tv Front Running RT January 26, 2020 1:30am-2:01am EST
issues and policies laid out to the election today or looking at lobbyist stacey drene swamp what ever happened to that swamp gets bigger it gets deeper it gets darker with us today are ellen brown and tyson slocum tyson of course is a lobbyist from self in a way for us public citizen so you have some experience with this 2.8 $1000000000.00 were spent last year on lobbying the top 5 industries big pharma health insurance oil and gas wall street and electric utilities tyson you have particular experience with electric utilities and oil and gas industry how much influence do you see that this lobbying has on regulation and government action around those 2 everything i mean corporate lobbyists continue to run the mechanics of washington d.c.
and we have to remember you know the 2800000000 that was spent on lobbying last year that is just a fraction of their total advocacy budget lobbying is only those direct expenditures that corporations and others to meet with federal officials in the executive branch are with congress that doesn't include their budgets their grassroots spending or their. contributions to either political action committees or contributions directly to candidates or old the dark pools of money because of citizens united so corporations continue to set the agenda for most of the issues that americans face every day you know alan i was amazed 1008 during that crisis the citibank came in and other lobbyists in the industry came in to write the response to it you know this game like there was no government officials anywhere around it were you shocked by that or were thoughts on that
citibank was also responsible for getting rid of the volcker rule which was part 20 died frank yeah well following up on that on the global financial crash this was a defining issue that still continues to this day we had occupy wall street right across the river here in manhattan we are in brooklyn it was mostly people from brooklyn who went over there occupied wall street literally park out there they wanted obama they voted for obama because he promised hope and change and who did he meet with straight away he met with the heads of these banks he did not meet with occupy wall street he did not meet with public banking activists he did not meet with the sort of people so what sort of outcome do you think that had on these tarp bills on the federal reserve then intervening as well right i mean no executives went to jail the banks are bigger. today than they were back then and so
it's clear all of these corporations understand that a cost of doing business is borrowing and building support in washington d.c. and that includes stuffing up with former members of congress put them on your payroll you want to hire a chief of staff from a powerful senator or a committee. member get their chief of staff put them on your payroll as a lobbyist this is what washington does. by partisan basis in fact i think it's the only point of true bipartisanship in d.c. is corporate influence over government let me ask you this question and it seems to me as an observer that the cost of lobbying which is legalized corruption in america is pretty cheap like $400000.00 you get a lot changed it could result in a 1000000000 or $2000000000.00 in your bottom line should america at least have the decency of raising the cost of corruption i think so i think you're absolutely right that it should cost a little more to buy off your local member of congress or the present united states
i am actually shocked at how inexpensive it is for corporations to buy their way some candidates of course are making this a focus right so elizabeth warren has come out what excessive lobbying tax over $500000.00 you get tax starting at 35 percent goes up to 75 percent over $5000000.00 with something like that work i think so i mean typically you want to tax bads we did that with cigarettes where you put in a punitive tax to reduce the consumption of that product i think introducing a tax on bads like lobbying might help to reduce the expenditure of lobbying i think we need a lot more transparency in 1905 was the 1st time that congress established basic reporting requirements but they're all still basically voluntary one thing about the 1905 lobbying disclosure act is that it doesn't involve any penalties for
noncompliance there's opportunity and almost incentive to fudge your numbers a little bit and so i think if we're going to tax lobbying which i think is a great idea and i support that effort i think we also need to have a lot more transparency and to have clear criminal penalties for filing false information on lobbying records and going back to obama. and hope and change and because it is my belief that his failure it was obama's failure to deliver the hope and change that people did want then young people wanted bernie sanders and partly because hillary clinton was the sort they gave speeches behind closed doors to goldman sachs for $500000.00 and they had an issue with bankers and the collapse and they did have an issue they wanted universal health care and again obama met with the health care lobbyist the health insurance for get health care of
