An ABC news analysis by Avni Patel and Brian Ross has found that Goldman Sachs, the investment banking firm, has spent $43 million on lobbying and campaign contributions to buy influence since 1989.
"They are almost in a class by themselves," said Sheila Krumholz, the executive director for the Center for Responsive Politics
"Their top executives are in a class that is way above the clout and name-dropping that most other American businesses can achieve," says Krumholz.
The firm has been badly shaken by the financial crisis, with management seeking emergency infusions of cash. The bailout legislation, proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, reportedly led financier Warren Buffett to put $5 billion into Goldman Sachs because he felt the government would make sure Goldman Sachs survived and could unload some of its most troubled loans.
Before becoming Treasury Secretary, Paulson was chairman of Goldman Sachs, earning over $140 million in compensation during his seven years as the firm's top officer, according to company filings. Upon taking office, Paulson divested himself of his 3.23 million Goldman shares, reportedly worth $485 million at the time, to comply with government ethics rules.
This story reminds of the hit series "All in The Family." After the bailout is finalized they will be playing the song "Those Were The Days" around Capitol Hill. I could hear Archie now "It's waddya call, wash your hands (one hand washes the other). What you need is somebody new....there's more than 1 fish in the woodpile."
"Holier than thy."-Archie. Do you know that as an individual the most you are allowed to donate in a federal race is $2,300.00 in the primary and $2,300.00 in the general elections? So how in the world can you and I ever have a say when the National Association of Realtors gives Paul Kanjorski $890,000.00 in just under 3 weeks? How do we ever have a say when Goldman Sachs can give $43 million? It should be criminal to be this corrupt but as one person, Mike Manzo, arrested in Bonusgate stated "While we watch the media rip us to pieces over the legislative bonuses, I just wanted to take a moment to kind of focus back to why our staff was treated so well: because they, and you, earned it!" Arrogance and greed exists at all levels of government.