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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/15/10

The Winds of Chance and the Hurricanes of Disaster

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A recent poll found that 57 percent of Americans favored capitalism compared with 19 percent that viewed capitalism negatively. That's down from 70 percent and up from 9 percent.

My honest opinion is, "You ain't seen nothing yet."

We have a Democratic President, a Democratically controlled House and Senate and we have zero progressive politics. We have the most moderate Republican President since Nixon who calls himself a Democrat, and if he fails that failure, when visited, will be upon all Democrats. All of us who call ourselves Democrats will be forced to wear the horse collar. This is why liberals and progressives like myself are apoplectic with the President's centrist policies. The argument of "but Ben Nelson...," and "but Blanch Lincoln...," won't count for a hill of beans. Failure is failure so why not at least try true Democratic policies?

I'm past sick and tired; I'm angry now. I'm tired of reading day after friggin' day about families losing their homes. I'm angry because it doesn't have to be like this. The foreclosed homes in many cases end up in the hands of the FDIC, which gives the banks credit to be reimbursed for their loss. So if the government ends up with the property anyway, why are the banks throwing people out into the street? To get their money quicker. Then the banks can buy the house back at a discount when the FDIC auctions it off.

The American people, the homeowners, the mothers and fathers are completely ignored by a system designed to give aid and comfort the banks. FDR's Homeowners Loan Corporation was just the opposite. They bought the loans from the bank and refinanced them at a lower rate for a longer term and cut the banks out of the equation. That's progressive politics, what we have now is the Bush program retooled and repackaged but ready to serve the banks with zero down payment and a money back guarantee!

Depending on who you ask, we are in a depression. We are, in my opinion. Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist, says that we are on the cusp of a depression.

What does the administration say? We are working on it. Gosh, it would be so much worse if we didn't do what we did. So don't worry, be happy! We've offered tax cuts to business to employ more workers. Record numbers of unemployed, record numbers of home foreclosures, record numbers of commercial foreclosures, record numbers of bank failures, alarm bells should be going off because we the people are in deep, deep trouble. Still we get this: "States can't count on the federal government for more budget bailouts, the heads of President Barack Obama's debt commission told governors. States expecting Congress to authorize more assistance are 'going to be left with a very large hole to fill,' said Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform."

Hoover or Obama?

"While it will be necessary in public interest to further increase expenditures during the current fiscal year in aid to unemployment by speeding up construction work and aid to the affected, I can not emphasize too strongly the absolute necessity to defer any other plans for increase of Government expenditures."

Hoover or Obama?

"Our people are responding to these impulses in remarkable degree. The best contribution of government lies in encouragement of this voluntary cooperation in the community. The Government, National, State, and local, can join with the community in such efforts."

They're both Herbert Hoover, but you couldn't be sure, could you?

The President's deficit committee is saying control of the deficit is more important than the wellbeing of children, the elderly and the states. That's pure Hooverism. Hoover didn't cause the Great Depression, but he sure became the hood ornament for the depression with his wrong-headed solutions. His concern was with deficit spending while families were going hungry and people were freezing to death in the streets. Living in a nice warm house with a comfy bed and three squares makes it easier to decide that deficit control is more important than public assistance.

So where do the states turn as fall arrives and the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder? Who do the thousands of teachers and police and firemen turn to? Where do the students turn? How do we save ourselves by cutting our throats?

The same deficit committee plans cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and raising the retirement age to 70. Why not raise it to 170? When FDR founded Social Security part of its purpose was to take people out of the work force. Poor people work until they die and if you can take ten or twenty million out of the economy you make room for younger workers and build a decent society in the process. You shrink the number of workers and wages rise. That's progressive politics!

FDR's New Deal sent WPA money to the states and the states decided what projects would be undertaken. Now if you happened to have had a big-mouthed Republican congressman who complained about WPA money, I wouldn't wait on the check. The administration argued, "Why should we be in hurry to send checks to states that didn't want the money in the first place?"

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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that (more...)

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