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Buddy Can You Spare $85-Billion?

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They used to tell me I was building a dream
And so I followed the mob.
When there was earth to plow or guns to bear,
I was always there, right on the job.
They used to tell me I was building a dream
With peace and glory ahead --
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run,
Made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad, now it's done --
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once I built a tower, up to the sun,
brick and rivet and lime.
Once I built a tower, now it's done --
Brother, can you spare a dime?

“Brother, Can You Spare A Dime”

By E. Y. Harburg and Jay Gorney, 1932

Buddy, Can You Spare $85-Billion?

By Eric Malone

September 18, 2008

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That sound you hear is not the dull thud of watermelons exploding as investment bankers hit the pavement from a 42-story fall on Wall Street.

No, you don’t need to worry about them; they’ll be just fine. They got Bernanke Bailouts!

No the sound you hear following the silence is the high, shrill whine of the phone on the other end melting from the heat of the fireball that is engulfing the United States economy. The sound after that is the sound of your IRAs and 401(k)s shrieking in Boschian agony as they are skinned alive and pulled apart in different directions by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (War, Famine, Death, and Pestilence).

So AIG, the company with a $6-billion dollar Market Cap and 116-thousand employees, gets a ticket to ride—an $85-BILLION dollar ticket, to bail it out. I smell a trend here.

Bear Stearns gets a handout so it could be bought out by J. P. Morgan. (“But we had to—the country couldn’t afford to let Bear Stearns go under! It would be calamitous!”)

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Shearson Lehman and Merrill Lynch declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday. (The news always comes out on a Sunday when everyone is boating or barbecuing, you ever notice that?)

Washington Mutual (WaMu), the world’s largest savings and loan, is now teetering on the brink of myocardial infarction as well, and may be the next bank “too big to fail.” Or will it be Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the helping hand in private enterprise behind millions of home mortgages in these United States, was taken over by the Federal government last weekend. (Ironically enough, VP Candidate Sarah McPalin seems to think it has “been a burden on U.S. taxpayers.” Well, it wasn’t until the government stepped in, and now we all have to pay for the predatory lending subprime mortgage crisis by bailing out the FNMA and FHLMC.

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Eric Malone has been writing about politics with a sardonic sense of humor through more than one apocalyptic Administration. He is a subversive dedicated to revolution through thoughtful laughter.

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