Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison
a book by Peter Schweizer
(our site's book review)
The Amazon blurb says that One of the biggest scandals in American politics is waiting to explode: the full story of the inside game in Washington shows how the permanent political class enriches itself at the expense of the rest of us.
Insider trading is illegal on Wall Street, yet it is routine among members of Congress
Insider trading is illegal on Wall Street, yet it is routine among members of Congress. Normal individuals cannot get in on IPOs at the asking price, but politicians do so routinely. The Obama administration has been able to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to its supporters, ensuring yet more campaign donations. An entire class of investors now makes all of its profits based on influence and access in Washington.
Peter Schweizer has doggedly researched through mountains of financial records, tracking complicated deals and stock trades back to the timing of briefings, votes on bills, and every other point of leverage for politicians in Washington. The result is a manifesto for revolution: the Permanent Political Class must go.
A crony capitalist has but one thing on his mind
Politicians often come into office with relatively modest assets. As investors, they regularly beat the market and sometimes beat the most rapacious hedge funds. Even without making stock trades, they often retire rich. How do they do it?
Billionaires and hedge fund managers often make well-timed investment decisions that anticipate events in Washington. How do they do it?
Cronyism exists not so much as outright bribery, using suitcases full of cash, but rather in legal, accepted insider trading routes to wealth that even Hillary couldn't pass up
When such former politicians and federal appointees as Al Gore, Dan Quayle, and Madeleine Albright decide to launch investment funds, wealthy clients sign up. Why?
Welcome to the insidious world of crony capitalism.
Peter Schweizer shines a light into the darkest corners of our corrupt system and offers ways to overcome it
Crony capitalism transcends party lines and has become a big business hidden in plain sight. Using personal financial information, government databases, and a team of indefatigable researchers, Peter Schweizer shines a light into the darkest corners of the system and offers ways to overcome it. It is time to clean house.
As Ben Franklin knew, ambition and avarice, the love of power and the love of money, when united in view of the same object . . . have in many minds the most violent effects.
In Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison, Peter Schweizer rips back the curtain to show how Washington has become Franklin's worst nightmare, thanks to:
Insider trading in Congress
* Senator John Kerry regularly and aggressively traded health care stocks while helping write health care legislation
* Congressman Spencer Bachus shorted the market in 2008 after receiving private briefings from Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson
Legal legislative graft
* Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi received insider IPO shares and bought millions more in Visa stock, and shortly thereafter she blocked four bills that would have harmed the company
* Former Speaker Dennis Hastert used an earmark to pull off a multimillion-dollar land deal that helped make him rich. He sexually exploited 14-year-old boys as a wrestling coach, then later exploited his political position to get wealthy
Former Speaker of the House and 'serial child molester' who got a sentence of fifteen months in prison, two years' supervised release, including sex-offender treatment, and a $250,000 fine. Hastert is 'one of the highest-ranking American politicians ever sentenced to prison.'
Favors to crony capitalists
* Over $10 billion worth of stimulus grants and loans were directed to companies run or owned by members of Barack Obama's 2008 campaign National Finance Committee and his campaign-donor bundlers.
For the rest of us, this is called insider trading, conflict of interest, and kickbacks. But for them, it's completely legal. It's time to end crony capitalism once and for all.
Schweizer tells us "In short, the Permanent Political Class has clearly figured out how to extract wealth from the rest of us based solely on their position and proximity to power. If you have a seat at the table, you are in for a feast. If you don't have a seat at the table, you are probably on the menu. Exactly how crony capitalists are consuming public wealth and fattening themselves is the subject of this book. Ideology and political philosophy matter in Washington, but often less than you might think. Honest graft is generally bipartisan. Complex bills that are hundreds or even thousands of pages long can contain a single sentence or word that translates into money and that can influence how a politician votes."
In the dog-eat-dog world of politics, if you are 'not at the table, you are probably on the menu', according to Schweizer
Cronyism describes relationships existing among mutual acquaintances in private organizations where business, business information, and social interaction are exchanged among influential personnel. This is termed crony capitalism, and is an ethical breach of the principles of the market economy; in advanced economies, crony capitalism is a breach of market regulations.
Given crony capitalism's nature, these dishonest business practices are frequently (yet not exclusively) found in societies with ineffective legal systems. Consequently, there is an impetus upon the legislative branch of a government to ensure enforcement of the legal code capable of addressing and redressing private party manipulation of the economy by the involved businessmen and their government cronies.
The economic and social costs of cronyism are paid by society. Those costs are in the form of reduced business opportunity for the majority of the population, reduced competition in the market place, inflated consumer goods prices, etc.
Cronyism is the practice of partiality in awarding jobs and other advantages to friends or trusted colleagues, especially in politics and between politicians and supportive organizations. For instance, this includes appointing "cronies" to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications. The Trump administration was a blatant example, hiring cronies, then firing them once the slightest hint of disloyalty arose, then hiring another crony, ad infinitum.
