When folks look at the Washington power game to see whose voices are not being heard (much less heeded) in national policymaking, very few come to the conclusion that Wall Street and corporate CEOs are the ones getting shorted.
Yet, this seems to be the bizarre conclusion of Barack Obama, who has been going way out of his way in recent weeks to show an unseemly level of presidential love for America's corporate powers. So concerned is Obama about strengthening big business' iron grip on Washington that he's creating a special spot for these moneyed elites right inside the White House — chief of staff.
Excuse me, but these guys already ooze power, using their ocean of electioneering and lobbying cash to push their private profiteering agenda over the public interest. Workers, the unemployed, the middle class, the poor — where's their designated power seat in the White House?
Nonetheless, CEOs are the ones getting an inside man. He is über-corporatist Bill Daley, who poses as a Democrat. But let's check his pedigree. Daley, now a top executive at Wall Street giant JPMorgan Chase, previously was Washington lobbyist for SBC, the telecommunications conglomerate. Also, as Bill Clinton's commerce secretary, Daley was the guy who hung NAFTA around our necks.
More recently, this corporate operative chided the White House for even attempting to reform America's disastrous healthcare system, not mentioning that he's on the board of drug giant Merck. As a Wall Street honcho, Daley also fought Obama's effort to rein in the banksters, even opposing the creation of an agency to protect us consumers from big bank greed.
So here's a Democratic president who's now hugging the corporate greedheads who're knocking down America's majority. What's wrong with this picture? And still, they wonder why people are cynical.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.