Posted by | December 14, 2010 14:57 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

As millions of Americans are suffering to make car payments and house payments and put food on the table for themselves and their kids, it looks to be a very merry Christmas for one group of Americans: Wall Street bankers. Wall Street banks are on track for their two best years ever since the taxpayers generously bailed them out back in the Fall of 2008. Even better for Wall Street executives is that they are set to receive $144 billion in bonuses this year, breaking a record for a second year in a row.

Unfortunately for those of us in the real economy, Wall Street pay practices that rewarded short-term risk-taking at the expense of long-term sustainability have continued to grow worse. According to a recent report released by the Council of Institutional Investors, rules that were intended to make chief executives concerned for their companies’ long-term health have instead caused their salaries to grow without adding any real incentive to curb excessively risky behavior.

In light of this troubling data, Bloomberg News decided to conduct an interesting poll; they asked the American people if big bonuses should be banned this year at Wall Street firms that took taxpayer bailouts. An overwhelming 70% of the American people said yes, they want bonuses banned at Wall Street banks that were bailed out by taxpayers. But it gets better. Seventy-six percent of Republican voters want big bonuses to be banned this year on Wall Street, a higher percentage than Democrats or Independents. I agree with you Republican voters, but guess who doesn’t? The Republican politicians you gleefully voted for this year.

Republican Spencer Bachus (pictured), the new incoming Chairman of the House Banking Committee, recently told the Birmingham News that “In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.” Does it sound like he wants to go after some of that undeserved “bonus” money being doled out on Wall Street?

I understand if Republican voters do not want to vote for Democrats. They have their fair share of members in bed with the bankers as well. But Republican voters, what are you doing? Why do you keep voting for these reprobates? Spencer Bachus, and the entire Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street. That’s why they voted for Bachus to be Chairmen of the Banking Committee. Voting for Republicans is just a more direct way for Wall Street lobbyists to actually be in our government and write our laws.

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