By Mike Papantonio

Thomas Jefferson said, “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” Sixty-three years later, Abraham Lincoln expanded that warning. Here is what Lincoln said: “I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the financial institution in the rear. Of the two, the one in the rear is the greatest enemy … I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before in the midst of war.” Both Jefferson and Lincoln look like oracles today.

Both those Presidents saw the same arrogance from bankers that Obama saw when he suggested that the banking industry’s caporegime should meet to discuss the conspiratorial caliber conduct they have exhibited for decades.

The Citigroup CEO sent the message to Obama that he had other things to do than to personally meet with Obama.

One thing is clear. The bankers who did clear their schedule to meet didn’t take the power of the Presidency any more seriously today than bankers did when Lincoln called them America’s “greatest enemy.”

When Jefferson told us that the banking institutions would be “more dangerous than standing armies,” he had no way of foreseeing the TARP treachery that bankers have pulled off with $800 billion of taxpayers’ money.

But in 2008, Obama saw the beginning of that treachery when he watched America’s most powerful bankers grovel like pathetic paupers begging for handouts. They had been piggish, incompetent, sociopathic failures, and they needed welfare tax money.

In fact, the Citigroup bankers who could not clear their schedule to meet with Obama in 2009, were part of that groveling group. Citigroup received $20 billion in TARP welfare.

Not only was Citigroup too busy to meet personally with the President, they also never met with all the small businesses that were promised loans from Citgroup. You see, they were promising to invest in our economy, but today they are sitting on almost $4 trillion dollars in hopes of harming Obama’s economy.

Citigroup is not the only beggar who lied to taxpayers in order to get handouts.

All of those Wall Street panhandlers told taxpayers that they would agree to new banking regulations to control their obscene greed. When they wanted welfare, a few of them admitted that it was a lack of regulations and regulatory enforcement that put America in the poor house. But the day after they got their handouts, they hired hundreds of rapacious K Street lobbyists to undermine banking reform legislation attempts.

The shorthand to explaining that is that you can put a 4 thousand dollar suit on a thief but he or she is still a thief.

Once again, the banking industry validated a warning Jefferson left us late in his career; “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency …. the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless …” (T.J. 1802.)

How could Jefferson have been such a prophet? Well, he knew that people have never really mattered to the silk suits that now are America’s new money changers in the temple. He also understood the insane love of money and profit in the banking industry would always trump decency, humanity, and community.

The Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Barclay’s, JP Morgan crowd that for decades have hustled money away from mom and pop pension programs. With a new dishonest scam virtually every month, will need to be perp walked in prison garb before we ever gain control over capitalism and democracy again. There simply is no other route. It is difficult to move pigs away from a trough of limitless food – they will eat themselves to death.

After the Wall Street banking thugs crashed capitalism in 1929 and brought us the Great Depression, Sing Sing, Alcatraz, and every major prison in America was filled up with the Banker CEOs and cheap Wall Street hustlers who look exactly like the cheap banking hustlers of 2012. Why? Because FDR had a Justice Department that was not fearful of doing their job. We actually had a true to life Attorney General.

Again, even the Reagan Administration prosecuted 800 banking swindlers after the S&L crisis.

So you know what is startling about this story? President Obama and our Attorney General Eric Holder have indicted or prosecuted a whopping ZERO Wall Street bank criminals who stole almost $18 trillion dollars from all of us. Even the repeat, recidivist criminals understand that they are under no threat of prosecution with this Attorney General Eric Holder.

– Barclay’s LIBOR theft – they pay $450 million, no one is in handcuffs. Multi-trillions were scammed
– Citigroup, Goldman, JP Morgan Chase – they pay $180 million for outright fraud and theft, still no perp walk.
– Bank of America pays $335 million for breaking the law, and they all went to their posh bankers club and drank martinis and laughed at what suckers the American public has become.

But Devan Williams or Alisha Johnson? Let them sell less than 2 ounces of pot and the feds will hold a press conference touting how they were sent to prison for up to 5 years, and America is now safe from dangerous criminals who wear hoodies.

The Costa Nostra, the mafia, and Devan Williams or Alisha Johnson’s are not the ones who are doing the most damage to democracy these days. It’s the guys in Rolex watches who occupy Wall Street that are the clearest and most persent danger.

Richard Eskow is host and managing editor of The Zero Hour, a weekly radio program produced by We Act Radio. He was the senior writer and editor for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. Richard has written for a number of print and online publications, was a founding contributor to the Huffington Post, and is a longtime activist. He is also a Senior Fellow with the Campaign for America’s Future.