Bernie Madoff, whose housing is currently provided by the United States government thanks to his having siphoned billions of dollars from clients into his own pockets, is "not a great fan of redistribution of wealth." Just let that sit for a second.
Madoff gave a relatively rare interview to Politico's MJ Lee from his prison in North Carolina. Well, "prison" probably gives the wrong impression. Madoff "has freedom to move about the compound, where the cells are not locked at night," Lee reports. "It’s actually very pretty," Madoff said of the compound, which is, really, "more like a college campus. Everything’s provided for you."
"Everything’s provided for you." Said Bernie Madoff. About his prison, funded with federal tax dollars. Including meals:
Even the food in prison is mostly “all right,” though he reminisced about traveling to cities like Hong Kong and his love for Asian food. The canteen at Butner sometimes serves chicken fried rice, but that it is “horrible.”
Did you notice that you suddenly couldn't see for a second? That's called "rage blindness"; it will pass.
Politico, being Politico, asked Madoff about politics, too, which is where the "not a great fan" comment comes from. It was in response to a question about Bill de Blasio, who Madoff is iffy about. Because Madoff, who took money from people to give to himself, is "not a great fan of redistribution of wealth." And even though he voted for Obama, Madoff is unhappy with the president, too, because "his policies are too socialist."
Obama is also Madoff's boss. The convicted felon who stole an estimated $20 billion from his clients in a decades-long Ponzi scheme that destroyed his family and is blamed for Madoff's son committing suicide, makes "about $40 per month keeping the living quarters picked up as part of a five-inmate crew." At $40 a month, he can make another billion in only 2 million years.
Madoff also criticized Hillary Clinton's foreign policy track record, because he is a foreign policy expert and a man highly sought for political endorsements.
Of course, he expressed his regrets for his crimes, as people in prison often do. But he offers one lament: "Everybody thinks the worst of me," he told Lee. "The only thing I’m happy about is I was able to help people recover" — from having him steal millions of dollars from them. It is as though a serial stabber dropped by the hospital to deliver a few fresh bandages. Thanks!
Madoff is scheduled to be released in November 2139. He'll probably live that long, just to keep pocketing that $40 of your tax money every month, choking down sub-par chicken fried rice to keep his energy up as he wanders around campus. Final words of wisdom: "I certainly wouldn’t invest in the stock market," Madoff suggests. Find a smart investment firm and give them your money instead. That's the sort of capitalism that makes America great.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.