When several Wall Street titans were on the verge of collapse, our elected leaders threatened that, if we don't act immediately, America will face its worst financial collapse since the Great Depression. $840 billion later, members of Congress appear to be more confident with their equally hasty decision to go to war with Iraq.
Maybe that's why, as MSN reported, Congress needed $140 billion of pork to get it passed. Here is just a sampling of the special interest perks the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act added; a tax exemption to benefit Rose City Archery added $200,000, a $100 million tax break for motor sports race tracks and a $19 billion research credit that benefits, among others, Microsoft and Boeing. What does this have to do with Wall Street? A lot!
Putting special interests ahead of America's interests is exactly how we got in this mess. With its political contributions and lobbying efforts, the insurance and financial industries have successfully reduced or eliminated various regulations and oversight designed to prevent these special interests from gambling with America's financial future.
Perhaps if Congress spent more of their time legislating than fundraising they might have seen this coming. Maybe I'm giving them too much credit, but I don't know how anyone can work 70 days out of the year and be good at their job. I repeat, seventy! This is how many full days the U.S. House of Representatives will be in session this entire year.
Our system is broken. This is perhaps one of the few things I agree with Washington about. However, I'm not just saying this to get elected (although I am saying it to get you to watch my documentary, Mr. Schneider Goes to Washington).
While the film examines the influence of money in Washington in an objective and nonpartisan manner, it does point out McCain's hypocrisy on this issue. If campaign finance reform's one-time leader was willing to put aside his core issue to become president, what hope do we have that he will ever change the way Washington does business?
With the election fast approaching and this issue still not getting the attention it warrants, I decided to screen Mr. Schneider Goes to Washington in its entirety for free.
Wait... "Not all political documentaries are dull and staid. This one has porn stars! Perhaps it's what you'd expect from a reality producer, but the result is a virtual makeover of the genre to make it fresh and fun", writes the Cucalorus Film Festival where Mr. Schneider Goes to Washington played to a packed audience. "Amazingly," the New Orleans Film Festival adds, "Mr. Schneider has made a film about corruption and apathy that is informative, entertaining and enraging!"
Just go to the documentary's YouTube page and get enraged!
Follow Jonathan Neil Schneider on Twitter: www.twitter.com/letsgoape