"The failure of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) shows us, once again, that unrestrained greed isn’t good." - Thom Hartmann
Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) Chief Pressed Lawmakers To Weaken Bank Risk Regs - The Lever
Venture capitalists urge startups to withdraw funds from crisis-laden Silicon Valley Bank - CNBC
The Treasury, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation unveiled a plan to contain fallout from Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse. - NY Times
Republican legislation would shield billionaires from paying taxes while raising rates on middle- and working-class families. House Republicans that would gut the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and strip the agency of the necessary resources to ensure billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share of taxes.
“The first bill brought to the floor by the Republican majority makes clear where they stand: with tax cheats, billionaires and the biggest corporations who do not pay taxes. While Americans live paycheck to paycheck and struggle with the rising cost of living, House Republicans’ number one priority is to ensure billionaires and big corporations are allowed to continue business as usual. These tax cheats take advantage of a broken system to not pay taxes, and everyday Americans are stuck footing the bill.” - Rosa DeLauro
When in doubt, follow the money to see how a game has been rigged. How do billionaires get to dodge paying taxes? How do rules that govern all Americans get bent for the rich so they can get richer? How do politicians cater to their wealthy donors? How did the GOP packed Supreme Court increase the flow of dark money into politics with Citizens United? Why do billionaires get relief when in trouble, but students are denied Student Loan Debt relief?
Follow the money to see how billionaires and Republicans have rigged the system
The hypocrisy is ripe!
- The “run on the bank” that caused the collapse may have been precipitated by venture capital funds in Silicon Valley advising their clients to withdraw funds from the bank—creating a “liquidity crisis.”
- The venture funds then demanded that the federal government step in to protect their startup clients by providing emergency funding to cover their clients’ deposits.
- That, in turn, indirectly protected the investments of the very venture firms that caused the run on the bank in the first instance.
- The masters of Silicon Valley are at the head of the line when it comes to lecturing the government about the “moral hazard” of forgiving student loan debt—claiming that freeing students from their debt will allow them to “unfairly” profit from their decision to finance their educations.
- If “moral hazard” is a legitimate ground for policymaking, then creating a run on a bank and then demanding that the federal government step in to protect your investments threatened by the bank’s collapse. - Robert Hubbel
How did we get here?
Citizens United unleashed political spending from special interest groups. Wealthy donors, corporations, and special interest groups have long had an outsized influence in elections, that sway has dramatically expanded since the Citizens United decision, with negative repercussions for American democracy and the fight against political corruption.
The Supreme Court overturned election spending restrictions that date back more than 100 years. Previously, the court had upheld certain spending restrictions, arguing that the government had a role in preventing corruption.Now corporations can now spend unlimited funds on campaign advertising if they are not formally “coordinating” with a candidate or political party.
A very small group of Americans now wield “more power than at any time since Watergate, while many of the rest seem to be disengaging from politics.“ The decision has helped reinforce the growing sense that our democracy primarily serves the interests of the wealthy few, and that democratic participation for the vast majority of citizens is of relatively little value.” An election system that is skewed heavily toward wealthy donors also sustains racial bias and reinforces the racial wealth gap. - Brennan Center
Fix the system
Billionaires shouldn't be able to bend the rules to get richer by dodging taxes while weakening safety regulations that protect all Americans. The wealthy shouldn't be able to stack the courts and pack Congress with judges and politicians to do their bidding. Politicians shouldn't be able to only cater to their wealthy donors while suppressing the votes of working Americans.
"The masters of Silicon Valley are at the head of the line when it comes to lecturing the government about the “moral hazard” of forgiving student loan debt—claiming that freeing students from their debt will allow them to “unfairly” profit from their decision to finance their educations. If “moral hazard” is a legitimate ground for policymaking, then creating a run on a bank and then demanding that the federal government step in to protect your investments threatened by the bank’s collapse." -Robert Hubbel
TakeAway: Organize, register and vote to make sure everyone pays their fair share and plays by the rules. That includes billionaires who have rigged the system for themselves.
A special thanks to Royce Spencer with research for this blog.
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