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Matt Taibbi On The Two Most Troubling Trends In America

Author and journalist Matt Taibbi speaks to a crowd of Occupy Wall Street protestors after a march on the offices of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in New York. (John Minchillo/AP)

Author and journalist Matt Taibbi speaks to a crowd of Occupy Wall Street protestors after a march on the offices of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in New York. (John Minchillo/AP)

There has been a chorus of voices asking why no one has gone to jail for the Wall Street financial scandal. One of those voices belongs to journalist Matt Taibbi.

This past weekend, Here & Now’s Robin Young sat down with Taibbi before a sold out crowd in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to discuss his new book, “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.”

Taibbi began covering the financial collapse for Rolling Stone magazine in 2008 and realized no one was going to jail. He decided to find out who was going to jail.

In “The Divide,” he makes the case that there are two types of Americans: rich Wall Street miscreants who pay fines instead of do time, and poor Americans who go to jail.

Taibbi has since left Rolling Stone to join Glen Greenwald, of Edward Snowden fame, in a new online venture, First Look Media.


  • Matt Taibbi, author and journalist. He tweets @mtaibbi.

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  • Frog

    Mortgage interest deduction “taking” money from the government? Wow, that’s just wrong. A deduction just means you are paying less tax. If you don’t pay taxes, you don’t get the deduction. Matt Tiabbi’s kind of mindset says ALL your earnings are the government’s and anything you don’t pay in tax is “taking” money from the government. If all his analogies are that flawed….

    One thing I like about Taibbi is that at least he names names of his miscreants. Much better than “them”, “the bankers”, “CEOs”, “Corporate bigwigs”, etc.

    • bob

      I think it should be pointed out that the fact that the Supreme Court (Court unanimously overturned accounting firm Arthur Andersen’s conviction of obstruction of justice in the fraudulent activities and subsequent collapse of the Enron corporation, on the basis that the jury instructions did not properly portray the law Andersen was charged with breaking) was at no time mentioned in any of Robin Young’s piece…how he expects to be taken as a serious credible reporter is beyond belief…and Matt is somewhat suspect as well…85,000 jobs lost…not a small number…

  • vicki

    Yes, mortgage deductions on our tax reruns are taking money from the government in the same way as farm payments do. If you have a farm, you get the perk, if you own a home, you get a perk. He isn’t speaking of earnings, he is talking about the perks that some people in the country get and others do not. A mortgage is an investment in the same way other investments are. It is always the same story. Others are money grubbing leaches, but we are deserving of help from the government. For example, the Florida Governor Scott has railed about the how useless government programs are, but he just declared Florida Panhandle Counties disaster areas to become eligible for Federal Funds. I don’t begrudge any of these things. I took my mortgage deduction before my house was paid off. I think the real point is that benefits and perks are not based on equality or logic.

    • Frog

      I totally agree that our tax system is unfair and not based on logic and should be completely revised. Nobody should get a tax perk than someone else doesn’t get. Fairtax.org

    • ocdhickson

      There is a distinct difference between paying less in taxes due to a deduction and getting a check from the government as farmers do in connection with programs like CRP or as other welfare recipients get in the form of housing/food assistance.

      Frog is exactly right “If you don’t pay taxes, you don’t get the deduction.” But if you’re a farmer with land set aside under CRP you get that check whether you pay tax or not.

      Liberals love to blur the lines to make it seem like the government deserves all of your money and is doing you a favor by letting you keep some of it.

      • Wonder

        They are doing a favor because the so called conservatives would just keep it all just like they said they would in the last election and then then give them self another tax break at least they told the truth and the people voted.

        • ocdhickson

          As I recall, in the last presidential election President 1% was supposed to protect us from the evil and greed of Wall Street. Lo and behold since that election the president’s cronies on Wall Street have gotten richer while more of the middle class has moved toward poverty. Food prices are up, fuel prices are up, incomes are down. Yep it’s the conservatives that look out for their own interests. Funny liberal notions.

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