By now, everyone knows Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is facing censure for ethics violations. What did Rangel do, exactly? Well, he cheated on his taxes, abused Congressional resources for personal purposes, and used his position to squeeze campaign donations from entities with business before his House committee. For this, he will receive a sternly worded letter, which might be read aloud in the House. What is the best in life, Americans? To break your corrupt politicians, drive them back into their comfortable safe seats, and hear their lamentation as they read their letters of censure.
Who will be next to feel the paper cut of the Ethics Committee’s wrath? It might be Maxine Waters (D-CA), if the Democrats fail in their efforts to indefinitely delay her hearings. What did she do? She steered $12 million of taxpayer cash into a bank called OneUnited, which trembled on the verge of bankruptcy after investing heavily in Fannie Mae stock.
You remember Fannie Mae, don’t you? That’s the government agency that caused the subprime mortgage crisis, by pushing banks to loan huge amounts of money to politically favored constituencies who could never repay it. Fannie Mae was protected from oversight by Democrats, including Maxine Waters, who lied with savage intensity to protect it. “We do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and particularly Fannie Mae, under the outstanding leadership of Frank Raines,” thundered Waters in a 2004 hearing… almost loudly enough to drown the sizzling sounds as Frank Raines furiously cooked the books.
When reality shattered the Democrats’ tissue of lies, the value of Fannie Mae stock declined rather sharply. Investors have been known to shout at their children for wasting toilet paper when Fannie Mae stock certificates were readily available. One of those investors was Maxine Waters’ husband, who owns more than a quarter million dollars’ worth of OneUnited stock. Oops!
The combination of the Rangel and Waters scandals will outrage a public that clearly demonstrated, through the 2010 elections, how angry it has become with corruption… and a system that not only invites it, but virtually demands it. People who can’t find their children beneath the mountain of debt our government has dropped on them will not be amused to hear about Maxine Waters raiding the deficit-fueled bailout fund to pump cash into her husband’s bank. A nation trembling on the verge of depression, with the massive Obama tax hikes hanging above it like the blade of a guillotine, does not enjoy learning that accurate tax filing is essentially optional for Charlie Rangel.
When congressional royalty gets caught, the penalty is a letter informing them they have been caught. This will not sit well with a public threatened at every turn with stiff punishment for failing to obey a swelling mass of regulations, and literally stripped naked at airports before the merciless eye of the State.
Rangel and Waters are not isolated examples of malfeasance. They are emblematic of a system that has become inherently corrupt. Its depths become darker as its size increases. The kind of influence peddling Rangel used to rake in contributions is basically standard operating procedure for a monster government with plenty of power for sale. Rangel was just especially crass about it.
OneUnited is one of many examples of a politically favored institution that benefits from the tireless efforts of the State to warp the rules of market economics, and guarantee its success. Fannie Mae was a virus inserted into the basic programming of the credit industry, to produce an outcome agreeable to leftist ideology.
This sort of thing is perfectly inevitable in a statist economy. When the government chooses winners and losers, success lies in getting declared an official “winner.” A federal certificate of economic invulnerability is extremely valuable – OneUnited has come under scrutiny in the past for ridiculous executive compensation packages. Howls of “racism” have been used to defend the minority-owned bank, which is another way of deploying the power of the State on behalf of favored constituents. All of this is part of a project to place ideology above the choices individuals make in a free market. Money extracted from taxpayers by force is used to subsidize entities they wouldn’t normally do business with. The grim consequences of catastrophic business models are over-ruled, by politicians who don’t understand no nation has enough money to purchase immunity from economics.
We live beneath a State that has already granted a hundred and eleven exemptions to the most massive, intrusive extension of its power in our lifetimes, Barack Obama’s health care plan. What is this, if not the most obvious example of corruption? One hopes the Waters trial will make people angry about gigantic subsidies, not merely the process by which the lucky recipients are determined, and the absurd conclusion of the Rangel farce will remind them our ruling class is increasingly arrogant about refusing to live within the system they have imposed on the rest of us.