“The President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office, on impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The Constitution of the United States, Article 2, Section 4
President Barack Obama, while decrying K-Street lobbyists in Washington riding the coattails of political high ground of the Tom DeLay-Jack Abramoff debacle, collected $30,000 per dinner plate in New York to raise campaign funds from the banks he was bailing out even as he criticized the Supreme Court and Chief Justice John Roberts for treating campaign contributions as free speech.
Hollywood made Inside Job to expose the ugly insides of the financial system in the aftermath of the current economic crisis. The key players, Timothy Geithner, Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan refused to answer any questions for the purposes of the documentary.
Representative Ron Paul of Texas, among the most knowledgable member of Congress overseeing the Federal Reserve in the House of Representatives albeit a bit old fashioned in his critique of the nearly 100 year old institution, is running for president again to end the Fed, after writing a book with the title End the Fed.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is swamped with cases from the housing crisis to investigate Wall Street firms of wrong doing. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), even as it is making deals to penalize the major banks in New York where fraud is in the gray area of investigation, bemoans its own lawyers who are accustomed to the revolving door, compromising their rigor of oversight in real time.
The muddy icing on that cake is the resignation of New York Governor Elliot Spitzer who found a new gig as a CNN news talk show host after being caught in an escort scandal involving his trader buddies while he was Attorney General of New York. Now, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) French Managing Director Dominique Strauss Kahn was arrested for sexual misconduct in a fashionable Manhattan Hotel after appearing to flee the scene of the alleged crime for to attend the G8 summit in his country Deauville, France, about to resign from the IMF to seek the French presidency.
All this seems to be losing its intended effect, leaving the people of the United States dismayed in the face of a country sliding down the slippery slope of what appears to be plausibly deniable political corruption, with the United States ranked 22 in Transparency International’s World Corruption Index. Is it really deniable or is the system bailing itself out?
Bank stocks are rising but domestic investment is stagnant if not still in the realm of disinvestment. Wall Streeters are earning annual bonuses, the average at Goldman Sachs in 2010 being $600,000 per employee, with employment and consumer spending uncertainty raising concerns about a double dip recession. Inflation is going up because of gas prices once again. The economic forecast of the White House, with full support from the Federal Reserve, continues to insist that full recovery is not feasible until 2016.
The conventional wisdom on Constitution Avenue, the Main Street of Washington, is that it could be as late as 2022 for unemployment to fall to the 4 per cent level once again to meet the goal of Vice President Joe Biden’s middle class recovery. A generation’s time is being lost convincing the country that it is the way it will be. Anyone who questions this mindset is literally being called crazy by the economic establishment, from Athens to San Francisco.
The Federal Reserve and the Treasury will not answer questions about their own involvement in the bail outs besides saying that they have all along been saving the economy by saving Wall Street for Main Street. The FBI and the SEC are inadequate to resolve the problem on Wall Street besides chasing fraud to collect the much needed government revenue in a budget crunch from the banks. President Barack Obama must be impeached given the large body of specific and circumstantial evidence since his election in 2008. He could blame his predecessor until the mid-term election in 2010. Now he has no excuses remaining.
The case for impeaching the President of the United States would be historic and legitimate, on the grounds of economic substance, and for good reason when all avenues of making the mavens of the economy see sense are exhausted, in full complicity of the White House. If plain cases of bribery fall within the domain of the FBI and SEC, the more sophisticated form of corruption – the economic revolving door in Washington – is bribery because elected officials and their appointees trade policy in exchange for corporate favors after they leave office. Any accountability is muddied in endless policy debate and politicized for elections. The evidence of bribery by policy, however, is concrete.
First, the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve which swelled during the current monetary easing with the purchase of housing securities from banks was outsourced to be managed by The Blackstone Group in New York, largely at the behest of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the United States Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. How this arrangement was made is still murky.
Second, the legal department of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System approved, with the consent of former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald L. Kohn, a Goldman Sachs stock purchase by the then acting President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Stephen Friedman for it to be sold after the firm’s stock value improved substantially, just before his retirement.
Third, during the crisis, the Bank Holding Company charters for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were approved over a weekend, unusual for the Federal Reserve, when the current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the government picking winners and losers.
Finally, all of this prologue from the waning days of the Bush administration, when the story to preemptively intervene in the economy was a forecast (expectation not reality) of another Great Depression to the tune of $6 trillion (or 40% of national income or GDP) thus far, resulted in the main act of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s reappointment, lobbied for personally by this President in the Congress, produced an unequivocal economic forecast of unemployment as far as the eye can see, even as the national debt has risen to nearly 100% of the US gross domestic product (GDP), raising the risks of both a currency and debt crisis.
There is nothing to show for this economic largesse from the policymakers in Washington in spite of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009 and the clean energy tax breaks for corporations such as General Electric (GE) whose Chief Executive, Jeffrey Immelt, is serving on the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB). And there is no money to invest in infrastructure that can truly create jobs besides filling potholes and painting rusted old bridges and no money for social programs.
What was purportedly feared in 2007 because of the lessons of 1929 never happened. Policy is always legal. But in the absence of the desired outcomes in a timely manner, those outcomes turning into mirages because the can is being kicked down the road with every reform legislation even though that is explicitly stated as not being the political intent.
The tax payers must be answered to even if it means the king’s job is on the line, because it is not a policy debate when the unceasing flow of money (the Fed Chairman confessed to the Congress in a testimony to have introduced moral hazard into monetary policy after acknowledging an error of judgment), whose purse strings the Congress controls (Article I) as a check on the White House (Article II), only produces drought, with the economic measures to guide policy which began to be produced after the Great Depression at risk of losing credibility because they seem to have become instruments of partisan politics.
This is the real Great Depression of 2011, unlike that which followed the crash of 1929. FDR, however, may still not be the best example to follow on politics even if the Democrats feel comfortable with national debt now, after 9/11, similar to that after World War II, exceeding the capacity of the country to repay, but for the rest of the world being worse off. Then, Wall Street was not doing as well. Now it always has been, even during the crisis, let alone after the corporate scandals and 9/11.
The people have questions for the White House and its advisers and answers are imminent. Starving the Beast of government is only fattening the Great Whore on Wall Street, desiccating the American dream.
It is time to air the dirty laundry to clean up the political corruption by following the policy decisions in Washington and the money from the Fed in New York that is circulating around the world.