Bush’s Gloves Come Off: Give me 700 Billion Dollars Right NOW…Or Else!
I like how Al Jazeera put it: “US treasury to use taxpayers’ money to buy bad debts from financial institutions.” That pretty much covers it, short, succinct, factual. In many ways this is the biggest story of the Bush administration, if not the biggest story in decades. Yes, the Bush Administration wants the US taxpayer to cough up more money than has been spent on the war in Iraq, and they want it now, and they want it no questions asked. I’m not sure if they want it in small unmarked bills, but it wouldn’t surprise me. What do they want it for? To buy up “bad loans” to avoid the collapse of the financial system. In other words to bail out the hyper-rich folks who made this mess in the first place. Right.
There are so many things not only wrong, but frightening, about this situation that people should be marching in the streets demanding answers. At the beginning of last week we weren’t even in a recession, and a week later we need to cough up 700 billion dollars to prevent economic catastrophe? That should be ringing alarm bells all over the country. The fact that they want the money with no judicial or congressional oversight is also scary. I mean, they just want to hand out the money as they please, and no one has any say over it?
For one thing, the Bush administration doesn’t exactly have a record of spending money wisely. The opposite in fact. They can’t account for hundreds of billions of dollars in spending as it is, but we are supposed to trust them with a blank check for another 700 billion? Secondly, the Bush administration’s strategy for almost every situation seems to be classic “put good money after bad.” IE they never admit they made a mistake and the solution to all problems is to persevere or even redouble their efforts. Well, their efforts have already led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
This has been called the biggest theft in history as well. And I certainly can’t disagree. More than $2000 for every man woman and child in the USA is going to be pulled out of our pockets to buy “bad debt” from the people who made the bad debt in the first place. How is rewarding people for their greed and lack a foresight going to make things better? Of course the Bush administration says we will get the money back someday, they have a plan to be revealed later. I mean, I’m not making this up, the proposed bill for this bailout out is three pages long and has basically no details.
At least some in Congress are planning to fight this. The Bush administration says that to do nothing would be even worse. Frankly I’m willing to take the chance, since “do as I say or the bogeyman will get you” is wearing rather thin as an argument. We’ve borrowed and spent nearly two trillion dollars for pointless wars and “homeland security” as it is, now they need nearly another trillion to ward off catastrophe again? I’m sorry, but this is simply the final chapter in the long saga of the Bush administration, they couldn’t just sell the country’s assets, so they just borrowed every dime they could and gave it to their business cronies. And this is just the final blatant step in the same, more hundreds of billions of dollars being given to Bush’s buddies while the taxpayer gets handed the bill.
It’s also extremely troubling to me that they are asking for basically dictatorial powers to get and distribute this money. Granted Bush has pretty much acted above the law and the Constitution during his entire administration, but this time they have blatantly asked Congress to rubber stamp their imperial prerogatives. When Caesar had himself declared dictator, at least he was popular. (Caesar also managed to catch his Bin Laden I should add.) I don’t think Bush is going to be any more popular as a dictator than he is as a president.
Lastly, what most scares me about this, is that I don’t think it matters one way or the other. Two decades of deregulation (IE putting the fox in charge of the hen house) and “borrow and spend” have finally reached their inevitable conclusion, the collapse of the financial system. There isn’t going to be any fixing this because the damage done by the upwards transfer of wealth in the USA has grown too large to contain. And it’s safe bet that transferring another trillion dollars upwards isn’t going to help, if anything it will make the situation worse. In fact I have a suspicion that one main purpose of this request is simple, if Congress refuses this money, the Bush administration will be able to blame them for the unfolding economic tsunami.
And there is no doubt, an economic tsunami is rolling through the western economies. When I said the economy was hosed last week, I was off the mark. It’s much worse than anyone thought, this coming week is scary. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but there’s going to be some major changes in the coming days, last week was just preview. This week may be the opening of the last act in the Fall of the American Empire. Some are now saying that the USA government will go bankrupt in the spring. I think it’s already bankrupt. This $700 billion is just putting lipstick on a corpse. Very expensive lipstick that I apparently have no choice but to help pay for.
On the plus side there’s going to be lots to blog about.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, and I don’t know who to attribute it too, some nameless blogger I think. And don’t get me wrong, while Bush and company are the last and sleaziest of the crowd that got us here, every administration and almost every politician since Reagan has been a part of the looting of America. This is not about party politics, this is about most Americans partying while their leaders robbed them blind. Well, the party is over, brace yourself for the mother of all hangovers.)