It was Mitt Romney who once said, “Corporations are people, my friend.”
Harrington Investments Inc. president John Harrington wants megabank Goldman Sachs to cut out the middleman — since Mitt lost anyway — and run for office itself.
“It would be less damaging to the integrity of our political system and our company, for our corporation to directly run for office as a person under federal or state law, than to continue in the current form of political participation,” Harrington wrote in the proposal to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The SEC has approved Goldman Sach’s rejection of the proposal but Harrington hasn’t given up hope.
“Why don’t we have Goldman run for president and JPMorgan Chase run for vice president? And that way, they can run the system for real,” Harrington, a Goldman Sachs shareholder, told Bloomberg News.
The firm gave $6.39 million in political contributions during the 2012 election, according to Bloomberg. Though corporations were given the right to support candidates directly via the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, Goldman’s donations are fed voluntarily from employees, not company holdings.
Goldman’s generosity to elected officials has been rewarded. During the financial crisis of 2008, Warren Buffett and the American taxpayers swept in to bail the bank out. Taxpayers ended up making $1.4 billion on the deal, about as much as Buffett made. The year before the financial crisis, Goldman made a record $11.6 billion in profit by “offsetting loses on mortgage holdings.”
The Treasury Secretary during the financial crisis was a former Goldman CEO — Henry Paulson. As was Robert Rubin, Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary during the time when the deregulation that helped create the financial crisis took place. They helped the bank earn its nickname of “Government Sachs.”
But they’d left Goldman and hence separated themselves from the magic to make money no matter what, no matter who has to lose. Harrington thinks America needs Goldman Sachs in office — but Goldman isn’t ready to take a pay cut.
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Copyright 2013 The National Memo