Stephen K. Bannon (or, for those who want to maximize their SEO, Steve Bannon) — president-elect Donald Trump’s pick for White House chief strategist — made his pet issues known long before joining Trump’s insurgent presidential campaign. Now, Americans can reflect on what issues Bannon may take on within a Trump White House — and it does not look good for the culture of corruption in Washington, DC.
In January 2013, Bannon appeared on Fox News’ Hannity with Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President Peter Schweizer for a special called “Boomtown.” This report, covered extensively in Breitbart at the time, shines a light on his view of what is wrong with our nation’s capital. At the time, Bannon was Executive Chairman of both Breitbart News and GAI.
Bannon and Schweizer argued that the “permanent political class” in Washington “extracts” power from the rest of the country so they can make money without producing actual goods. “There is a business model there,” Schweizer says of DC.
Some key quotes from Bannon’s own words show that he, a former Wall Street banker, sees the problem as Washington controlling the money, “not that money controls Washington”:
The rest of the country is in a financial and economic crisis. Much of the country is almost in a depression. And, yet, you have Washington with the three richest counties bordering it seven out of top 10, the big number, per capita income is now higher than Silicon Valley. The great technology engine in the United States.
And this is a bipartisan problem, this is not just beat down on Democrats although they have the party of big government. This is a permanent — class that has now kind of formed an aristocracy. And that aristocracy, that’s why nothing changes in Washington, that’s why you have these budget debates. And like you said, you’re talking about cuts and growth rates of budgets, not cut in the budgets. It’s not a downside.
It’s not that money controls Washington. Washington controls the money. They have an industrial logic to this business model just like any other business model. And that is to extract power from the rest of the country in money into centralized location which is Washington.
With Bannon’s painting of a bulls-eye on bipartisan corruption and politicians’ self-enrichment, it is easy to see why establishment media is slinging so much mud at him right now.