Rip-offs я Us

It’s time to call the Democratic Party what it really is—an organized crime syndicate that’s been robbing taxpayers for years under the pretense of saving the planet, ending homelessness, or whatever else may sound like a good cause while there’s a heist in progress.

Democrats have been getting away with it for so long, they now make little, if any, attempt to hide what they’re doing. Why bother when Republicans are perfectly willing not to notice, or sometimes to share in the take themselves?

Then along came President Donald Trump to make an issue of deep state corruption, propose huge cuts to foreign aid, and House Democrats voted to impeach him for blowing their cover in Ukraine.

The Trump removal effort is certain to fail in the Senate, but it’s already backfired on Democrats, exposing a system of proxy payoffs and kickbacks that starts in Washington and follows the free money wherever it goes.

The Sopranos

Most Americans have learned everything they know about organized crime from movies and television. So let’s use “The Sopranos” to illustrate how the Democratic Party operates. Think of Capitol Hill, syndicate headquarters, as the Bada Bing Club, where plans are made and the circular cash flow begins:

1) Members of Congress send aid to cities, states, and foreign countries—almost as gladly as they fund disaster relief—since no amount of money is ever too much.

2) Nonprofit middlemen are hired to funnel assistance to recipients, manage pet projects, and make sure the aid is used as lawmakers intend.

3) The “skim” is then laundered through cutout firms in Washington and elsewhere for indirect delivery to the politicians who made it all possible.

Democrats have been at this in one form or another since the 1930s when they first partnered with real mobsters. These days, what they’re up to couldn’t be more obvious.

Take former Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic frontrunner for 2020. He still hasn’t explained how his son Hunter got a seven-figure seat on the board of Burisma, the corrupt Ukrainian energy company. Has any reporter in the mainstream news media even bothered to ask, let alone press for an answer? Keep in mind, Biden was supposed to be the previous administration’s anti-corruption “watchdog” in Ukraine, a regular beneficiary of U.S. aid and loan guarantees.

In 2018, speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations, Biden bragged about the time he held up a $1 billion loan guarantee until Ukrainian authorities fired a state prosecutor then looking into Burisma. The prosecutor was soon canned and the loan guarantee secured. Looks like having Hunter Biden on the board paid off.

Recently, the name of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s son, Paul, has started appearing in stories out of Ukraine. The list of potential witnesses in a Senate impeachment trial keeps getting longer and more embarrassing for Pelosi and the Democrats.

Now Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani claims he’s uncovered evidence of “vast” corruption in Ukraine involving the Democratic Party “not just in 2016 . . . for many years.”

Sheriff Joe

Ukraine is just the tip of the stolen-money iceberg. Who knows how many billions in aid to America’s cities and other Democratic Party financial preserves have been looted by politicians and nonprofit middlemen?

In 2009, Joe Biden was assigned by the Obama Administration to make sure every dollar in the $831 billion stimulus—officially the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “porkulus”—went to private sector “shovel-ready” jobs repairing the nation’s infrastructure.

President Obama warned at the time that anyone thinking of ripping off the stimulus had better think twice with Joe Biden on the job.

“To you, he’s Mr. Vice President . . . Around the White House, we call him the Sheriff,” said Obama. “Because if you’re misusing taxpayer money, you’ll have to answer to him.”

Under Sheriff Joe the stimulus produced a record payout to Democrat-friendly groups, from government employee unions (more than three-quarters of the jobs supposedly “created or saved” by the stimulus were in federal, state, and municipal government) to green-energy flops (tens of billions of dollars went to now-bankrupt companies, such as the infamous Solyndra).

And, as always, a sizable takeout found its way back to special PACs set up by politicians who authorized the spending to begin with. That’s one big reason why you never heard any complaints coming from the Bada Bing Club.

With the hindsight of a decade is it possible to say what good the stimulus did?

The Free Grants Community newsletter, a private-sector online publication that tracks federal grants, reached this conclusion about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: “It’s hard to say what the overall impact . . . has been as politics creeps into efforts to objectively assess the program.”

That may be. But it’s not hard to imagine what having ex-Sheriff Joe back in town would mean to Democrats and their syndicate friends already dreaming of get-rich schemes yet to come.

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About Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas is the author of Club Fed: Power, Money Sex and Violence on Capitol Hill as well as other books, and the co-author of Red Tape: Adventure Capitalism in the New Russia. He is also a former editor and writer with The Economist Group.

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