Friday, Nov. 18, 2011 | 2:01 a.m.
While we normal folk bicker over party alliances, corruption permeates our politics at the very top.
Justices deciding on a temporary moratorium on underwater drilling, after the explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, held stocks in big oil. Congressional members are allowed access to inside information on the stock market and can act on it. The same members of Congress hold stocks in health insurance, military contractors, weapons manufacturers, big oil and coal. Lobbyists line the halls of Capitol Hill handing out checks. Representatives can leave office and join those lobbyists while maintaining close contacts with legislatures.
Yet they suggest the legislative decisions they make are fair and do not involve profits. Many of them overlooked the pledge they made to uphold the Constitution of the United States to pledge an oath to Grover Norquist, promising never to raise taxes on the wealthy.
There are separate rules for the wealthy based on a corporate welfare system. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., recently released a 37-page report titled “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous.” In his report he acknowledges $114 billion in federal tax breaks was claimed by millionaires since 2006 while they received $9.5 billion in government grants and subsidies. According to his research, in 2009 nearly 1,500 millionaires paid no federal income tax.
Our entire system from top to bottom is skewed toward the wealthiest of us while the working class slowly vanishes.