28 July 2011
Two weeks ago I had the chance to testify before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity: http://financialservices.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=250158
It was the first time in a while that I had testified at a hearing that was clearly slanted towards the concerns of the financial services and housing industries (8 corporate witnesses v. 2 consumer advocates) and while that didn't surprise me - I do live and work in Washington, D.C. after all - I was pretty flabbergasted by the people who I saw in the hearing room and what they did and didn't say. Looking across the witness table, and more importantly, at the people who sat behind the witnesses, I was amazed to see the same cast of corporate lobbyists who defended the mortgage and banking industry's insatiable greed that ultimately lead to our national's economic disaster.
In the world I live in, when you're so monumentally wrong as these folks were, I would expect maybe a little humility, a little introspection, a little rethinking about how and what I do for a living. But I guess in the world of lobbying, big money contributions not only means never having to say you're sorry, it all means that you get a level of respect and credibility in Congress that is completely undeserved. And folks wonder why Congress is so broken. The more things change...