course we don't have health care here we have health insurance but princeton university study in 2014 found that the u.s. essentially is an oligarch the actual study found that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on u.s. government policy while average citizens and mass based interests groups have little or no independent impact they found that even if the vast majority of the population for example wanted action against the banks that would ever of the elite wanted is what happened and do you believe that this is because of eric holder for example under obama went back to working for those banks essentially as their lawyer at a very high salary is it partly that revolving door or is it just because they identify as one of the elite like the bankers what do you find i think the bankers
the average person weighted them and it's actually true that the big wall street banks are global and you really can't list let them collapse but there was an effort under obama to possibly nationalize those banks and then the reason they didn't do it was that the government would have to assume the liabilities that the banks which were huge you know their bankrupt bank citi bank but what they really. we didn't need to see in those liabilities what they could have done with them into the books of the fed which is actually what they did do after they said they couldn't do it and now they went to federer is there said we can't bail you out and then the government the treasury stepped in with their $700000000000.00 bailout and then the federal reserve did bail them out yes but in rather discreet ways that you know nobody really quite detect it and you're right about that he is obama apparently did want to nationalize citibank and particular tim geithner was ordered to do that and tim geithner there's a phrase for but he basically didn't act on it he weighed it and he didn't and
obama kind of forgot about it said tim geithner is the drain the swamp he is an unelected official he's appointed so we have many on elected officials in the u.s. government i was there finding under trump who can do all sorts of things and leak all sorts of things and alter foreign policy domestic policy so what about that world absolutely you've got a whole class of sort of revolving door folks in high positions in government that have one foot in government and the other foot in well compensated private sector and this is a huge recurring problem that we have what's really interesting though is the role of young people in sort of calling all of this out you talked about occupy wall street that was a youth driven movement you see all of these young people now active and mobilizing around climate change and other key issues they see through a lot of this sort of corporate ties political party nonsense and that's why they
gravitate towards like a bernie sanders you know with his rumpled hair because they understand authenticity right and that's something the corporate types can't buy especially from the youth and so i'm i'm encouraged by i'm seeing higher voter registration rates higher voting turnout rates i think the. young people are going to help us get out of this mess and in california that we just a bill is just signed by governor gavin newsome a.b. $85074.00 it's established like a special charter for public banks and this was driven by young people the millennial most and they beat they beat the wall street lobbyists and they did it just by the sheer force of numbers and mobilizing 10 cities up and down the coast they had representatives from from all across the state and just a huge like one lobbyist would come out of the legislators office and 25 of these
activists would pile in with no experience and no money and they really you know they had to feel their way as they went where they had some there were some seasoned volunteer activists with them who knew sacramento at least near the offices and stuff but anyway it was all just grassroots stuff i think the legislators just saw there was so much support for this bill and they knew like he said the next generation of voters and they dare not say no to this you know very obvious something they really want it what do you think of bernie sanders idea of never allowing any congress or to ever lobby again i think that's a great idea he would know more but that's not necessarily but absolutely the problem plaguing d.c. is this this corrupt of revolving door where former members of congress the are there lose their election or they retire they get to immediately waltz into an
unbelievably lucrative career of lobbying their former colleagues that's outrageous and i think that is what permeates d.c. . and causes a lot of the problems so i think a permanent ban on the ability of these former lawmakers and their top stuff from serving as lobbyists is a great start all right well we got to take a break when we can. back much more talk on lobbyists and draining the swamp 2020 front running stay there.
