The last eight years have been extremely tough on middle-class Americans.
Real wages have stagnated and even decreased, while full-time jobs are being replaced by part-time work waiting tables and delivering packages for online mega stores.
What’s more, a recent study of college graduates shows that those who entered the workforce during the great recession might never make the same wages as their peers who graduated just a few years earlier.
All told, the future looks bleak… That is, unless you happen to be an Obama donor.
That’s right. Even in the midst of a sluggish economy, Obama donors have been scoring incredible windfalls.
Crony Capitalism at its Finest
Take, for example, David Grain. According to Federal Election Commission reports, Grain gave $60,000 to Obama’s campaign and the DNC in 2008, and he gave $22,500 in 2012.
Grain has also been a lucrative fundraising partner for Obama. In 2008, Grain helped raise an additional $200,000 to $500,000 for Obama, according to a report in Bloomberg News.
And now, money is set to flow the other direction…
You see, Grain owns a private equity firm called Grain Management, LLC. that failed to qualify under existing rules as a small business for an upcoming Federal Communications Commission (FCC) airwave license auction.
Luckily for Grain, the FCC suspended the rules in a closed-door, party-line vote, and the Head of the FCC, Democrat Tom Wheeler, took the lead on a waiver to the action rules.
Republicans objected fiercely, but the final vote was 3 to 2. That means when the auction is held, Grain Management will be designated as a small, struggling business by the FCC, in spite of its size. This will allow Grain to get exclusive discounts not otherwise available to major telecom firms.
The worst part is that Grain’s firm isn’t even a telecom company. Instead, it’s a private equity and financial firm that has no real interest in the airwaves other than flipping them for a massive profit.
Essentially, Grain’s Obama connection helped him manipulate the system and facilitate a lucrative arbitrage deal.
What Will the Future Hold?
Grain’s plan is a perfect example of how donors are able to profiteer off of the government. In the old days, donors were given perks such as an ambassadorship in Jamaica. But now, with the government virtually in control of the economy, the payoffs are far more lucrative.
And even though Grain Management will add no value to the transactions undertaken, David will most likely score a huge payday. It’s a perfect example of the crony capitalism that Americans detest.
Going forward, it’ll be interesting to see how much Grain makes from having such awesome inside connections with Obama.
Since the FCC controls “public airwaves,” we’ll be able to calculate how much Grain profits after the auction results. Likely, the final dollar amount will be many times what Grain paid to the DNC and Obama campaigns.
Once I know how much this shady deal nets, I’ll be sure to share the dollar amount with you.
Your eyes on the Hill,