# News Legalized Corruption

1. Mar 19, 2012

### Tosh5457

Former lobbyist Jack Abramoff explains lobbying very well:

This is legalized corruption, it's just ridiculous. This is the root of many USA's problems, because it lets rich people, rich organizations and big corporations to control the political system. I think the only possibility for this to end would be to elect a president that got funds from the people (not lobbies), like Ron Paul. It's a pity Ron Paul's solution to this would just be to significantly reduce government's size, instead of prohibiting lobbying.

2. Mar 19, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

Ron Paul has and does take money from lobbyists if he can find any, it's just that lobbyists (overall) don't see any value in him, you don't give money to a loser, IMO.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/09/us-usa-campaign-money-box-idUSBRE8281F620120309

3. Mar 19, 2012

### Tosh5457

Actually they don't give money to Ron Paul because he wouldn't do any favors (I saw a lobbyist saying that, just don't remember the video's name), and yes it might also be because they know he probably won't win.

4. Mar 19, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

A lobbyist in what country? You don't believe everything that's uploaded to youtube? You can't state something as a fact unless it is truly a fact and you have reliable proof.

I do agree that lobbying should be curtailed though.

Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
5. Mar 19, 2012

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
On the contrary, I think it's fairly well known that lobbists don't give money to Ron Paul because he's made it clear that he will not be swayed to support their causes just because they've given him money.

Here's Jack Abramoff admitting this, and describing Paul as a rarity, and "the kind of Congressman that the founders had in mind when this country was founded": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoKZGY_6Ftk&feature=player_detailpage#t=285s

6. Mar 19, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

My head is splitting, but we've had videos of Paul lying to people to get their support. I remember one instance in particular where he promised some young person at a meeting he'd back their cause to get their support and had no intentions of doing anything. Label it IMO until I can find it. I guess the lobbiers figured out that he was two faced, IMO. You know what I'd admire? Someone that would be honest and not take the money.

7. Mar 19, 2012

### SixNein

I'm not convinced by the argument that he wouldn't help the rich. If his ideas were implemented, the rich would practically govern in a plutocracy.

^ IMO of course... seems rather silly I have to state that.

8. Mar 19, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

I agree, IMO.

9. Mar 20, 2012

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Please show us these videos when you get a chance. I haven't seen any of them.

10. Mar 20, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

Did anyone else catch the irony of using as a primary source for a discussion of "legalized corruption", a man who spent four years in jail for his actions in the industry?

11. Mar 20, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

They've been posted before, but when I get a chance I'll see if I can find them. They've been buried by tons of recent Paul videos.

12. Mar 20, 2012

### Staff: Mentor

Here you go.

Here he is agreeing with a 9/11 truther and agreeing to an investigation into 9/11.

Here is is denying that he agrees with the truthers.

Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
13. Mar 20, 2012

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
I don't see how any of this supports your position that Paul will lie to lobbyists just to get their money. Or the position raised in the OP that many members of Congress are essentially bought by powerful lobbying groups and actively shape legislation just to satisfy their respective lobby and reap the expected rewards (lots more campaign money, or a cushy job after retiring from govt)?

Does Paul seriously expect some little student organization to be the cash cow that donates megabucks to his campaign, or does he hope they'll pay for his golf trips and flights on private jets? And is there any reason to believe that he's being disingenuous during the brief conversation that he has with one of them? And even if the answer to both questions is 'yes' (Paul expects sweet campaign donations from the student org thanks to his cleverly lying to them), doesn't the fact that he later disavows such positions show that he is, in fact, NOT beholden to the influence of such powerful lobbying interests?

The worst I can take from this is that Paul once admitted the possibility that there may be more to the 9/11 investigation than was released and that an additional investigation might be useful under the right conditions [from clip #1], but that he's since "abandoned those viewpoints" [from clip #2]. Yeah, he's more eager than the average person to believe that the government is hiding something from the people. That's got nothing to do with whether or not Paul is a slave to his lobbying puppetmasters.

