Republican Congressman Insists Wall Street Has No Crime, Says Real Crimes Have Guns (VIDEO)

mcclintock official portrait

Raising the question of whether IQ tests should be required to get into office, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) made the idiotic assertion that there is no such thing as white collar crime, saying, “…for a criminal practice there has to be a gun. It’s pretty simple.”

Here’s the video, with McClintock’s comments starting around 0:57:


McClintock’s statements show a deep lack of understanding when it comes to financial systems. Think Progress reports, saying:

After detailing his opposition to reforms that would curb bank risk-taking and simplify the financial system, McClintock added that bad financial decisions are the responsibility of the individual who makes them and that’s “the price we pay for the freedom to make all of the good decisions in our lives.”

The price America paid for the financial crisis measures in the trillions – probably in the tens of trillions – of dollars. That crisis was brought on by sweeping fraud involving faked signatures and lies about loan terms, and was exacerbated by short-term compensation incentives that encouraged financial executives to manipulate stock prices with disastrous long-term effects. A recent survey found an alarmingly high willingness to commit such gun-free acts of thievery among Wall Street employees, provided they would get away with it.

And let’s not forget that he said that only crimes at gunpoint are actual crimes. This may not go well with his supporters at the NRA. After all, now he draws the line of criminality with firearm possession – not a popular viewpoint for groups which have given him an A Rating. Could come back to bite him in the next election.

In the real world, it is very possible to commit a wide variety of coercive criminal acts without a weapon, and many other crimes aren’t necessarily coercive in nature. The fact is that our financial system is corrupted, and that corruption is poisoning the rest of American society. From campaign financing laws and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to the prison industrial system, systemic — and legal — corruption has twisted the system away from successfully serving the people. Having idiotic people in office that can’t even admit ignorance under pressure, instead relying on bluster and party line talking points, isn’t helping us solve anything at all.

Please, those of you in district four of California — vote him out in 2014.