Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, a potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, is calling for a little “trust busting” — to break up the country’s huge monopolies.
“I think we’ve never seen such a concentration of wealth and corporate power as we have now,” O’Malley told Radio Iowa this afternoon. “And we’re all paying for it, through declining wages in our country.”
O’Malley is making a trip to Iowa this weekend, another signal he may be a challenger to Hillary Clinton in Iowa. During a telephone interview with Radio Iowa, O’Malley declined to directly confront Clinton, but O’Malley suggests in an opinion piece published in The Des Moines Register that “too many Democrats have been complicit in the backslide toward less regulation” of Wall Street.
“I think as a party we’ve not always stood up for the sort of robust regulation of Wall Street recklessness that the public expected us to,” O’Malley told Radio Iowa.
Five banks control about half of the assets in the nation’s financial sector and O’Malley said it’s time to bust those banks up into “smaller, more manageable institutions.” He’s also is calling for a sort of three-strikes-and-you’re-out policy that would close any bank guilty of three violations of the law — and he would end the practice of allowing banks to take a tax credit for any penalties paid in a legal settlement. O’Malley said these and other changes would clean up the culture on Wall Street where wrong-doers go unpunished.
“Our economy is the product of the choices we make and, sadly, we’ve made choices to concentrate wealth,” O’Malley said. “…We need to return to our true selves and make our economy work again for all of us.”
O’Malley was a frequent visitor to Iowa in 2014 and his political action committee hired 14 people and dispatched them to work for Iowa Democrats. This weekend’s visit marks O’Malley’s first trip to the state this year. He will headlined a fundraiser in Davenport tonight for Scott County Democrats. On Saturday morning he’ll meet with Cedar County Democrats in Tipton and then on Saturday night he’ll be in Council Bluffs to speak at the Pottawattamie County Democrats annual fundraiser.