Our finan­cial sys­tem is hor­ri­bly bro­ken, serv­ing only the well-connected and well-monied inter­ests of Wall Street. We, the Amer­i­can Tax­payer, gave bil­lions of our dol­lars to save peo­ple who made stu­pid bets on gam­bles designed to make them mil­lions and mil­lions of dol­lars. We haven’t flinched yet but if the repub­lic has a chance of recov­er­ing, we’re going to have to do some­thing about it.

From Bill Moy­ers Jour­nal Jan­u­ary 8th, 2010:

Thanks to tax­pay­ers like you who gen­er­ously bailed bank­ing from the finan­cial ship­wreck it cre­ated for itself and for us, by the end of 2009 the industry’s com­pen­sa­tion pool reached nearly $200 bil­lion. And despite wind­fall prof­its, the banks will claim almost $80 bil­lion in tax deduc­tions. And nearly $20 bil­lion of those deduc­tions will go to just three insti­tu­tions — Mor­gan Stan­ley, JP Mor­gan Chase, and Gold­man Sachs.

Ah, yes — Gold­man Sachs, that paragon of profit and pro­bity — which bet big on the hous­ing bub­ble and when it popped — presto! — con­verted itself from an invest­ment firm into a bank so it could get your bailout money. Now con­sider this: in 2008, Gold­man Sachs paid an effec­tive tax rate of just one per­cent. I’m not mak­ing that up — one per­cent! — while their CEO Lloyd Blank­fein pulled down over $40 mil­lion. That’s God’s work, if you can get it. And, believe me, Wall Street bankers know how to get it…”

Did you read that? Gold­man Sachs paid an effec­tive tax rate of ONE PERCENT. This is the change we have been given. Short change indeed. Why we haven’t risen up and destroyed these peo­ple, either fig­u­ra­tively or lit­er­ally, is beyond me. They are suck­ing the life blood out of Amer­ica and call­ing it God’s work.

They are doing it because we let them. You do have some choice. Let your rep­re­sen­ta­tives know that you will not stand for it. Bet­ter yet, take any and all money you have in major banks and move them to small com­mu­nity banks as part of the Move Your Money move­ment. I will be open­ing an account with Amer­i­can National Bank of Texas today and clos­ing my Chase account as soon as I can. I refuse to con­tinue to sup­port insti­tu­tions who do any­thing they can to dis­ad­van­tage me the cus­tomer while lin­ing their pock­ets with my tax money. If you do not do what is right, you will con­tinue to suf­fer the painful con­se­quences of what is wrong.

Hat Tip: Jesse. If he isn’t in your daily read­ing list, you are miss­ing out on com­men­tary exactly describ­ing what is going on in our finan­cial and polit­i­cal system.