In the eyes of the public, the Democratic Party is still working for the people, trying to put an end to the corruption and dysfunction that has become far too common in Washington – or at least, that’s what they want you to believe.
And nowhere is this public face of the party more visible than in a recent Huffington Post op-ed by Hillary Clinton and Senator Tammy Baldwin.
Clinton and Baldwin took to the pages of the Huffington Post to lay out their plan to slow down the revolving door between Wall Street and the government, in an effort to restore trust in Washington.
Senator Baldwin has put forward legislation that increases the time limits of former elected officials and government employees who wish to team up with Wall Street banks. Currently, that waiting period is one year, so an elected official or government employee would have to be out of office for a full 12 months before they can go to work in any capacity for Wall Street. Baldwin’s legislation would increase that waiting limit to 24 months. The bill would also forbid Wall Street from giving out bonuses to employees who leave the banking industry to go work for the government.
Let me get this out of the way right now and say that this bill should absolutely be passed into law.
The problem I have with this bill is that it really doesn’t do much at all. Yes, it’s better than NOTHING, but this is the most watered-down, negligible piece of legislation that we’ve seen in a very long time. This legislation would have absolutely no effect on the revolving door, and both Senator Clinton and Senator Baldwin know this. That’s why the title on the article only mentioned SLOWING the revolving door, not eliminating it. Baldwin could have easily bumped that waiting period up to 5 years or 10 years or expressly forbidden government employees from EVER going to work for an industry that they used to regulate and vice-versa. But she didn’t, so this is the best we can get from a Party that is just as captive as Wall Street and the Republican Party.
The article closes by saying they want to make sure that the government really is “for the people,” and again, this is a negligible statement, just like Donald Trump saying he wants to “make America great again.” It’s a talking point crafted to appeal to low information voters who are easily swayed by the appearance of a couple buzz words. But Democrats are smarter than that – they don’t buy into a politician’s promises just because they say that they want the government to work for the people. They want to see results. They want to see a record that proves that this is what you actually believe. Baldwin’s record seems to indicate that she’s serious about this issue, but Hillary’s track record is a little less than convincing.
After all, Hillary and Bill Clinton have benefited greatly from the largest of Wall Street banks, pulling in millions of dollars in speaking fees from the banking industry since leaving office. If you haven’t read Nomi Prins’ book All the Presidents’ Bankers, I strongly urge you to do so. In the book, Prins explains exactly how deeply the Clinton family has been connected to Wall Street since the early 1990’s. Not only did Bill Clinton perfect the revolving door between his administration and Wall Street, but as I just mentioned, he became one of the most valuable commodities for the big banks, regularly giving speeches where he would earn over $200,000 for just an hour’s worth of work. And after she left her post as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton went on the Wall Street bank speaking circuit to cash in for herself.
Clinton’s attempt to latch herself onto Senator Baldwin’s legislation is a weak effort to convince people that she isn’t as corporate as her record and personal financial situation would indicate, but at this point, it is too little, too late for Clinton to jump on the populism bandwagon…