Published September 30th, 2008
Yeah! Attboy! Attagal! Tell Wall Street where to stick it. We’ll not throw good money after bad. Your orgy of high-living at our expense is over.
Wow, that felt good. Now, what I really think is that some sort of Wall Street bailout is inevitable. Much as I admire the scruffy Republican dissidents who FOR ONCE bucked their own president, this man chosen of God, this righteous crusader against liberals, femi-Nazis, Islamo-fascists, eco-terrorists and girly-men. This born again whose favorite philosopher is Jesus Christ, this man who stood in the ruins of 9/11 and vowed to get Osama bin Laden. This arm-chair warrior who tracked down Saddam Hussein and turned him over to tender mercies of a stacked court. This would-be Napolean who wasn’t above suspending the Constitution in order to go after his enemies. This patriot who dared point out those who weren’t as patriotic and suggest they curb their tongues. This man who gave “fair and balanced” Fox all the inside dope to do its job of keeping us informed about the latest machinations of socialists and hippies. Yes, this crusader who may not sweat the details, but who has a vision. One that includes talking big about ending abortions and about funding the faith-based community and so much more, even if he never quite delivered….
Yes, much as I enjoy seeing them say NO to Dubya for once, this shall not stand. Wow, did you see the mercury in that thermometer dropping yesterday. The Stock Market was all but on life support, as Congress adjourned, out of respect for Jewish holidays. Unfortunately, the Stock Market doesn’t close for Jewish holidays, and so following the largest drop, in absolute numbers in the history of the Stock Exchange, the opening bell came with no Congressional intervention in sight. How it’ll close this p.m. is anyone’s guess.
Still, by the time Congress resumes, damage could be so great that only a masochist would dare vote against some sort of life support package. Whether it will be structured like a tide to lift all boats–if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor–or just float fat yachts of the wealthy, so their water trickles down to piddle on the rest of us, is anyone’s guess.
Face it, we’re well on our way to a society of the rich by the rich and for the rich. Time after time, we plunder the treasury to bolster the markets. The S&L industry bailout of the 80s, wars fought in every generation, rescues of drowned citiies, all accrue to the benefits of a growing oligarchy that’s on the fat teat of government. Shock capitalism is real. Every emergency becomes another pretext for loading up the stock market, and loading debt onto yet another generation.
It’s socialize the losses, privatize the profits, and shoot the prophets who saw it coming. If there’s one bright side, it’s that the economic mess has been like manna from heaven for the Obama campaign.
Carl Hulse and David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times: “In a moment of historic import in the Capitol and on Wall Street, the House of Representatives voted on Monday to reject a $700 billion rescue of the financial industry. The vote came in stunning defiance of President Bush and Congressional leaders of both parties, who said the bailout was needed to prevent a widespread financial collapse.”
Peter G. Gosselin, The Los Angeles Times: “The Treasury chief will gain sweeping, even unparalleled power under Congress’ compromise plan. Despite all the constraints Congress supposedly wrapped around him, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson is about to become the most powerful mortgage financier of the modern era - most likely of any era.”
Dean Baker, Truthout: “Congressional support for the bailout was a big victory for those who want to redistribute income upward. The bailout is about taking money from the schoolteachers and cab drivers and giving it to incredibly rich Wall Street bankers, who are so incompetent that they drove their banks into the ground.”