Saturday, July 11, 2015

Jeb Bush's history makes John Gotti look like Santa.

By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

It appears likely that Hilary Clinton and Jeb Bush, the brother of the draft dodger and war criminal, George W Bush, will likely be the two main candidates of the competing sections of the 1% represented by the Democratic and Republican parties. It’s a bit like family feud or the soap opera, Dynasty. Scott Walker is a possible but unlikely.

The sitting president, Barack Obama’s backers------ big business and Wall Street-------spent $1.6 billion getting him in to the driver’s seat of the most powerful economic and military force in the world, a job that, in retirement, can lead to speeches to the world’s elite at $750,000 a pop. It’s a lucrative position.

Jeb Bush wasn’t too friendly to unmarried mothers back in the nineties.accusing them of “irresponsible conduct”  He’s running for president now and is a bit more guarded and sneaky, or so we thought. It seems Bush can’t help telling the truth as the 1% see it of course and said at a meeting in Manchester New Hampshire last week that, “Workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows,” which means,  “that people need to work longer hours and through their productivity gain more income for their families”.

We should consider that much of the basis for US productivity in the past has not been some super efficiency on our part, but due to American workers working much longer hours than workers in other advanced capitalist countries.  We spend a lot more time on the job.  You stay at work all the time you might produce more.

It’s amazing how these favorite sons can talk of work ethics and all that stuff. Jeb Bush has never done a days work in his life. Why would he? He has great connections. The Bush’s are an old US Bourgeois family with links to British aristocracy by some accounts. They have been associated with the arms industry, the CIA Nazism, and manufacturing and of course through that, politics. They are close to the Saudi Ruling class, another dynastic family and, although of Protestant Anglo Saxon origin, like all ruling families they will entertain friendships with any one or group that offers opportunity for money making; they are completely without scruples.

The male offspring of this family do seem to be afflicted with the stupid gene and that is very dangerous when the host is a dominant member of a ruling class armed to the teeth and ruthless to the core.

But  Bush’s historical record reads like a Mafia Boss’ rap sheet, that the likes of John Gotti, the “Teflon Don”  would be proud of, but even Gotti’s clout and record is no match for Jeb.

Jeb moved to Florida in 1980 and ended up the partner of Armando Codina, a real estate dealer. You have to laugh at the way the 1% talk about each other and refer to their histories.  One banker made the point that Jeb wanted to “make it on his own” and wasn’t able to do that in Texas. In Florida he could make a new start with some help from his father’s connection there, Armando Codina. That’s making it on your own.

Jeb Bush’s “Chartered his own path”, in his rise in Florida political and business life, although he, “leaned on family ties in business and politics”, the Wall Street Journal writes.    Coming from one of the USA’s most powerful political dynasty’s gave him a little bit of a leg up I would think.

Bush is cuddling little African American babies and touting his Latino credentials being married to one. In his presidential bid announcement on June 15th, of the five people on the speaking program before him, just one was a white male.

Anyway, the ever resourceful Mr. Codina “gave” Jeb a 40% stake in a new land pimping business (real estate). That was very generous of him particularly as Jeb had “no real-estate experience.” But this is the American way, giving people a chance, giving them a leg up. Jeb boasts of his relationship with the real estate mogul claiming the guy has “signed the front side of a paycheck” meaning he is less tied to lobbyist cash in Washington.

Having connections helps. I know because I got a job as a forklift driver in a cold storage firm once because my buddy worked there and brought me the job application. Green’s Cold Stores at the back of Hornsey railroad station, London N8 I think it was.

Jeb had a similar experience to me with his connections, as the WSJ explains:
"Mr. Bush’s gross income averaged $106,638 in the six years before his father was elected president—then rose to $1.6 million in 1990, the middle of his father’s term, according to a summary of Mr. Bush’s tax returns reviewed by the Journal and confirmed by his aides. It declined to $697,033 one year later, rising to $1.4 million in 1992.”

“Jeb started a real estate business that through hard work he grew from 3 people to the largest commercial real estate company in South Florida,” say one of his spokespersons. Just built it up all on his own he did.  Of course, Jimmy Carter and after him Ronald Reagan were very kind to people like Jeb and his dad's buddy, Codina. Carter began deregulation in the late 70’s and Reagan continued the process all during the 1980’s.  This “lucky” break allowed Jeb and Codina to “prosper” the WSJ adds.

Those of us a little older will remember the collapse of the Saving and Loans. This was very favorable to people like Jeb Bush and others.  S&L’s faced many more limits and restrictions on their ability to loan money. Credit allows the capitalist system to reach beyond its limits, puts money in the hands of the consumer and the speculator or the business-person; it can stimulate demand. During the Carter administration caps were lifted on S&L’s to facilitate this process and the amount the government insured per account rose to $100,000.  (1) In conjunction with this, the amount of the accounts that would be repaid was raised from 70% to 100%.  Naturally, this increased speculation and risk taking. After all, what moneylender or speculator wouldn’t be prepared to take more risk when if anything goes wrong the US taxpayer will cover it

Eventually, the orgy of speculation and profit taking came to an end and the bubble burst; debt has its limits. Hundreds of S&L’s went bankrupt and many people lost everything they had. The debt of the S&L’s was taken over by the government and paid by the US taxpayer, including interest, more than $300 billion at the time.  The worst case S&L’s were thrown out but those that were salvageable were sold back at bargain basement prices to the same crooks that caused the problem.  With the exception of Charles Keating the culprits got off scott free. But even Keating, whose actions caused massive suffering and probably death in some cases, got off light—a little over four years in jail. George Bush’s brother, Neil, was director of Silverado Savings and Loan when it collapsed costing the US taxpayer $1.6 billion. (2) He received no punishment.  Life is good. 

