Screenshot: House Committee on Financial Services (YouTube)

Today, the House Financial Services committee held a hearing about the banking industry. Given this chance to ask several bank CEOS and stewards of American capitalism about the stability of the global banking system, three-term Republican Rep. Roger Williams of Texas knew exactly what to ask: Are y’all commies?

“I want to thank all of you for keeping the American dream alive,” Williams told the CEOs. “If it weren’t for the banks all of you are representing, Main Street America as we know it today would not exist.” Then Williams took a hard detour towards a debate over socialism vs. capitalism, saying, “We need to put socialism on trial, and we need to do it today.”

Advertisement

And then he asked all of these white billionaires who run megabanks if they were socialists or capitalists.

After every single witness on the panel said, of course, that they were capitalists, Williams responded: “Well, it’s a shutout for the socialists today.” (Considering democratic socialist Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also sit on the Financial Services committee, it’s pretty clear who this was aimed at.)

This hearing was meant to examine the stability of a system which the most important players essentially gambled away on a get rich quick scheme ten years ago, a system whose further deregulation is being spearheaded by Williams’ party just so the banks can all do it over again. And so a Republican politician salivating over CEOs and then asking them, during a congressional hearing, very politely to denounce an alternative in which unelected heads of banks hold all of the levers of the U.S. economy is...well, the best possible advertisement for socialism you could ask for.

Advertisement

As a socialist: good job, Rog.