by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog
On 2 March 2020, Forbes headlined “BILLIONAIRE BACKERS” and listed the number of them who had financed each of the Democratic Presidential campaigns:
- Biden 66
- Buttigieg 61
- Klobucar 33
- Steyer 13
- Warren 6
- Gabbard 3
- Bloomberg 1
- Sanders 0
Joe Biden’s entire career in public life has been devoted to his top donors. He once even justified it by saying, “You go out and bundle $250,000 for me, all legal, and then you call me after I am elected, and say ‘I would like to come and talk about something.’ You didn’t buy me, but it’s human nature, you helped me. I’m going to say, ‘Sure, come on in’,” which means that if you have “helped” him, then he represents you in a way that he doesn’t represent the voters who merely voted for him on the basis of the ads for him that those billionaires had financed. (And if you had voted against him, then would such a person represent you at all?) As a major donor, you can visit with him in private, whenever you want, instead of never be able to visit with him, at all. This is what’s called “crony capitalism,” and he built his career on it, and he thinks that this is okay.
On May 3rd, the Miami Herald bannered “Biden, Warren: There’s no oversight of coronavirus relief — because that’s what Trump wants”, and Biden signed onto an Elizabeth Warren Op-Ed there that evaded the chief corruption in the bailout legislation which was unanimously passed in Congress and was signed by Trump. Almost all of the corruption in that enormously lobbied bill is in the bailouts for corporations; virtually none of it is in the bailouts for workers or for state and local governments; and, yet, neither Biden nor Warren were presenting, in this Op-Ed, the case against bailing out ANY corporations. And the reason is obvious: Joe Biden had needed to cheat in order to win the Democratic nomination, and he couldn’t have succeeded to get the money from 66 billionaires and to win the nomination if he hadn’t done this — he needed that money, in order to be able to pull it off and fool enough voters. And, those billionaires’ wealth is mainly in investments, corporate stocks and bonds, which are receiving the biggest portion of those bailouts. In other words: most of the leveraged-up $6 trillion total that’s in just the first piece of legislation comes from the “$454 Billion Slush Fund for Wall Street Bailouts”. That’s actually the biggest portion of the bailouts for billionaires.
What Biden and Warren are proposing, instead, is that there should have been better monitoring of how that money will be spent or ‘invested’. The actual issue is that all bailouts that go to investors instead of to the public — workers and consumers — are wrong: a top-down, trickle-down, give-away to the richest, so as to guarantee their wealth until the crisis has passed. Workers and consumers will absorb almost all of the losses. Whereas 70% of the wealth of the richest 0.1% is investments, and 55% of the top 1% also is, only around 7% of the bottom 99% is. The wealth of the bottom 99% is overwhelmingly labor-based — and labor gets punished by the controlling investors. And, so, whereas the wealth of the richest 1% is receiving significant protection by this Government in that bailout, the wealth of the rest of the population isn’t. Workers and consumers are largely on their own. The risks are transferred away from the super-rich, onto the public. The super-rich had hired enormous armies of lobbyists in order, basically, to write this legislation.
Biden isn’t necessarily worse than Trump, but the deception of the public is massive by both of the political Parties.
Until the South Carolina primary, on February 29th, in which the vast majority of the voters were Blacks, Bernie Sanders was believed (on the basis of the prior primaries and the national polls) to be the almost inevitable nominee of the Party, but on 16 April 2019, the New York Times bannered “‘Stop Sanders’ Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum” and reported that the Party’s billionaires were terrified by the possibility that Sanders might actually win the nomination; and on February 23rd, Politico’s headline right after the Nevada primary was “Sanders sends Democratic establishment into panic mode”. Sanders didn’t need the billionaires, but Biden certainly did, just as he always has. And they own him, just as they always have. The Democratic Party is controlled by and for its billionaires, just as much as the Republican Party is.
If the leadership give you two cups of poison and say that in order to participate in politics as a voter, you must drink one of them, and that this drinking by you constitutes “democracy,” then which cup will you take, and what will you do with it? What will you do with that poisoned chalice? What will you do with it?
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.