From the DC Post's chat today about the Worldcom fraud case and Bernie Ebbers...
Peoria: Because all of these high profile corporate executives contributed heavily to the Bush Presidency, and in more ways than one are responsible for Bush to be appointed president, don't you think that Bush is indebted to these corporations and he will pardon the whole bunch before leaving office? Our present administration seems to be above the law and everyone is afraid to question anything they do, good or bad, fearing their wrath.
Carrie Johnson: It would astonish me if any of these white collar defendants were pardoned by President Bush. The public outcry would be enormous. Average investors still haven't forgotten the hit to their retirement savings three years ago--as many of the comments in this chat underscore.
Come on, Peoria - you can blame the current Administration for some things, but trying to blame this White House or even attempting to draw a correlation is a stretch! When the MCI/Worldcoms, Adelphias, Enrons and McLeods of this whole sorry mess "reststated earnings" and admitted to "accounting errors," most of them started the fraud in the mid-90s - anywhere from 1996 through 2000. Which, according to my math, is shortly after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and fairly solidly within the Clinton Administration.
You know, Bill Clinton? The President before Bush? Remember him? The guy who pardoned Marc Rich? Yeah, that Marc Rich guy, alleged of evading 48 million dollars in taxes, and 51 counts of tax fraud AND dealing with Iran on oil deals during the hostage ordeal. Yeah, that dude's a prince.
These 20th Century Robber Barons contributed to Republicans and Democrats both, and in large numbers. Some were more Republican, others were more Democratic, but most of them had both hands in pockets on both sides of the aisle.
Place blame where blame is due - lax corporate oversight by government regulators, an incredibly-speculative stock market, and corporate hierarchies out of control. Accusing Bush of something wrong in situations like Ebbers' is flat-out revisionist history to the point of straight-out lying. Or Peoria, do you blame Jimmy Carter for the Vietnam War?
To Carrie Johnson's credit, she didn't even consider this a possibility. Although, if I were her, I'd have given Peoria a bit more of a printed smackdown.