I attended The Michigan Summit in Lansing today and got to listen to a Michigander talk about going to last week’s Bank of America protest in Charlotte. The man, probably in his early 50s, talked about how he struggled to pay his mortgage and how it felt to stand up to Bank of America president Brian Moynihan at a shareholder meeting.
Me, and many people in the audience, found it inspiring, but presidential candidate Mitt Romney might not agree. When asked about the Bank of America protests this past week, he said that “Unfortunately, a lot of young folks haven’t had the opportunity to really understand how the economy works, and what it takes to put people to work in real jobs, and why we have banks, and what banks do.”
It’s pretty condescending to think that just because you didn’t go to Harvard or make your money through venture capitalism that you don’t understand the economy. Young people without jobs and homeowners under water probably understand it pretty acutely.
But these protesters also aren’t the Bank of America employees filling up Mitt Romney’s campaign coffers. Romney has received at least $277,850 from Bank of America employees so far this election cycle—making him the top recipient of company cash in 2012. That is more than four times what President Obama, the second top recipient of Bank of America cash, has received, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Romney is the top recipient of financial sector money overall this cycle, having received nearly $15.3 million in contributions. Of that, $1.3 million is from donors and PACs at commercial banks like Bank of America.
A lot of people in this country are still hurting from the economic collapse brought on by Wall Street greed and they feel like they don't have a voice in a political system being overrun by millionaires and billionaires. They deserve to be heard too.