Skip to content
Guest Thinkers

Tea Party Buses Bypass Wall Street Reform

Why don’t we see any Tea Party protests on Wall Street? Why don’t we hear any inflamed rhetoric from Tom Tancredo castigating the chairmen of investment banks who are enjoying record profits because they were able to borrow government money last year when they were broke, or as financial types like to whisper, “technically insolvent”? Why don’t we see Michelle Bachmann yelling “gansta banksta’s” at the top of her lungs? Or see profanity laced posts all over the internet calling for the “Muslim communist” chairman of Citibank to be removed from office?

Most of the immediate financial pain the U.S. is suffering from can easily be traced to the mortgage crisis, a situation dramatically exacerbated by excessive speculation among the trading departments of Wall Street investment banks. Would it help to get the Tea Party buses rolling if the chairman of Goldman Sachs and J. P. Morgan were African American?

The standard arguments from Tea Party supporters when confronted with this question is “Wall Street doesn’t create laws or levy taxes”, or “Wall Street creates jobs, while the government creates government workers” or “because Wall Street banks do not have infinite power” or “because its about Washington not doing its job to regulate Wall Street.”

Is it because they don’t really understand how Wall Street works? Or because they aren’t exactly sure just what a derivative is? Or because they can’t fathom the direct relationship between the lobbyists who are paid millions by Wall Street firms and legislative language that seems to carve out the precise exemptions needed to keep questionable investment vehicles legal? Or because they don’t have any concept of just how many trillions of dollars of home and investment equity have been evaporated by “businessmen” who immediately turned to the government to borrow their hard earned tax dollars in order to keep their bank doors open, even as the rest of corporate America struggled to survive?

Cenk Uygar of FireDogLake has been thinking the same thing for awhile – he has actually thrown down a challenge to Tea Party members to either rally against Wall Street, or against the Obama Administration for not being tough enough with them, but gotten no takers.

“If you remember, the Tea Parties were originally formed to protest the bailouts. They were so mad at the Wall Street bankers who destroyed the economy and then took our hard earned money for their efforts.

So, they will take this opportunity, of course, to launch their own protest of Wall Street. They will protest the TARP money, the easy credit, the lack of regulation, the wild risk taking and the excessive bonuses paid with taxpayer money. They’re really going to take the fight to them.

Just kidding. They’re not going to do anything. They’re going to sit out this fight on financial reform and put absolutely no pressure on Wall Street at all. Because they are tools easily manipulated by right-wing organizations funded by corporate America.

Now, when it’s time to fight the financial companies, where are they? Nowhere to be found. Why? Because FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity didn’t organize any bus rides to Wall Street. They didn’t manufacture the outrage they did in protecting the health care companies. They used the Tea Party protestors for their own purposes and then left them on the side of the road, only to be picked up again when they need to protect another company or industry.”

Where Are the Tea Party Protests About Wall Street?Cenk Uygar FireDogLake

Something tells me that “fiscal responsibility” is really nothing more than just a politically correct buzzword for these mostly outraged and indignant Republicans who tend to see red whenever the name “Obama” is mentioned.


Up Next