Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bill Clinton: Re-Writing History

Charles Ferguson, the director of the Wall Street documentary Inside Job, in a recent article for the Huffington Post, described why he was canceling his much-talked-about documentary about Hillary Clinton --- which was supposed to be aired on CNN (provoking the Republicans to threaten a boycott of CNN in any future debates if the film was ever aired).

Charles Ferguson: "I attended a dinner for Bill Clinton...he and I also spoke privately...I asked him about the financial crisis. And then he proceeded to tell me the most amazing lies I've heard in quite a while. For example, Mr. Clinton sorrowfully lamented his inability to stop the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which banned all regulation of private (OTC) derivatives trading, and thereby greatly worsened the crisis. Mr. Clinton said that he and Larry Summers had argued with Alan Greenspan, but couldn't budge him, and then Congress passed the law by a veto-proof super-majority, tying his hands. Well, actually, the reason that the law passed by that overwhelming margin was because of the Clinton Administration's strong advocacy, including Congressional testimony by Larry Summers and harsh public and private attacks on advocates of regulation by Summers and Robert Rubin. 'Wow', I thought, 'This guy is a really good actor.'

And I also saw one reason why Hillary Clinton might not be thrilled about my movie. I discovered others. In Arkansas she joined the boards of Walmart and Tyson Foods. One of the largest donors to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is the government of Saudi Arabia. The Clintons' personal net worth now probably exceeds $200 million, and while earned legally, both the money's sources and the Clintons' public statements indicate a strong aversion to rocking boats or making powerful enemies. The cost of Presidential campaigns has gone from $66 million (both parties combined, in 1976) to an estimated $5 billion for 2016, when Hillary will run. So more than ever, the Clintons need money and the people who supply it...When I approached people for interviews [for the documentary], I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans --- and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons, or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration."

In another article for the Columbia Journal Review by Ryan Chittum titled Bill Clinton on deregulation: The Republicans made me do it!, he writes: "Clinton’s comment about his record on regulation is an actual newsmaker, because it’s a giant whopper."

Clinton says: "What happened? The American people gave the Congress to a group of very conservative Republicans. When they passed bills with the veto proof majority with a lot of Democrats voting for it, that I couldn’t stop, all of a sudden we turn out to be maniacal deregulators. I mean, come on. I know Senator Warren said the other day, admitted when she introduced a bill to reinstate the division between commercial and investment banks, she admitted that the repeal of Glass-Steagall did not cause one single solitary financial institution to fail."

Ryan Chittum writes, "This is, to be kind, bullshit. Memory is a hazy thing, but I have a hard time believing Clinton doesn’t know full well he’s not telling the truth." (Just like when he said, "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is.")

"Clinton installed Robert Rubin and Larry Summers in the Treasury, which resulted in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which officially did in Glass-Steagall and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which left the derivatives market a laissez-faire Wild West...He also reappointed Ayn Rand-acolyte Alan Greenspan, who has as much responsibility as anyone for creating the crisis, as Fed chairman—twice...His administration actively encouraged the big deregulatory legislation, and squashed its own dissenters...Clinton would have you believe that he signed those bills because his administration was forced to by a GOP that was beholden as usual to Big Business, but then what about the deregulatory legislation he signed in 1994, before Gingrich & Co. took Congress? [The Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act] hasn’t got a tenth of the press that the CMFA and Gramm-Leach-Bliley have, but it was a milestone in the creation of Too Big to Fail, allowing banks to cross state lines, effectively gutting state regulation of banking."

In 1999, upon signing Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act into law, Bill Clinton said, “This is a day we can celebrate as an American day. The Glass-Steagall law is no longer appropriate for the economy in which we live. Today what we are doing is modernizing the financial services industry, tearing down these antiquated laws and granting banks significant new authority. This is a very good day for the United States.” (Yeah, right. Then we had the financial collapse, the bank bailouts, the housing bubble, the mass layoffs, and the Great Recession.)

And what does his wife Hillary have to say about all this? We don't know, she's not talking. But why? What does she have to hide? And why wouldn't she (or anyone else she knew) speak to Charles Ferguson while he was planning his documentary?

Also, besides de-regulating the banks, what did Hillary think about her husband lowering the capital gains tax rate for the ultra-wealthy from 28% to 20% (before George W. Bush lowered them again to 15%). Capital gains (and the lack of taxes on them) is the single largest contributor to inequality in America. What is Hillary's view on revamping the tax code if she ever decides to run for President? What would a President Joe Biden do?

The American people have had enough of the corruption in political dynasties that have plagued America. We need knew blood --- and not the Ted Cruz type --- but someone who's genuinely on the side of the American working people, and who are not just beholden to big businesses and big banks --- regardless of whether their last name is "Bush" or "Clinton".

How does President Elizabeth Warren sound?

My Related Posts:

Clinton's ties to Offshore Tax Havens 

Hillary Clinton in 2016 --- NOT!!!  

Is Bill Clinton to Blame for Woes in 2013? 

Globalists and US Trade Agreements

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