Sorry, it’s not JUST Bush & Cheney, not by a long vote.
All three of the major Democratic presidential contenders are excoriating the Bush/Cheney cabal for the quite dire and very real and wholly extant distress facing the United States today. However they are not 100% wrong to do so, they are missing the sinking ship by the lengths of several lifeboats.
To morph on a phrase, “It’s the economy stupid,” this time it has got to be “It’s the GOP stupid.” It has got to be because accuracy demands as much, and whatever remedies may be possible will only be possible via a Democratic senate that can actually get them passed. That means, the Dems have to have a filibuster-proof 60+ majority. Anything less, and whether it’s healthcare reform or fiscal reform or Iraq or whatever will fall dead as senate Republicans lock arms as they sing praises to Ronald Reagan.
I admire John McCain for all he’s given to our country. But John McCain has loudly and as often as every opportunity presents itself proclaimed his membership as a foot soldier in the Reagan revolution.
What we have before us today, as the markets commence an avalanche like crash, is the direct result of what Bush 41 correctly labeled the voodoo economics of deregulate everything, monitor nothing, privatize profit, socialize risk, slash taxes and borrow, borrow, borrow like you had no intention of paying any of it back.
And here’s how it all works, or, more accurately, never really could. Let’s borrow some of Marvelous George’s screwed dicta and put the shoe on the other horse. You’re a lender. Someone comes to you and wants to borrow some money, say a couple hundred billion or so. Who’s counting, once the numbers get so high the most fertile imagination cannot imagine it? Ala Stalin, a few deaths are a tragedy, a few million are a statistic; same thing with money. Except for the payback end of the deal.
Now, your loan terms stipulate a certain interest rate, discounted and with the securities tradable on the world’s market. The first consideration is straight from Finance 101: money has a time value — the greater the length of time before you can use it, the lower its value becomes. One hundred dollars today is worth one heck of a lot more than $100 ten years from now. Even forgetting the fact of inflation, which we cannot, foregoing purchase and investment opportunities for ten years wrings value from the sum.
The next consideration derives from the question of relative value; what that buckaroo is wroth against other currencies. If the prospective value of the buckaroo, say against the Euro, is unreliable and/or headed south, you’re going to demand a lot more cushion when you lend it; conversely, the greenback will be worth less — not necessarily worthless (let’s get our punctuation straight), but worth less, and less, and less, and less.
With a dollar losing value, what those holding lots of it have to ponder is the diminishing array of exchanges they can make with it. And so the downward spiral begins its inapposite trajectory.
And the whole thing got its less than royal birth with RR. Dick Cheney even said so. He also said a lot of other things, much to an entire world’s regret. Thing is, however not a one of the Republicans sitting in the House or the Senate, or any of those running for office, uttered the first whisper of disagreement. True. True, John McCain complained about “pork” and “ear marks,” and he did vote against the not offset tax cuts. What the long-tenured senator did not do was to demand a hearing into any of it. Furthermore, what he did do, in the 2004 campaign, was to wrap his arms around Goofy George, as if they were long lost, separated-at-birth twins.
Saying now everything was the fault of Bush and Cheney is at once wholly inaccurate, and extraordinarily dangerous. It lets all those who went along for the ride off the hook, to wax once again a W mixed metaphor. NO! NO! NO! Don’t do it. At least never forget a Bush 41 aphorism: “Wouldn’t be prudent.”— Ed Tubbs