back to front running a coin connie and max hazard stacey herbert yeah we're talking about lobbyists and draining the swamp well we have established that basically you cannot drain the swamp and you certainly cannot have hope and change without getting rid of this corporate money in the political system now we have a situation whereby since 2010 and citizens united this dwarfs any of the $2800000000.00 spent on lobbying do you have any idea about how much corporate money is poured into actual elections we know that there is more money being given to these so-called dark money political action committees or pacs that are going to
candidates and parties that's because there are still financial limits on the amount of money that a corporation or an individual can give to the republican or democratic party or to trump or obama there are literally no limits on giving to these so-called dark pox which is why all of the corporate money is now being funneled through these vehicles the citizens united decision in 2010 was disastrous right because it established a new constitutional right for corporate political free speech that now makes it unconstitutional for congress to regulate the corporate speech of an exxon mobil or goldman sachs and so this has had massive problems for our democracy it's amazing because individual citizens here in america are very restricted to how much they're allowed to donate to their favorite candidate on the other hand you have these
corporations was really highlights that princeton study of they could give a 1000000000 if they want to the super pacs and yet. you're like restricted to a few measly little $1000.00 sort of donations to your candidate you can donate more to the party what sort of influence do you think this has on an outcome in an election verse is your $23000.00. it's their problem but the question is how do we get rid of it and it seems to me that we have to come up with another source of funding i mean the reason that probably titian's go for all this lobbying is they need that support for their their campaigns and so then it seems to me the 1st thing we have to do is really educate people about what money is and where it comes from and the fact that banks actually create most of our money supply i mean sir course i'm coming from them probably thinking perspective so we need to turn the banks into a source of friending for us for the people and we could do that we could do
quantitative easing for the people and get the money we need with that you know in bypass the big banks found the subject of money and what is money it seems like on the left there's a side there well the money needs to be distributed better but they're not really just talking about what is money so there seems to be a need for that discussion and on the side of citizens united to the point that it is a huge blow to our democracy in america same to really emphasize the fact that the corporate agenda is to build and expand private property the government's agenda should be to build and expand the public property the public domain there should be free speech is a public domain issue the public parts of the public domain issue it's a public versus private so by giving private corporations that are access in this way you're shrinking the public domain and once it's gone you've killed your country aside to lead the idea of the american dream as it were is effectively dead
distant generation really aware that that they're on the verge of losing it all i think so and i think you are. hit the nail on the head that the problem with democrats has been that pretty much since the clinton administration when he declared that the error of big government is over democrats have been unable to articulate what they're for for the most part republicans have been laser focused on their message get rid of government even if it comes to the detriment of some of their constituents in the heartland but you're starting to see candidates like bernie sanders like elizabeth warren that are out there reminding voters what positive roles for the public and positive rules for government can be and so i do think that young people are aware young people are also very aware of what's been going on in the tech space much more so than than people like me where they
understand that that we sort of signed off rights but they had access to all these platforms but it does come at a normal cost there's almost a loss of innocence with young people because the tech companies control so much of their lives until there's a turn of the t.n.s. agreement the terms of service agreement that they will just blindly sign off on when they download an app at the same like there's a disconnect that they're directional terms of service agreement is the us constitution and these corporations violated 24 hours a day absolutely so i think young people are beginning to understand that the crux of the debate is corporate control versus public control and they understand that there are huge benefits associate with public control so the old democratic party is led by the likes of hillary clinton of joe biden who we barely mention on this show because he doesn't have any new ideas he doesn't speak to the young people he doesn't have much support from the young people and bernie sanders has been going
around with a o c talking exactly like this we need to get corporations out of politics billionaires out of politics but this is regardless of the outcome of of the. craddock nomination process or that the 2020 alexion this is the trend this is what is going to happen one idea speaking to your idea of money and where money comes from is and yang had a proposal for democracy dollars every citizen would be given $100.00 that they have to either use or lose and it would go into the voters pocket each year to contribute to campaigns and candidates that they would want to donate to and he reckons that this would outspend corporations to one do you think that could work tyson i think it's a it's an admirable idea i do think that corporations will just end up digging a little deeper out spend this new public option but i'm glad that that there are ideas on this issue because i think we need a lot of good ideas i think at the end of the day we just have to turn the spigots
