, “Our weather forecasts would become less accurate because we wouldn't be able to afford to **noallow** new satellites.” Hmm, less accurate weather forecasts -- sounds like a prescription for more global warming alarmism.
6. Poisoning children
Another liberal strategy is to demonize the opposition, making the GOP sound like evil maniacs. Obama recently implied that the Republican vision includes “poisoning our kids” by allowing higher levels of pollution. No, Mr. President -- the problem that our kids will inherit is the crushing debt caused by your out-of-control spending.
7. Buffett gimmick
Even the President admits that the so-call ed Buffett rule is a gimmick that would do virtually nothing to close the budget deficit. But that hasn't stopped him from repeatedly trotting out the plan to make sure the very rich pay a higher marginal tax rate than their secretaries. Even Obama can't figure out how to do that in real life, as his own tax returns show him paying a 20.5 percent tax rate, lower than his own secretary.
8. Blaming others
Obama has perfected the blame-game maneuver, saying his dismal record in office was the fault of George Bush, the Japanese, or the Arab Spring. Our favorite Obama excuse was his attempt to deflect attention from his poor job-creation record by saying it was the fault of Automatic Teller Machines putting bank clerks out of business.
9. Rhetorical overkill
Obama is cranking up the rhetoric, calling Republicans “members of the flat Earth society,” mocking Mitt Romney for using the word “marvelous,” and calling Paul Ryan's budget a “Trojan Horse” for “social Darwinism.” Of course, running a campaign that focused on the issues would require the President to defend his first term's record.
10. War on women
Obama is attacking Republicans for waging a war against women, which in reality is nothing more than Democratic talking point. Obama tried to show solidarity with female voters by bemoaning higher dry-cleaning bills for women, saying, “We haven't gotten on the dry cleaning thing yet. I mean, I know that is still frustrating. I'm sure.” Yes, Mr. Obama, focus your efforts on the dry-cleaning crisis and quit meddling with healthcare and the economy.
Publicado: 04-25-2012 12:30 PM
Obama's Tainted Bundler
By Jonah Goldberg 4/25/2012
Jon Corzine left Goldman Sachs with a net worth far exceeding even that of Mitt Romney today. Many accounts of his tenure at Goldman suggest he "failed up" the corporate ladder.
Pushed out of Goldman in a power struggle (sparked in part by his support for a government bailout of Long-Term Capital Management), he nonetheless pocketed somewhere between $350 million and $500 million when the company went public. He used the cash to buy himself a Senate seat, spending $62 million out of his own pocket.
After the Senate, he spent nearly $40 million of his own money to win the New Jersey governorship. While he was running for senator, the married-but-separated Corzine struck up a romantic relationship with Carla Katz, also married and head of Local 1034 of the Communications Workers of America. They broke up in 2004, but the flirting apparently never ended. In 2007, Katz and Corzine were both involved in negotiations over a state workers contract. In one email during that time obtained by the Newark Star-Ledger, Katz informs the governor, "BTW, I had an over the top erotic dream about you last night. Bad boy!!"
Bad boy indeed. When the couple broke up, and after her union had endorsed Corzine and worked for his re-election, the governor's lawyers negotiated a settlement whereby he reportedly paid Katz more than $6 million and forgave a half-million-dollar loan he made to her when they were still an item.
LA MADRE DE TODOS LOS DEFALCOS, CORZINE DONA MILLONES A OBAMA MIENTRAS DEFRAUDA ¡$1,800 MILLONES A SUS CLIENTES!!!
When Corzine ran for re-election as governor, both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden stumped for him. Biden explained that from the moment he and the president sat down to figure out their economic strategy, "Literally, the first guy I called was Jon Corzine. It's not a joke. It's not a joke. First of all, he's the smartest guy I know in terms of the economy and on finance, and I really mean that."
Despite that ringing endorsement, Corzine lost his 2009 re-election bid to reformer Chris Christie. So Corzine went back to Wall Street, as chief executive of MF Global Holdings, a bond trading firm. A research note from the firm of Sander O'Neill Partners summarized what the Street expected from Corzine: "We suspect that his contacts in Washington could prove useful as MF Global navigates a shifting regulatory environment."
Corzine proceeded to do exactly the sorts of things Wall Street has become infamous for: making crazy bets with other people's money, counting on governments to bail out the private sector and, allegedly, expecting to get friendly treatment from regulators. Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, was an old friend and colleague of Corzine's at Goldman Sachs and in Washington. Gensler had been a key aide to Sen. Paul Sarbanes and had reportedly worked closely with Corzine writing the Sarbanes-Oxley bill. At MF Global, under Gensler's watch, Corzine bet more than $6 billion on the European sovereign debt crisis, using borrowed client money. MF Global also apparently commingled client and company funds to pay off financial obligations, which is illegal.
Under Corzine, MF Global lost well over $1 billion, and I don't mean in the profit/loss sense. I mean it was physically misplaced and Corzine cannot account for where it went. The Justice Department is investigating, and news media accounts suggest a criminal prosecution is likely. Somewhat better late than never, Gensler recused himself after MF Global went bankrupt.
So, why the trip down memory lane? Because the Obama campaign just announced that Corzine is still on the list of top-tier bundlers for the Obama re-election campaign. Corzine has raised more than half a million dollars for Obama.
Obama is constantly denouncing "millionaires and billionaires" for playing by their own rules. It's true that the campaign told one reporter in February that it wouldn't take more money from Corzine himself, but it's been happy to let the man solicit donations for Obama even as Corzine is under investigation by Obama's own Justice Department. How cozy.
Tell me, what's the point of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and its countless sympathizers in the Democratic Party and the media, if that's good enough? Whatever happened to changing how Washington works?
We're about to enter a very long campaign in which where an apparently squeaky-clean Mitt Romney is going to be demonized for his success and dragged through the gutter. Meanwhile, Obama took cash from a true denizen of the gutter.