We are all being treated right now to the spectacle of Washington DC functioning at its finest: shaking down a major industry for campaign contributions. They just did it with “Health Care Reform”, and now they’re doing it again with the banks.

Think of the tens, or even hundreds of millions of dollars that are changing hands right now on K Street, as Dem lawmakers threaten the banks with “regulatory oversight”. It is nearly impossible for us to see what’s really happening.

But there’s more to this. We are also witnessing a colossal struggle between two philosophies, and this writer is afraid that the interests of Main Street are not represented within either of them. Both sides want to capitalize on righteous public anger at Wall Street’s incredible hubris. One side appears to want to takeover another huge segment of the economy. It imagines itself smart enough to manage an economy composed of some 300 million souls, capable of correctly making decisions for most of them, and willing to crush the aspirations of those who differ.

The other opposes regulation (as do I), but is clearly unwilling to let loose the investigative hounds and truly flush out and prosecute the massive frauds that are the big banks, or to put a stop once and for all to “Too Big To Fail”. The banks are, you see, major “contributors” to “campaigns”. Bank robber Willie Sutton, when asked why he robbed banks, famously said: “Because that’s where the money is.” The 2008 election campaigns bore witness to a staggering $476,851,413 in “contributions” from the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sector. Willie would understand perfectly. BTW, half of that went to the left, and half to the right.

As Tea Partiers we understand that either we have a free market, or we don’t. The government must never be allowed to be in the business of picking winners and losers. Yet, that is exactly what it does, and the banks always win, one way or the other. I guess some businesses are just too important, while we’re apparently not. Either we put the government in charge of the banks (bad) and guarantee we’ll bail them out forever, or we allow them to continue pillaging unimpeded (bad), virtually guaranteeing more stupid risk-taking and another, bigger bailout to come. Thus our choices seem to be limited to walking around the rest of our lives with a banker’s gun in our mouth.

I could go into the Senate Bill in detail, but there is no need. It is based on the silly premise that some new board of wise men can be appointed to restrain the banks. We already have lots of regulatory boards of wise men, all of whom have failed us miserably; we call them Federal Reserve, SEC, FDIC, OCC, OTS, Senate Banking Committee, etc. Who are we kidding? We need to move further away from the command economy, not towards it.