Friday, September 12, 2014

Billionaire Power Player List Lacks Rubenstein

A new list assessing billionaire political power is out and it's missing Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein.  How is #12 Mark Zuckerberg more politically influential than Rubenstein, a man who's call is taken at any time by U.S. Presidents, Cabinet members and Congressional leaders?

Carlyle located their private equity firm in Washington, D.C. precisely for the purpose of exercising political power. After thirty years on the Potomac Carlyle is now so synonymous with dirty political water it cannot be seen.

"Obama had reached out to the business community, they just haven't liked all of his decisions and some of his rhetoric. But generally, I think the administration is quite open and accessible." (David Rubenstein)

"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage."
(John Kenneth Galbraith)

"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”(Carl Sagan)

It wouldn't do to put David Rubenstein, a PEU and Brookings board member, in a poor light.

Update 9-14-14:  The billionaire list on Naked Capitalism is also missing a Rubenstein.  The Carlyle co-founder is famous for saying, "All I'm doing is I'm filling out my tax returns - or my accountants are, and I'm paying whatever I'm supposed to pay, though I'm giving away a large amount of the money and that probably lowers my tax rate because I'm giving away so much money. But change the law, but don't blame me for the law. I'm not writing the law. I didn't write the law." No, but he lobbied Capital Hill numerous times to keep his preferred carried interest taxation.