President Donald Trump assigned at least five members of his private golf clubs to choice government jobs such as ambassadorships. This is the first time in modern history that a president has rewarded people with jobs that paid money to his own companies
U.S. President Donald Trump assigned at least five members of his private golf clubs to choice government jobs such as ambassadorships. This is the first time in modern history that a president has rewarded people with jobs that paid money to his own companies. (Source: Cronyism, Wikipedia)
As of November 2019, President Donald Trump, his children, the 2016 Trump election campaign, the Trump Inaugural Committee and/or the White House were being investigated by 10 federal criminal, eight state and local, and 11 congressional investigations, according to the New York Times. This doesn't include investigations into administration officials or closed investigations led by Special Counsel for the Department of Justice Robert Mueller. The Mueller investigation resulted in 34 indictments, and seven convictions or guilty pleas. While adhering to Justice Department policy barring the indictment of a sitting president, the Special Counsel did pass on to Congress "numerous instances in which President Trump may have obstructed justice." (Source: List of federal political scandals in the United States, Wikipedia)
When investigations into administration officials or White House chaos led to statements Trump saw as disloyal, he'd throw the person under the bus, say 'you're fired,' and hire someone else
Other crony capitalism examples include politicians rewarding their donors with grants, guaranteed loans, and other subsidies. Obozo rewarded his donors by allocating stimulus money to green energy projects they owned. The only well known example is Solyndra which received a guaranteed loan of $573 million and then went bankrupt. Companies connected to donor Soros also got benefits. Needless to say taxpayers had to pay for the subsides.
Warren Buffett seems like a folksy hometown guy who has made billions of bucks from prudent investing. However he has made much of his money through Washington connections. He was a major adviser to Obozo in how to invest bailout funds for banks. He then invested in the banks he recommended for bailouts such as Goldman Sachs and GE Capital.
All this results in the Washington area having seven of the ten most wealthy counties in the country. The beneficiaries are politicians, bureaucrats, contractors, and lobbyists. Many of the lobbyists are relatives of politicians. All this is called crony capitalism where you can get rich from government connections instead of market competition.
The Washington area has seven of the ten most wealthy counties in the country; the beneficiaries are politicians, bureaucrats, contractors, and lobbyists. Many of these lobbyists are actual relatives of politicians. All this is called crony capitalism—where you can get wealthy from government connections instead of market competition
Warren Buffett was a major adviser to Obozo in how to invest bailout funds for banks. He then invested in the banks he recommended for bailouts such as Goldman Sachs and GE Capital, which got bailouts. Ka-ching!
Since ObamaCare was going to pass, Big Pharma got out ads and lobbyists and decided to at least influence its provisions in their favor. Which is what they did. Arms were twisted, promises were made—it was BAU—business as usual.
ObamaDon'tCare may have been Obama’s signature 'achievement,' but it was also rife with controversy and scandal—it was a huge fraud
"Everything about ObamaCare is a scandal, from the President’s incessant lies about keeping your old plan if you liked it, to Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s 'we need to pass it to find out what’s in it' dereliction of Congressional duty. ObamaCare is a scam, pure and simple – sold on false pretenses by people who knew it wasn’t going to work the way they promised. It doesn’t feel right to dismiss it as a 'failed' scheme when so much of the failure was intentional. The bill was so sloppily crafted that Democrats were basically signing blank sheets of paper when they rushed it through Congress in a foul-smelling cloud of back-room deals." (Source: 18 Major Scandals in Obama’s ‘Scandal-Free’ Presidency, John Hayward, Breitbart)
Schweizer tells us "The upper tiers of the U.S. economy are increasingly a network of individuals who make special deals with politicians—and the politicians themselves. The distinction between the public and private sectors has become blurred. More than half of the Fortune 1000 companies have an ex-politician or ex-bureaucrat sitting on their corporate boards."
The beltway bubble represents the most corrupt city in America—Washington D.C.
One could call the relationship between politicians and corporations incestuous. Or corrupt. Or crooked. Or warped. Or rotten. Or all of the above. Take your pick. Washington D.C. is now, by far, the biggest factor in the American economy. The Federal government spends $4 trillion per year. Much of this goes for wars only they want—the public wants nothing to do with them. The Federal government increasingly regulates all aspects of the economy. Most importantly, it doles out billions per year in loans, grants, and other subsides—welfare for the rich and the rich companies. All this combines to make it the most corrupt city in America. The corruption happens because all this power gives politicians opportunities to enrich themselves, their donors, and other supporters. The Washington area has seven of the ten most wealthy counties in the country.
