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The teabag forces are out front in today’s politics, noisily trying to oust Democrats and install a new Congress that they think will end business-as-usual in Washington. But behind the scenes, another force is moving quietly and assuredly to make certain that a Republican Congress will deliver business-MORE-THAN-usual.
Meet Paul Singer, the ultra-rich operator of a $17-billion hedge fund. A far-out laissez faire ideologue, he’s one of the Wall Street barons who’s mad-as-hell at Obama and the Democrats for having the temerity even to try reining in the bankster greed that has brought our economy to its knees.
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Like a big chicken little, he’s been running around decrying Obama’s Wall Street reforms, insisting that they’ll ruin America’s position as the world leader in finance. Apparently he slept through 2007, when Wall Street itself ruined that reputation.
Nonetheless, Singer is richer than Daddy Warbucks, which makes him a BIG chicken little in Republican politics. So far this year, he has poured $4 million of his own fortune into GOP congressional candidates and corporate front groups, and he’s raised millions more, plus backing Wall Street-friendly Republicans with cash from his hedge fund.
Meanwhile, anther powerful force is moving quickly to capture any gains that Republicans make in November: K Street. This corporate lobbying corridor is undergoing a major makeover, shifting from Democratic to Republican influence peddlers. In particular, GOP staffers on Capitol Hill are in high demand, with such outfits as Walmart, JPMorgan Chase, and Raytheon now paying top-dollar to hire well-connected Republicans. “They’re the new ‘It girl’,” gushed one insider.
And that’s “it,” exactly. Money is the real power in Washington. Until that changes, there’ll be no change.
“Largess of Financier Reflects Republicans’ Wall St. Support,” The New York Times, August 28, 2010.
“Anticipating Power Shift, And Hiring Republicans,” The New York Times, September 10, 2010.