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Levin, The Democrats and Goldman Sachs

August 14, 2012

In some ways it is quite fashionable these days for people to make claims about being anti-corporate. People will acknowledge that corporations have too much power and that US politics has been corrupted by that power.

However, making such claims is one thing, actually resisting corporate power is another thing.

One recent example of saying one thing and doing another was reflected in a statement that Michigan Senator Carl Levin made on Friday about the financial giant Goldman Sachs.

In a statement issued to the Department of Justice on Friday, Levin called Goldman Sachs role in the recent economic crash both deceptive and immoral. His statement reads in part:

Our investigation of the origins of the financial crisis revealed wrongdoing and failures among mortgage lenders, banking regulators, credit rating agencies and investment banks. One of those investment banks, Goldman Sachs, created complex securities that included “junk” from its own inventory that it wanted to get rid of. It misled investors by claiming its interests in those securities were “aligned” with theirs while at the same time it was betting heavily against those same securities, and therefore against its own clients, to its own substantial profit. Its actions did immense harm to its clients, and helped create the financial crisis that nearly plunged us into a second Great Depression. 

These words from Senator Levin make him appear to be at least somewhat concerned about corporate corruption, but in reality they are hallow words, words that carry no credibility.

Senator Levin can make all the statements in the world that he wants about companies like Goldman Sachs, but the fact remains that he supported the massive taxpayer bailout of the Wall Street bankers and other financial institutions.

One of the main reasons why Levin supported this massive bailout is because his political party, the Democrats, are just as dependent on corporations as the Republicans are in order to stay in power.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Goldman Sachs has given over $39 million dollars to the Democrats and Republicans since 1990, with over $22 million going to Democrats and over $15 million going to Republicans. In fact, Goldman Sachs has given more money to Democrats in every Presidential Election since 1992, except the current election cycle.

In the 2008 Presidential Election, Goldman Sachs gave over $1 million dollars to Barack Obama’s campaign and another $400,000 to Hillary Clinton.

In the 2012 election, Mitt Romney is currently the highest recipient of Goldman Sachs money, receiving just over $600,000. However, there are numerous Democrats also receiving money from Goldman Sachs, including Senator Levin’s Colleague, Debbie Stabenow. Stabenow has received $29,500 so far from the corporation that Levin refers to as deceptive and immoral.

The other aspect of the political system’s relationship to corporations like Goldman Sachs is that is often results in politicians going to work for companies like Goldman Sachs in a revolving door fashion.

According to Sourcewatch, there have been former Goldman Sachs employees who worked in the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama adminsitrations.

Its hard to take politicians seriously, when they and their political parties are under the influence of corporate power.

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