When U.S. Representative Gary Peters, a Blue Dog Democrat, wrote that he wants to “provide relief for Michigan families”, he didn’t specify which families he wanted to help. Now Congressman Peters has signed onto a letter demanding that the House Democratic leadership make George W. Bush’s temporary tax reductions for the wealthiest Americans, and so it’s become clear which families Peters wants to provide relief for: The rich ones.
Why would Congressman Peters demand special favors for the wealthiest Americans, the only group that’s continued to increase its income during the current recession? America’s wealthy families have profited from the economic misery of the rest of us – and they’ve done it without creating new jobs. Why does Gary Peters think they should get a reward for their stingy behavior?
Could it be because Congressman Peters has taken thousands of dollars from the American Bankers Association, which represents the interests of wealthy Americans? What about the additional money from the Bank of America, America’s biggest bank?
Could the money Peters has taken from the American Financial Services Association and the Financial Services Roundtable have anything to do with it? Did his relationship with Charles Schwab and Ernst and Young, investment firms for well-off Americans, influence his decision to favor tax cuts for the rich? Peters took money from the Chicago Exchange as well, of course. Maybe that was the deciding factor.
What about the thousands of dollars Representative Peters has accepted from Capitol One, a credit card company that profits from the financial difficulties of working Americans by charging them ridiculously high interest rates? How about the money Peters took from Mastercard, and from Visa?
Within one week, Gary Peters accepted two donations worth thousands of dollars from HSBC, the largest bank in the world, which makes the majority of its profits from corporate executives and the very wealthy. Did that have anything to do with the decision by Congressman Peters to help the very rich avoid their financial responsibilities to the United States?
What about the money Peters took from the Investment Company Institute PAC, the Managed Funds Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, the National Venture Capital Association, the Securities Industries and Financial Market Association, and the TCF Financial Corporation, plus a large number of CEOs?
With all this money flowing in to the accounts of Congressman Peters, from companies that will profit from tax breaks for the wealthy, are we really supposed to believe that Peters favors tax favors for the rich because he’s thinking about average, working Americans?