Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Way of Looking at Things

I heard a cogent point about the Bush regime's $700-billion bailout proposal last night. It's a telling point, one that should give everyone pause.

The keystone issue is that the Feds will be buying those bad debt mortgages at far above fair, actual value. In essence, they'll be paying the scoundrels who ran this awful scam, what John McCain calls a "Ponzi Scheme,"much more than the fair market value of the mortgages they pick up. They'll be paying "value plus a premium" to the very people who laid waste to the American economy.

So, why the largesse? Because these Wall Street predators are holding a gun to America's head. "We'll go down, sure, but we're taking you with us." For the American taxpayer it's a return to the Savings & Loans scandal bail outs only on a much grander scale.

Here's something that strikes me as curious. Even without this housing boom/derivative fueled scandal, the US government has steadily run deficits in the order of several hundred billions of dollars. Even before this current crisis, Bush had swelled the Reagan legacy - America's federal debt - to a staggering $9.7 trillion. Today's government is financing both Mr. Bush's war of whim and its tax cuts for the rich out of foreign borrowings.

So, in a nutshell, you already have a government that pretends it can levitate, pledging the good credit of generations yet to come in order to defy fiscal gravity. Now they're lining up to add another TRILLION dollars (yes it's a trillion plus when you add in Bear Stearns, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and AIG to the current bailout) to the obligations of future, wage-earning taxpayers.

DOESN'T ANYBODY THINK THAT AMERICA'S RICH FOLKS OUGHT TO BE TOLD THEIR NATION CAN'T AFFORD THOSE EXTRAVAGANT TAX CUTS RIGHT NOW? Especially given that now, those richest of the rich, have inflicted this very scam on the nation and its wage-earning taxpayers. How can these greasy pols scream "crisis" and "disaster" and blithely ignore the tax cuts for the rich issue? That's because they have no intention, not the slightest, of changing this outrage.

Now that the Repugs are going all socialist on us, effectively nationalizing America's largest economic sector, the financial sector, maybe it's time to talk about America's social compact with its working people. It strikes me this would be an ideal moment to explore the gaping and rapidly expanding chasm between rich and ordinary Americans. Maybe it's time to start closing that gap for the good of the American people and the good of their country.

Bush's "trickle down/top end tax cuts" dogma is nothing more than a revival of Reaganomics - pure Voodoo economics at its very worst. Even the guy who dreamed up this scam, Reagan's budget director Dave Stockman, later admitted it was all contrivance - a means to justify transferring tax burdens from the shoulders of the richest onto the shoulders of those beneath them.

Bush and Cheney have pulled this very same swindle on the American people. Remember how Cheney talked Bush into a second round of rich boy tax cuts by telling him that Reagan showed that "deficits don't matter?" Well they sure as hell matter now.

I suspect the loudly proclaimed "urgency" in getting this bailout in place is at least partly the result of wanting a done deal before little people start asking some very hard questions that these hucksters and fixers don't want asked.

And that's another way of looking at things.

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