Yesterday, Rep. Alan Grayson, member of the House Financial Services Committee, said that "AIG blew up because it was a casino that dabbled in insurance on the side."
To date, AIG has received $173 billion -- billion -- and we've got no idea what they did with it. Now we're being told that Citigroup needs a "bad bank" too to buy up their toxic assets, after they already received $250 -- billion -- in guarantees for their losses in exchange for the low, low price of $7 billion in preferred stock for taxpayers.
And what are Americans--who are losing their jobs and their homes because AIG acted like a casino and taxpayers paid off all their gambling debts--getting?
21% of Americans scramble to pay medical, drug bills
Denise Prosser, 39, has battled cancer since she was a toddler.
Yet Prosser can't afford her next cancer treatment -- a radioactive therapy that she's supposed to receive once a year -- because she and her husband lost their jobs in December. Without insurance, she has postponed the radiation indefinitely and is taking only half of her asthma medications -- sacrifices that often leave her gasping for air and could allow her cancer to come surging back.
She's dying because she lost her job and she can't pay her medical bills. She didn't steal anything so she could get taxpayer money so she can pay lobbyists to get her more taxpayer money--that's AIG.
Nobody will tell us who the AIG counterparties were, all we know is that they were a bunch of degenerate gamblers who got rich on taxpayer money. Meanwhile Ellen Tauscher is bragging that she and her New Democrat Coalition come from Wall Street, and work as henchmen for bank lobbyists. Of course they are -- the New Democrat's Executive Director, Adam Pase, was a lobbyist for predatory lenders. And bank lobbyists love them back, cooing about how the New Dems will keep Congress from "punishing" banks with new regulation of the financial system.
Because lord knows, that's the real danger here.
But don't think Tauscher and the New Dems are completely cold to people who can't pay for healthcare. Tauscher voted for the bankruptcy bill that made it more difficult for people with bills from catastrophic illness to file for bankruptcy, saying it "encouraged personal responsibility." I'm sure Denise is touched by Tauscher's concern for her moral fiber. And the power of the New Democrats is only growing -- yesterday, Obama proudly identified with them, saying "I'm a New Democrat."
We keep shoveling money to banks that are "too big to fail," but there's no money to help Denise Prosser. Watching her die while Ellen Tauscher and the New Democrats scramble to lick the boots of lobbyists, it's hard to resist the idea that everything else is just window dressing so we won't notice while the banks fleece us.
Arianna Huffington asks: "So who, exactly, has our money -- and why don't we know?" That is a very good question.
Tell Congress to tell us where all the money is going, and why Americans must die so bankers can get even richer.
Jane Hamsher blogs at firedoglake.com