The fourth branch of government runs the entire thing, they run the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, they run our money system, the Fed, other businesses, and they run you and me (ht Point).
Bank of America spent $1.5B on lobbying
Published: July 22, 2009 at 3:17 PM
WASHINGTON, July 22 (UPI) -- Bank of America Corp., which accepted $45 billion in taxpayer bailout money, has spent $1.5 billion on lobbying so far this year, U.S. Senate records indicate.
The Charlotte, N.C., bank -- one of the nation's largest -- has sought to sway senators and members of Congress on more than two dozen pieces of legislation, records indicate.
BoA has lobbied for flexibility in spending government rescue funds and against restrictions on executive compensation. It also has lobbied on home mortgage issues and credit card fees, as well as a consumer-rights bill, student lending issues and a proposed federal regulatory oversight agency, the records obtained by The Charlotte Observer suggest.
The documents don't say what positions the bank took. Bank spokeswoman Shirley Norton would not comment to the newspaper other than saying it was interested in tax reform and regulatory issues.
Critics argue that until banks repay taxpayer bailout money, they should steer clear of lobbying.
"As long as they hold on to a very substantial portion of public funds, and are publicly owned essentially, they should not be using any of their funds for lobbying purposes or campaign contributions," Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for the non-profit advocacy group Public Citizen, told the newspaper. "And you'll find Bank of America is doing both."
Bank of America's lobbying tab was $2.3 billion in the first half of 2008, the Senate records state.
"We're cutting expenses across the company, including lobbying expenses," Norton said.
The only way we are ever going to get a stable and lasting economic system is when this type of nonsense ends. We must separate all corporations and their money from state.
When we do that, THEN we can have a smaller government that works. THEN we can have politicians that make decisions not for special interests, but for the LONG TERM good of our country. Until then, everything else is just debt on top of debt that ultimately feeds these institutions.