off to the corporate financing of campaigns i don't know that adding in a new public financing option is going to be able to keep pace with what corporations are willing to spend but in terms of these democracy dollars does that suit your need for money in terms of like a quantitative easing for the voting population and i don't think yang is actually talking about getting that money from the federal reserve but that's what i think could be done and should be done and i think we could do a lot of things universal basic income universal health care we can do many things just by you know making a deal with the fed ahead of time instead of having an independent fed we need to have a partnership between the fed and the government like the japanese do where they make a deal we're going to do this project and you're going to buy the bonds and hold them don't sell them back into the market just keep throwing them over in other words free money and then the question is how much free money can you do without
hitting inflation mazing thing is all money is always read elon's books and we know this to be the case but in the lobbying game that's. based on the who has the most money wins there who can borrow the most money wins and if your borrowing cost is 0 or in the case of j.p. morgan they pay you're being paid to borrow or your cost of borrowing is negative so that interest rates that is tied into the money in the distribution of money and what money is is skewed toward the corrupt the more corrupt you are the cheaper it is free to borrow right right now i agree so that creates a feedback loop that supports corruption. so it seems like one way to drain the swamp would be to raise the cost of corruption by raising interest rates but would the left except that as a policy but the democrats accept that as a policy that the way to stop corruption is to raise the cost of corruption by
raising rates i think probably as part of broad base comprehensive reforms i think that that could be an element of it i don't think i don't think there's going to be any one magic bullet solution to all of these problems of of corporate influence over our democracy but i think we need to have a comprehensive approach to to meet this challenge course many billionaires are stepping into the political arena being the 1st to spend all his own money and elect himself tom styer billionaire spending his own money on a campaign to get big money out of politics which is pretty remarkable bloomberg of course has tens of billions of dollars but one of the most famous billionaire brothers now just a brother with the koch brothers has spent $9000000.00 in $21000.00 alone lobbying
the government but the thing about them is this sort of notion of demoralization of the voters as their whole message to the voter is that get rid of government big government is bad and yet they spend billions themselves lobbying government what what is this about it's about the fact that if you want to you know lower the cost of doing business by getting rid of regulations that might help communities but hurt your ability to maximize profit it is in your financial self interests to advocate for the removal of those public health or public safety protections and so all of this is simply driven by these powerful interests pursuing their narrow. self interest and the problem is that the public interest groups that we're we are charged with trying to represent as many people as possible we don't have access to the resources for an organization like mine
a public citizen we don't take any corporate contributions so that there's never going to be an issue of undue influence over of the policy issues that we're engaged on and so limiting the ability of narrow special interests to affect broad policy issues is at the corner is the cornerstone of where reforms have to be but it seems to me the president still is how do you do that you know how do you get how do you change the rules where when they're in control of the room making i wonder about even raising interest rates raising the christ the money for the banks it seems to me that like j.p. morgan just did where they said we can't make any money banking anymore so we're going to take our money and buy our own stock back and prop up their prices i mean there's no regulation that says they have to make their excess reserves and bailable for the other banks or they want to have their buying back their own stock
with borrowed money yet they borrow for 0 percent money yet again that's the cost of corruption is too low whether it's buying a senator or borrowing to engage in fraud it's just the the cost of corruption is to the raise the cost of corruption in america to mitigate the risk of corruption in america don't make us so darn cheap and easy and it should be like mitt corruption it's the most accessible cheapest corruption of any country and the earth exactly and that's and let's bring that all back to the lobbyist drain the swamp and our federal elections of course it's universally accepted that spending $100000.00 on facebook ads can warp the minds of the entire population and cause them to vote against the. she who deserved it right but that's $100000.00 and yet tens of billions of dollars go into these super pacs billions which one and a half 1000000000 was raised by hillary clinton and remember it's not just the political
ads that are you know trying to influence your decision on a candidate but there's also ads that are trying to shape your ideas about policy right and so there's their advocacy to elect a certain party or a certain member of congress or a president but then there are all these issue based ads where corporations are trying to influence the way that people think about banking about energy about climate change and those are just as damaging yeah well that's going to do it for our front running 2020 about lobbyist and drain the swamp have your ideas about this been reshaped thanks to myself stacey over at our guest we'll see you next time.
the thing is all of the government is. true mall would want to see the show and see governmental speed to so we'll see in the jets which on the trail lies is that he has been plants as you know in these 2 he has the problem i see is that these government to use in my view much more. to be more effective in doing what it's ordered to do the problem is that it will move in illegal bit wrong direction so it will be a stated goal and then me and they use to make states in their. and what's more if they had just said sports by the it would be better to hear us play with them.
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