Getting What You Pay for: Super Committee’s Super-Close Ties to Banking and Finance

This just in: The folks at Maplight have released some disturbing numbers on who has been the most generous to the 12 members of the newly-formed Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, fondly known as the “Super Committee.”

To recap, the Committee was formed by the last-minute debt ceiling increase deal reached by Congress and the Prez earlier this month. It’s comprised of the following senators: Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), and Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.).

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Maplight reports that the 10 biggest organization contributors (this includes PACs and Employees) to Super Committee Members are…

Club for Growth $990,066
Microsoft Corp. $810,100
University of California $629,495
Goldman Sachs $592,684
EMILY’s List $586,835
Citigroup Inc. $561,081
JPMorgan Chase & Co. $494,316
Bank of America $349,566
Skadden, Arps, et al. $347,356
General Electric $340,935

Hmm. Club for Growth, the biggest spender, is a rabid anti-tax and anti-government group boasting 9,000 members and dominated by Wall Street financiers and executives. And then we naturally find the big banks –the Goldmans, the Citigroups — filling out the list. Guess how these folks feel about paying their fair share in taxes? The 6 Republicans on the Committee have sworn to block any tax increases, even on the banks that helped bring on the 2008 crash that caused this freaking deficit in the first place! But obviously their feelings take precedence over those of the American public, a quarter of whom are out of a job, underwater with the mortgage, or in foreclosure.

As Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Thomas Ferguson pointed out yesterday on this blog:

Congress is listening primarily to those who contribute political money, not the public. As a political slogan “No new taxes” was around long before the Tea Party. It is the mantra not of the public, but of a huge swath of super-rich Americans.

That’s why when it comes time for action, squeezing pennies from seniors and sick people and socking it to working Americans will be on the table. Raising revenues from fatcats whose taxes are lower than they’ve been since Hoover was in office will not.

That’s democracy in America, 21st-century style.