Obama's $400,000 Speech Shows Depth Of Corruption

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Former President Obama seems to be cashing in or receiving a payoff for his policies as president. He will be receiving a $400,000 payment from a mid-size investment firm, Cantor FItzgerald to speak at a healthcare conference in September. Obama had the chance when his party controlled the House and Senate to actually solve the healthcare crisis by putting in place improved Medicare for all (and don’t fall for the BS that he could not have done it). Instead he put in place the failed Affordable Care Act whose centerpiece was to force people to buy inadequate health insurance. The ACA has failed to control the cost of premiums, co-pays and deductibles while providing shrinking health coverage. It was a gift to the insurance industry, pharmaceutical industry and investors who profit from healthcare.

Cantor Fitzgerald is one of those healthcare profiteers that benefits greatly from the ACA. It has major investments in the insurance industry bragging that they did  $4 billion in business in 2014 in 40 transactions. They say on their website: “The Healthcare sector is a focus for our Investment Banking business and an area the firm has had a long history serving clients in.” said Jeffrey Lumby, Head of Equity Capital Markets and Co-Head of Investment Banking at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.

The market-based Obamacare paid off well for these investors and now it will pay off well for Obama. While he gets wealthy from giving a speech to people who profited from Obamacare, 29 million go without insurance, tens of thousands die each year because they cannot access healthcare and hundreds of thousands go bankrupt because of health issues, with two-thirds of those having insurance.

This is just the first payment for his work as president and it is from a relatively small investment firm. We will have to watch as the big banks, hedge funders and investment houses make donations to his three Obama Centers (in Hawaii, Chicago and New York City), pay for speeches, hire family members, put him on boards — we expect more pay-offs are coming.

As Zach Carter writes, this payment was in character for Obama:

“This unseemly and unnecessary cash-in fits a pattern of bad behavior involving the financial sector, one that spans Obama’s entire presidency. That governing failure convinced millions of his onetime supporters that the president and his party were not, in fact, playing for their team, and helped pave the way for President Donald Trump. Obama’s Wall Street payday will confirm for many what they have long suspected: that the Democratic Party is managed by out-of-touch elites who do not understand or care about the concerns of ordinary Americans. It’s hard to fault those who come to this conclusion.”

Rather than prosecuting the bankers who crashed the economy through their fraud and bad behavior, rather than breaking up the big banks who corrupt the economy and government, Obama put them in his cabinet and on his economic team. The lack of aggressive actions against corrupt Wall Streeters is astounding. Some of these people pled guilty to committing felonies and were not imprisoned, as Carter points out they engaged in “misconduct ranging from foreclosure fraud to rigging energy markets to tax evasion.” They manipulated interest rates, ripped of municipalities and their customers; and thanks to Obama and Attorney General Holder (who has gone back to representing the finance industry) they got away with it, indeed were rewarded by Obama’s policies.

President Obama had a tremendous opportunity with his party controlling both branches of Congress and winning an easy victory with widespread public support and millions of people ready to work for him to correct so much wrong with the US economy, to get control of Wall Street, to strengthen community banks and credit unions, put in place public banks and create a decent banking sector. He could have remade healthcare so everyone had access to the best healthcare in the world by building on the success of Medicare. He could have ended the student debt crisis — and so much more.

The crashed economy was an opportunity for a ground-up economic stimulus rather than continuing down trickle down economics. But, all of these obvious opportunities were missed. Why? Was he promised big payoffs? Was it corruption? Campaign donations? Or, is Obama just a believer in corporatism and elitism? Does he really believe a market system that has been ripping off workers for decades and destroying the economy, was the right path?

Why do Trump supporters still support Trump — after his failed 100 day record, cabinet of kleptocrats and embarrassing administration? Because there is no alternative in the rigged US democracy. The Democrats have screwed the people under Clinton and Obama. Both former presidents get well paid for their efforts on behalf of Wall Street, not only in campaign donations but in personal wealth. The latest proof, Barack Obama’s $400,000 speech, is just one more example of who the Democrats serve. The financiers made a lot of money under Obama when 95% of economic growth went to the wealthiest. This one speech is perhaps the beginning of many payoffs. We’ll be watching and letting you know.

  • Steve1027

    I’ve heard it described as the “business model of the presidency” where the president engraciates corporate America at the expense of everyone else. When their term comes to an end, then it’s time to reap some of those ill-gotten gains that the president facilitated. I had always thought Obama was better at this game than the Clintons. I wagered with my friends that he’d crack $100 million net worth by 2022, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he got there by 2020. All he’d need to do is write another book.

  • AlanMacDonald

    Trump’s insane statements about Korea, being President more difficult, his previous life being more fun:

    What this obviously means is that Trump is sensing that he has a lot in
    common with Oswald —- that he’s going to be the ‘patsy’ for what’s
    going down from the EMPIRE

  • il corvo

    Very good and accurate article. Let us never forget no matter how popular his celebrity star becomes. The people know better.

  • DHFabian

    I’m not so sure. Obama submitted his ACA plan to Congress, where it went through the notorious legislative “sausage-making process.” What came out of Congress was something very different, but it was the best that could be achieved. Obama’s choice was to sign or reject it. The bottom line is that the ACA provided coverage to a significant number of people who didn’t have any. This matters. Congress could, if they felt like it, build on that foundation. When people demand “all or nothing,” they usually end up with nothing.

    Understand our political parties. The Reagan Democrats of the 1980s leaned further to the right to merge with the Clinton wing in the 1990s. The Clinton wing sold right wing ideology to the beat of a rock and roll song. Over the past 20-some years, they’ve successfully implemented more of the hard right agenda than Republicans would have dared to attempt. Our liberal media embraced the Clinton (neoliberal) agenda, promoting middle class elitism while ignoring the consequences (our poverty crisis). It would not be possible to sell a progressive agenda today.