'Follow the money.' This was Deep Throat's (Mark Felt) advice to Woodward and Bernstein in the Watergate scandal; to trace corruption to its source
"Honestly, I think the party divide matters less than it used to. The biggest divide I believe we face is the divide between Washington, D.C., and the rest of us." (Source: Taking Stock of Congress, Peter Schweizer, Stanford Magazine)
Elites versus the rest of us. This is a context seen in more and more books and articles. Looks like all these people are trying to tell us something. One of the wisest people around is Noam Chomsky. He has written the most important book (and movie) of the 21st century, about the concentration of wealth and power: Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power. It comes at a critical time in American history. It is a coherent narrative of the corruption of our American socio-economic-political systems. In addition to being a requiem, the film is also a post mortem, containing descriptions of the strategies and tactics that have transformed the United States of America into an oligarchy: elites versus the rest of us. If Chomsky's knowledge and brilliance cannot help us, we are so far beyond screwed we couldn't catch a bus back to screwed. (But they CAN help. Read this book. Learn it. Respond. Resist. And never ever ever give up!)
If Chomsky's knowledge and brilliance cannot help us, we are so far beyond screwed we couldn't catch a bus back to screwed
"Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) was one of only three members of the United States Senate to oppose bipartisan legislation in 2012 barring lawmakers from using non-public information to reap profits on the stock market. . . . The idea for the legislation stemmed from revelations in Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison by Peter Schweizer, a senior contributor at Breitbart News and president of the Government Accountability Institute. In his book, Schweizer detailed how both Republicans and Democrats in Congress sold stock in 2008 after receiving closed-door briefings on the imminent financial crisis." (Source: Richard Burr Voted Against Bipartisan 2012 Bill Barring Congressional Insider Trading, Haris Alic, Breitbart)
"At its heart, crony capitalism is a large and rather obvious example of conflict-of-interest in action. The conventional approach has been to require politicians to put their investment activities into the hands of blind trusts which they neither influence nor know what’s going on but this is a sham as well. Despite all the window dressing, these trusts are neither blind nor completely independent. Invariably, they are run by friends as trustees and privileged information finds its way to those trustees. . . . the members of Congress [are] an untouchable political class. They are exempt from the laws they define for everybody else and therefore members of Congress have seized the opportunity to take advantage of some of the more obvious and more lucrative opportunities that come along. Self regulation has become a free for all and a scramble to accumulate a sizable personal nest egg while in public service. . . . Even beyond the more obvious conflicts-of-interest which are involved, Washington politicians are becoming highly adept at extortion. They threaten businesses, individuals and entire industries with harmful legislation which then gets withdrawn when campaign contributions are forthcoming." (Source: THROW THEM ALL OUT, PETER SCHWEIZER, Capitol Reader)
Even beyond the more obvious conflicts-of-interest which are involved, Washington politicians are becoming highly adept at extortion. They threaten businesses, individuals and entire industries with harmful legislation which then gets withdrawn when campaign contributions are forthcoming
"I read Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison in just one quick sitting. I couldn't put it down. It's not long, but it is absolutely, unequivocally, full of explosive revelations about what is really going on in Washington. You have to read it. You owe it to yourself. You owe it America's future." (Source: Are You Outraged Yet?, Shah Gilani, Money Morning)
“The problems we face today are not the result of the individual failings of a few leaders. What we face is a system that is compromised by the perception that U.S. public policy is a marketable commodity. It's time to fix it. Let's relegate the Government Rich to the ashbin of history. If you want to get rich, do it the legitimate way. Go out and produce a useful good or service that you have a right to sell.”– Peter Schweizer
"Ultimately what's happened as a result of the book and then the 60 Minutes episode that came out based on the book, is that Washington passed this law called the Stock Act, which makes it a crime for congressional insider trading to take place. I think that sprung from fear because the reaction to the book and the 60 Minutes episode was strong. . . . But I think . . . there is an ethical erosion. There's a saying that a friend of mine used. He said when you first get to Washington, you think it's a cesspool; and after you stay a few years, it suddenly becomes a hot tub. And I do think there is the notion in Washington that some things that, at first, people don't think is acceptable soon becomes acceptable." (Source: The moral crisis of crony capitalism, Acton staff, Acton Institute)
When you first get to Washington, you think it's a cesspool
After you stay a few years, it suddenly becomes a hot tub
"I believe in civil liberties. And I don't think we should ever doubt the possibility that someone, however well intentioned, might ask us to toss them away in the name of security. We've not approached that point yet by any means. But like I said, I distrust central power." (Source: Taking Stock of Congress, Peter Schweizer, Stanford Magazine)
Multiculturalism and political correctness is at its worst when used as a gag to strangle free speech
He wrote the above in 2012. It is now 2020, and his contention that civil liberties being tossed away is a point we are not near is obsolete. The liberal activists want full civil liberties for liberals, but few civil liberties for conservatives, and gagging for conservative points of view. Liberal activists back up this horribly un-American attitude with violence, gagging, censorship, violence, doxxing, trolling, smearing, and getting people fired. See:
- The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech
- The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech
- The Assault On Freedom In America
- Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt: Toward a Secular Theocracy
- HATE: Why We Should Resist it with Free Speech, Not Censorship
The PC Police ensure that everything we see and hear conforms to their bigoted standards