When Obama and Romney receive over a million dollars each from lobbying groups, I think it's ridiculous to point to Ron Paul's paltry $750 worth of donations from lobbyists, and say:"See, he gets money from lobbyists too - he's just as bad as the rest." Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014 14. Mar 20, 2012 ### Evo ### Staff: Mentor I didn't say that, or most of what you went on about. I guess I can see where you linked two separate posts about separate occurances together, that was not my intention, the truthers were not offering money, they were wanting Paul to commit to their conspiracy theory that the government is involved in a coverup, which he did. Then he turned around and said he didn't agree with them when it came up on the news and made him sound wonky, IMO. Which was my segue into It was my opinion that lobbyists may not trust Ron Paul because he talks out of both sides of his mouth. Last edited: Mar 20, 2012 15. Mar 20, 2012 ### Gokul43201 Staff Emeritus Paul's words (from your second link) were that he has "abandoned those viewpoints." Since you can't abandon something you never had, this is an implicit admission that he had once held these views but that he no longer does. That's a whole different thing than talking out of both sides of his mouth. But even if I'm wrong and this is an example of Paul being two-faced, it would still be orders of magnitude less two-faced than the other big names in Congress who have no trouble courting lobbyists to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Do we really need to count all the dozens of flip-flops and reversals and contradictory positions that other Presidential candidates have had? You're essentially making the argument that Paul attracts less lobbyist money than nearly everyone else in Congress because he's among the least consistent of the lot. I think you'd have to produce way more than one example of a reversal of positions to make that theory approach the convincing end of the spectrum. 16. Mar 20, 2012 ### Evo ### Staff: Mentor For example the contributions of KKK big dogs, he gladly took their money, . I think that's awful. Taking money from people like this is scummy IN MY OPINION. I would expect a politician to refuse money from such sources, IMO. I think he's a scum bag. But that's just my opinion of someone that would take money from such people. Last edited: Mar 20, 2012 17. Mar 22, 2012 ### Tosh5457 I don't see anything bad in taking money from any organization, as long as it doesn't mean you'll be doing them favors. He's taking money from the KKK to his campaign.... At least the money goes for something useful. But this is just off-topic, the point I wanted to make is that in US there is legalized corruption. About Ron Paul - no he doesn't want to do favors to the lobbies, and he made that clear, so that's essentially why he doesn't receive any money from them. If Ron Paul is inconsistent, I only wonder in what level of inconsistency the other candidates are... 18. Mar 25, 2012 ### gravenewworld It isn't just at the national level. State officials are notorious for taking what are tantamount to bribes and kickbacks from large banks. State and local governments need and use a wide array of financial services. Big banks on Wall Street are more than happy to help and market their products similar to how defense contracts work using bidding systems that are often completely shrouded in secrecy and with services that aren't even standardized. Political connections--in other words corruption--often determines many times who wins a contract. States and governments thus hire big banks to manage pension funds, finance long term investments such as schools and roads, and even manage how tax money is spent. Transaction costs levied by banks for these services is often 1-2 percent, and every year the banking industry pulls in roughly$25-50 billion a year off of states. If pension officials simply took all the money for their state workers and invested it into a friendly investment firm like Vanguard, with only a 0.15% fee for their index funds, the difference in cost would range from $20-45 billion a year in saved tax dollars. The banking industry has now also devised schemes to fleece tax payers even more for their money. Instead of financing project with locked in interest rates on 10-30 year bonds like what used to be typical (so states could gradually accumulate money to pay off debt), banks now sell "auction rate securities" to states, investments completely inappropriate for public investors. Instead of locked in rates, these auction rate securities breaks up debt into short 30 to 90 day intervals. At the end of the interval, the loan must basically be refinanced. Banks argue that short term interest rates are usually lower than longer term fixed interest rates, so less should be paid. This is the same argument JP Morgan used when they sold Jefferson County Alabama auction rate securities. When the interest rate changed for the worse, raising the cost of borrowing for Jefferson County, JP Morgan tried to get$647 million dollars in fees from the country to excuse Jefferson County from its contract. However, later it was revealed that JP Morgan paid $235,000 to Larry Langford, the president of the County Commission at the time. How about Eerie, Pa? JP Morgan sold Eerie, Pa complex derivative packages called "swaptions" along with$750k upfront that could be used "for school repairs". All a swaption is in the end is a high risk bet on interest rates, with the seller taking the risk. When the interest rates ended up increasing, Eerie had to pay \$2.7 million to JP Morgan to get out of its commitments. In total 107 schools in PA were involved with swaptions.

Deals like this are way more common than you think. Major banks, the ones too big to fail that we bailed out with our tax dollars, make billions of dollars every year selling states and local governments extremely complex financial packages that almost no one understands except for those within the banks. The banks then make billions of dollars in profits while bankrupting local and state governments once their financial packages don't go as planned or go belly up. It's nothing more than preying on small government and tax payers bymassive banks looking to reap tons in fee money.

And people wonder why states are broke? Oh, but it must be because of those damn state employees and their overly generous retirement packages and pensions. Yeah right...

19. Mar 25, 2012

### ThomasT

Yes, this is how things work. They've worked this way since the inception of recorded political systems. It doesn't matter who you vote for. It's not going to change. This is who and what we are. The good, hopeful, promising thing is that, even considering certain imperatives, it's possible to create political and social situations where the less endowed can enjoy a pretty good life.

Human beings are, naturally, corrupt and corruptible -- OMG let's call 60 Minutes.