'Boomtown' Special Assails D.C. for 'Extracting' Wealth from Taxpayers
In a blockbuster one-hour investigative special that aired on Fox News' "Hannity" on Friday, Peter Schweizer, Steve Bannon, and Sean Hannity exposed how Washington, D.C. has extracted power and money from the United States into a centralized location to become the country's greatest "boomtown," despite not creating anything.
Schweizer, the president of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Institute, highlighted how the permanent political class that relies on lobbying and influence peddling makes more money by "growing the size of government," which leaves no incentive on either side of the aisle to limit government.
As a result, he noted the three richest counties and seven of the top ten wealthiest counties in the nation are in the Washington, D.C. region. The District also consumes the most fine wine in the nation. He asserted the business in Washington is now "not politics" but "money."
Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, said the best and the brightest now come to Washington because they see Washington as a Tammany Hall that will allow them to get rich off of influence peddling. He noted that Washington D.C. runs the equivalent of a $4 trillion private equity fund every year and essentially doles out 25% of the country's wealth to those who are connected.
"Nobody has ever turned a camera on them," Bannon said, indicating he intends to change that in the future. "This is a permanent political class that has now formed an aristocracy. That's why nothing has changed in Washington."
Bannon explained people arrive in Washington as country lawyers and then decide to "turn the business of government into a family business" by having their wives and kids work in lobbying.
"And this is how they become a permanent political class," he concluded.
Hannity mentioned that Washington politicians "kick money back to family, friends, or people that hire them when they retire."
And Schweizer concurred. He claimed the permanent political class is bipartisan and those who are a part of this permanent aristocracy either marry or are born into it.
Schweizer noted former Mississippi Senator Trent Lott, a Republican, and former Louisiana Senator John Breaux, a Democrat, partnering up to lobby after they left Congress. He cited Republican Rep. Bill Young of Florida whose daughter-in-law does defense lobbying while he sits on one of the most powerful subcommittees dealing with defense issues.
Schweizer also pointed out that Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has two sons who have also lobbied for projects in which their father was involved.
According to Schweizer, this type of bipartisan nepotism that would not be tolerated in corporations is why "political debates are like professional wrestling, it's not always what it appears to be."
"It's a massive cultural problem in Washington, D.C.," he lamented, adding that the problem is going to get worse.
Bannon said if one follows the money, it is clear there is no incentive for the permanent political class to cut spending. And because there is not an incentive to cut spending, Bannon said, Americans are stuck with a party of "big government" and a junior partner that is the party of "little big government." Unfortunately, Bannon said the country lacks a party that is truly focused on limited government.
"There is no pressure on them to cut. Washington controls the money. They have an industrial logic to the business model," he explained. "The permanent political class of both political parties are benefiting from it."
Hannity promised more segments in the future with Bannon and Schweizer as they make Americans more aware of the rampant crony capitalism Washington's permanent political class tries its best hide.