From the Front
THE SAD AFFAIR OF ALAN GRAYSON
This is a story of unrelenting domination of U. S. government policy by mega-billionaires of Wall Street and Stamford. Reality is not pretty to watch or pleasant to discuss, but it is crucially important to every American.
By Wayne Jett © October 7, 2009
Alan Grayson was raised in Brooklyn, earned three Harvard degrees, including a master of arts in government and a law degree, plus a nearly completed Ph.D. He clerked for the U. S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and now serves in Congress as a Democrat from Orlando, Florida. He took a seat in 2008 that swung from Republican to Democratic.
Point Man on Financial Transparency
In his brief tenure, Grayson has pressed the Federal Reserve and U. S. Treasury for more transparency about trillions of dollars spent. On January 13, he asked Fed vice-chairman Kohn to disclose who got the $1.2 trillion created by the Fed since September 1, 2008. On February 11, he grilled Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit about federal assistance to the bank.
On March 26, he questioned Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner why no regulator stopped AIG from accumulating liabilities so grossly out of proportion to capital, which were then handed over to U. S. taxpayers. On May 6, he questioned the Inspector General of the Federal Reserve about $1.2 trillion in new currency and assets created, and $9 trillion in off-balance sheet transactions during the previous eight months.
On July 16, he declared that former Treasury secretary Henry Paulson had a “$700 million conflict of interest” when he took that office and never should have been appointed or confirmed. This did not endear him to Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), who passionately endorsed Paulson the day he was nominated by President Bush in 2006.
See the point? No one in Congress has done more to probe the past year’s monumental, unprecedented intrusions into the private economy using government powers and money than Alan Grayson. No Republican, no other Democrat, no matter how many years of seniority, has been so tenacious. Grayson is no insider, but has a nose for secrets and, so far, has displayed courage necessary to unearth them.
Exchanging Shots Across the Bow
Hopefully, he’s not finished. On September 25, in a hearing on Congressman Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve, Grayson asked the Fed’s general counsel whether the Fed has ever tried to manipulate the stock market or the futures market, and whether primary dealers for the Fed engage in front-running its open market transactions. Grayson says he recruited many Democratic co-sponsors of the audit-the-Fed bill (HR 1207), which has not yet been approved for a floor vote in the House.
On September 30, Grayson sent out an email letter seeking contributions to his campaign for re-election. He explained that big banks gave $286,000 to members of the House financial services committee (on which he serves) in the first quarter of 2009, but none to him. He said that was because Wall Street didn’t like what he is doing. He explained: “When you speak the truth about … the current mess … you … make a lot of enemies.”
Did Someone Blink?
The next day, Grayson took the floor in the House and went nuclear. Or, depending on your perspective, went nuts.
Grayson described the “Republican health care plan,” complete with charts, as “don’t get sick … but, if you do, die quickly.” He called existing conditions in the U. S. health care system a “holocaust.”
Republicans were infuriated. News media which never covered Grayson’s inquiries into the Federal Reserve and Treasury gave him headlines. Suddenly Grayson was the champion of health care “reform” legislation.
Simultaneously he became Exhibit A in the pantheon of Leftist extremists in the minds and radio commentary of conservative partisans. Grayson’s comments on health care were the first encounter of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Hugh Hewitt – all nationally prominent conservative commentators – each of whom said Grayson was previously unknown to him.
Democracy Submits to Mercantilism
This is something more than just another political soap opera. Political observers of all stripes should take notice most do not do well in unearthing important truths regarding financial issues, even when the public is vitally affected. Part of the problem is that Wall Street conceals effectively, and much of the financial press accommodates Wall Street’s wishes.
Another lesson taught by Grayson’s conduct is this: Wall Street intimidates politicians very effectively. Often they need not say a word. Wall Street money talks even without being spent, and the mere prospect of it being spent bends political wills amazingly well.
Grayson’s decision to become an extreme partisan on health care, contrasted with energetic bipartisanship he previously displayed, must be the product of pressures arising from Wall Street’s anger related to his prying into Federal Reserve and Treasury affairs.
Peace Offering Won’t Work
Getting out front in fighting for health care legislation is understandable conduct by one who wishes to get out of the doghouse of his party’s leadership. But Alan Grayson’s dilemma may not be so simply resolved.
If he does not understand already, Representative Grayson will learn that the apparent unrelenting pressure for enactment of health care laws the public does not want comes from precisely the same elite circle which dominates the Federal Reserve, Treasury and federal policy on all matters of finance. Helping on health care will not appease that elite circle if he continues further noisome conduct towards the Fed or Treasury. ~