Consider this quote from Sen. Schumer regarding financial regulations in January 2007:
“We are not going to rest until we change the rules, change the laws and make sure New York remains No. 1 for decades on into the future.”
Now a few of his actions:
*As the financial crisis jolted the nation in September, Senator Charles E. Schumer was consumed. He traded telephone calls with bankers, then became one of the first officials to promote a Wall Street bailout. He spent hours in closed-door briefings and a weekend helping Congressional leaders nail down details of the $700 billion rescue package.
The next day, Mr. Schumer appeared at a breakfast fund-raiser in Midtown Manhattan for Senate Democrats. Addressing Henry R. Kravis, the buyout billionaire, and about 20 other finance industry executives, he warned that a bailout would be a hard sell on Capitol Hill. Then he offered some reassurance: The businessmen could count on the Democrats to help steer the nation through the financial turmoil.
The message clearly resonated. The next week, executives at firms represented at the breakfast sent in more than $135,000 in campaign donations.
*An exceptional fund raiser… Mr. Schumer led the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the last four years, raising a record $240 million while increasing donations from Wall Street by 50 percent.
But in building support, he has embraced the industry’s free-market, deregulatory agenda more than almost any other Democrat in Congress.
Mr. Schumer, a member of the Banking and Finance Committees, repeatedly took steps to protect industry players from government oversight and tougher rules, a review of his record shows. Over the years, he has also helped save financial institutions billions of dollars in higher taxes or fees.
*He has collected over his career more in campaign contributions from the securities and investment industry than any of his peers in Congress, with the exception of Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts.
*Mr. Schumer pushed for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley law, passed in November 1999, which knocked down the walls between investment banks and commercial banks and allowed financial supermarkets to flourish. The law also weakened regulatory oversight by fracturing it among different agencies.
In 2001, Mr. Schumer and Mr. Gramm jointly proposed legislation that would cut fees paid by Wall Street firms and others to the S.E.C. in half, or by $14 billion, over the coming decade.
Two final quotes sum up where Sen. Schumer’s loyalties lie. Christopher Whalen, managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics, which advises investors on the regulatory system:
“He built his career in large part based on his ties to Wall Street, and he has given the Street what it wanted.”
John C. Bogle, founder of mutual fund giant Vanguard Group:
“He is serving the parochial interest of a very small group of financial people, bankers, investment bankers, fund managers, private equity firms, rather than serving the general public .It has hurt the American investor first and the average American taxpayer.”
The point to all this is that this is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue. We have been had by both parties, both are in this cookie jar up to their elbows. It’s up to we the people to demand an end to business as usual, to let both parties know that same old, same old will no longer be tolerated.
We voted for change in November, but now we must insist that it becomes a reality and not just a campaign slogan.