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Scott Rickard, former intelligence linguist in Florida, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Saturday, commenting on a recent report which says Wall Street has spent over $800 million to influence decision-making in Washington, DC through lobbying and campaign spending in the current election cycle.
“The Wall Street has been lobbying the political outcomes of the American public for over 100 years. You have to take a really close look at the groups involved here. They have basically taken a complete control since the banking crisis of 2008,” Rickard said.
“They practically run Capitol Hill now. Most of their lobbying organizations contain about 50 percent of former federal employees that lobby on their behalf. And these aren’t the low-level employees, these are chiefs of staff. These are congressional members, Senate members. These are the individuals who basically orchestrated the bailout for the 2008 crisis that was created by the banks,” he stated.
Rickard said the money which is being spent to control people on Capitol Hill is well over $800 million, when “you consider their salaries, when you consider the types of deals they are doing, not just the campaign finance, but they are also throwing lot of parties, and there’s so much going on.”
He said “the Brookings Institute alone, which is really a retirement ground for Goldman Sachs, they have probably a $100 budget a year. And the average salary for these guys is easily in the range of 250,000 to 400,000 dollars [a year].”
Rickard revealed that the six biggest US banks, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo have over a thousand lobbyists on Capitol Hill.
He said there are many other players as well, such as the health insurance industry, the consumer electronics, energy, oil and gas, which also have their own lobbyists in Washington, DC. “We are talking about a city that has roughly 40,000 lobbyists and these lobbyists in the city are representing major corporations and making campaign finance contributions that exceed well beyond tens of billions of dollars on annual bases.”
“There are so many individuals involved. There are over a hundred lobbyists for each congressman,” said Rickard, adding that only salaries for these 40,000 lobbyists amount to over 8 billion dollars a year.
“So it is a very lucrative business. The banks have complete control [over the government]. They have basically the keys to the financial kingdom [which] were given in 1850s and secured in the early 1900s,” he stated.
“And now you have probably one of the most corrupt banking systems where is impossible to get any form of democracy or legitimate elections in the United States. It’s been that way for over a century,” Rickard concluded.