  • DHFabian

    Still, what did liberals call for during the Obama years? What it came down to was another eight years of calling on us to Stand in Solidarity to protect the advantages of the middle class alone, a solid confirmation of support for our gravely flawed capitalism. Maintain the status quo! With a few notable exceptions (i.e., restoring the disability benefits that B. Clinton had slashed), this is what Obama did.

    I don’t personally think it matters when pols capitalize on their names after leaving office. Would you do any differently, if you were in that position?

  • kevinzeese

    The reality is the bill that became the ACA was the law Obama wanted and designed. He wanted a law based on RomneyCare and that is what he got. We don’t know what he could have done if he had stood for what was needed — improved Medicare for all. His party controlled both Chambers and the law was passed with only Democratic votes. He did not try to do what was needed, he gave in to his big donors from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. The person who deserves the blame or credit for the ACA is Obama.

  • Robert H. Stiver

    “Why do Trump supporters still support Trump — after his failed 100 day record, cabinet of kleptocrats and embarrassing administration? Because there is no alternative in the rigged US democracy.” Amen; sad but true.

  • chetdude

    Obama giving a speech about “Health Care” is like gwbush or cheney (or Obama) giving speeches about how to achieve Peace…

  • chetdude

    Someone posted about his $60,000,000 advance on a ‘book’…

    He probably will make it to $100M by 2020…

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    I think the insurance lobby designed it and told him that was what he wanted. The only conflicts that mattered were those between the different lobbyists.

    Obama never gave in on anything. He was all doormat, courtesy of Penny Pritzker and his other trainers behind the curtain.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    Who are the liberals? Why are they liberals? Are they monolithic? Who do they serve? Is that “who” any different than it is for the conservatives?

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    I bet that Penny Pritzker left a lot of friends in the Department of Commerce for him to influence. I wonder if the Trump gang is cleaning them all out with clowns following their brand of corruption.

  • Jon

    ” But, all of these obvious opportunities were missed. Why?” I suspect it is that upon entering the presidency, he was shown decisive evidence of who was truly responsible for the end of the Kennedy presidency. Hint: not Mr. Oswald who was exactly what he said he was: a patsy (scapegoat).

  • Jon

    Exactly, see my comment above.

  • mwildfire

    There was a time when I believed that. But it seems to me we have many years of evidence that he never intended to use the presidency to solve environmental problems, correct injustices or fight for the poor. He’s just another sociopath. No sitdown with the JFK evidence required.

  • Jon

    Clearly you have not read the definitive work on the subject (and barring that, read the reviews and comments on Amazon) for “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters” by James Douglass, nor “Me and Lee” by the mistress that summer of Mr. Oswald which gives an entirely different picture of the man–both with heavy documentation.

  • mwildfire

    In fact I have read JFK and the Unspeakable and I don’t see why you assume I couldn’t have. I have imagined scenarios in which a sincere person like perhaps Sanders somehow gets elected, and they sit him down and show him the one-copy-only book that documents how it was done, followed by some snapshots of the new president’s kids, and some clarifying suggestions as to what will happen to them if he isn’t very obedient. I just don’t see any evidence that any such thing happened with Obama, or was necessary. I think he had a deal with Them, whoever They are, from the beginning, and being president was not the payoff but the price…I can imagine three deliverables demanded in return for entrance of him and his family into the ultimate gated community: he had to pass something called healthcare reform that didn’t threaten the profits of the drug, insurance and hospital companies; he had to keep some wars going; and he had to bail out Wall Street with taxpayer funds with zero prosecutions. I suspect presidents may be allowed to choose their wars, as long as they have constant warfare going. Where is your evidence that Obama meant better for the people?

  • Jon

    OK, My apologies for an incorrect assumption! o comments are well taken. Could be, most likely too with Bush Jr. they were already in the fold prior to taking office. In fact, what you proposed re: Sanders MAY have taken place when he met with O! Afterward he was full on “got to elect Hillary.” Switcherooo! I appreciate your frequent contributions, by the way.

  • eight.of.wands

    oh I don’t know….maybe invite my constituents to walk right up and kick me in the balls and set my crotch hair on fire w paint thinner if i as their elected representative had betrayed ALL of my promises to them and did ABSOLUTELY FCKN NOTHING!! to turn this country around and reinvigorate the general well-being as i had inspiringly campaigned on, TWICE, soliciting generous donations from my supporters who lifted me up to the Presidency of these United States……but that’s just me…
    The phony GOP vilification of 0bummer during his term of office (which i and many many many many many many others fell for, hook, line and sinker) is small potatoes compared to what’s in store for that jerk (and the reprehensible Clinton$) on the horizon from their bitterly conned constituencies…..i hear talk of Michelle 2020…..don’t make me laugh, scream and puke at the same time, it’s morphologically damn near impossible…..if Hillary didn’t enjoy getting her lard butt handed to her this time ’round, by enraged (and now never-again) Democrats, then Michelle will REALLY be in for quite a surprise, haha!!…..and she ain’t gonna like it…..balls or no balls…

  • AlanMacDonald

    Yes, Jon, Douglass’s book is fabulously researched and definitive!

    Wildfire obviously was badly burned about the head and brain. eh?

  • AlanMacDonald

    “you can imagine three deliverables” — yes, I’ll take that as proof, NOT!

    Wildfire, you think like your name.

  • Jon

    Jim D was a friend and colleague of mine in Hawai’i in the late sixties doing anti-imperialist work. If you go to “James Douglass Portland Maine” on a search engine, you can find on YouTube his speech in 2010 entitled, JFK, Obama, And the Unspeakable.

  • Steve1027

    Absolutely. I’d follow the example set by Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter. Easy.