The more liberal sections of the 1% inside the Democratic Party tend to shift the blame for our economic crises entirely on to the shoulders of their Republican colleagues. But the list below reveals how the politicians of both parties collaborated to lay the groundwork for the S&L catastrophe that cost the US taxpayers so much and destroyed the lives of so many senior citizens in particular.

Among those on Capitol Hill that voted in the interests of the moneylenders and speculators:

                         To remove caps                     Deregulate S&L            Restrict Risky S&L
                         on interest rates                       investments                      investments

Victor Fazio           Yes                                     Yes                                           No

Barbara Boxer        NA                                     NA                                           No

Nancy Pelosi          NA                                     NA                                           NA

Leo Panetta            Yes                                       Yes                                            No

Ron Dellums         Yes                                        Yes                                            No

Fortney  Stark       Yes                                       Abs                                           Abs

Norm Mineta         Yes                                       Yes                                           No

Charles Rangel       Yes                                       Yes                                           Abs

Barney Frank         NA                                        Yes                                          No 

All these politicians are supposed to be “friends” of Labor.  With the exception of Dellums and Fortney Stark who voted no and Charles Wrangel who was absent, the rest all voted to have the taxpayer pay the bill.  (3)

The taxpayers, many of them among Jeb’s “irresponsible unwed mothers” were kind to Jeb and Armando back in those days. Codina and Bush bought a downtown-Miami building in 1985. They were partnered with a guy who borrowed $4.6 million from a bank that went bust. The partner defaulted on the loan and most of it was “wiped out” in the S&L deal according to the WSJ. So a $4.6 million debt was cancelled, absorbed by the taxpayer, Armando Codina was asked to pay $500,000 and allowed to keep the building.

Another Cuban immigrant, Miguel Recaray a well known donor to the Republican Party, paid Jeb $75,000 to find him a building that could house his business, a health maintenance organization HMO. There’s a lot of money to be had in the US sickness industrial complex, it’s very lucrative indeed, much like weapons manufacturing and the Carlisle Group that the Bush’s are connected to invests in both I’m sure. It was discovered that “Pulled myself up by my bootstraps” Jeb, called the chief of staff of the Department of Health and Human Services to “lobby” for a medicare waiver that would benefit Mr. Recarey’s health care business.

Recaray was eventually indicted on conspiracy charges
to defraud the US government but has  disappeared and said to be living in Spain. Recaray’s brother brushed the affair aside saying it was simply a “business decision. On another occasion, IBM hired Jeb’s company in the 1980’s to sell an office park. He sold it to a partnership of coupon clippers that included the Palm Beach County chairman of his father’s (George HW Bush) 1988 and 1992 campaigns, Mark Guzzetta. The place fetched $46 million.  Bush got a hefty chunk of that I’m sure. Not bad for someone that knew “nothing about real estate.” The press gave a little whimper about it looking a bit fishy but they shut that down, “This is what you do for friends,” said the ormer campaign manager “He was a partner in a real-estate company…He didn’t have a right to make a living?”  A few months later Jeb was the best man at his wedding. Rewards are good.

Miguel Recaray: Disappeared.
Bush made lots of money as a rookie real estate agent from donors to his father political campaigns.

They don’t “earn” money these people, they live off of the profit of capital, they make money work for them as the old saying goes. Earned money is money paid in return for productive labor power, wages. And despite being handed everything he has on a silver platter, Bush can still boast as President he will ensure, , “Free enterprise and freedom for all Americans I know we can fix this because I’ve done it.”

The nerve of the man—no shame these people.

We have the best democracy money can buy but the US political and economic system is in extreme crisis. The corruption and outright thuggery is at all levels of government. Bush raised $101 million in the first six months of this year, Hillary Clinton $45 million and there’s 16 months to go.

Jeb has an optimistic vision for the electorate, I see a great country on the verge of its greatest century, and I'm ready to lead." Of course, Jeb doesn’t give a damn about the rest of us so he’ll say anything but one thing is certain, he cannot reverse the declining influence of US capitalism on the world stage. Its greatest asset, which is unfortunately a plague on the rest of us, is that it is armed to the teeth with the ability to blow us all up. Madmen with nuclear weapons is a dangerous concoction.  Scott Walkers attempts to re-introduce the 7 day workweek is all about paying for the present wars to defend corporate profits.

"We will take Washington - the static capital of this dynamic country - out of the business of causing problems." Jeb Bush said on announcing his campaign.  What he means by this is that he will take the limited restraints the state has on big business and eliminate them altogether.  Both Jeb Bush and his brother Neil has have done very well from government handouts and helping friends as some of the examples above show.

The political scene is bleak although Bernie Sanders, the former independent socialist Senator from Vermont is drawing large crowds with his populist rhetoric and attacks on the wealthy. It seems almost impossible though that he will get the Democratic Party nomination and will end up calling on his supporters to vote for Hillary, the most likely Democratic choice.

But it is truly mind boggling to read about the corrupt and parasitic lives of the ruling class in this country, people like Jeb Bush. They are truly among the most crass and violent in history.

Frederick Engles, Marx’s collaborator explained this crass and vulgur nature of the US ruling class compared to their British colleagues (and at times rivals as there’s no honor among thieves) as being a product of their different histories.  The British bourgeois fought an extended centuries long ideological struggle against an existing ruling class, the feudal aristocracy. They had to defend their ideas.  For their US counterparts though it was simply a matter of wiping out a few million native people and building some infrastructure.

That’s Jeb Bush’s heritage, the heritage of his class; the most ruthless ruling class on the planet.

(1) S&Ls or thrifts have existed since the 1800s. They originally served as community-based institutions for savings and mortgages.
(2) ibid
(3) Who Robbed America: Michael Waldman

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