Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Bush’s Gloves Come Off: Give me 700 Billion Dollars Right NOW…Or Else!

with 19 comments

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.)

Written by unitedcats

September 22, 2008 at 9:02 am

Posted in Bush, Business

19 Responses

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  1. What, we can’t negotiate a deal for the Chinese to bail us out!?

    I saw an interview this week with some D.C. pol explaining how all this would be financed, spilling paper and expense from one entity to the next until he finally got down to the last step — “just print more money.” Arghh!!

    “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” And really, really scary for a retiree in no position to do anything about it.

    LOVE that picture, btw.

    PiedType

    September 22, 2008 at 10:05 am

  2. I’ve been pinching myself every morning for the last two days… a nightmare in reality !

    ET

    September 22, 2008 at 6:57 pm

  3. My very uninformed two cents:

    1) The capitalist system requires credit in order to function. Banks (or their equivalent) control the lending of credit.

    2) Banks are spiraling out of control because of poor (and predatory) lending decisions, and our greatest asset/liability; greed.

    3) No banks, no credit. No credit, no capitalism. No capitalism, western hemisphere is a raging shitpile.

    4) Something needs to be done…

    Option A: Do nothing. Enjoy saying “I told you so” as shitpile rages. (Diapers quadruple in price).

    Option B: Engage taxpayer money (well actually borrow against taxpayer money… but hey who’s counting), try to stem the flow. Shitpile less high (digging time, in years instead of decades).

    Do we need some oversight of these funds? Yes.

    Is our current administration a rampaging group of cronied cowboys looting the American populace, and should most of them be sent to work in McDonald’s for the rest of their lives? Yes.

    Will our corporate overlords win in the end (hello two hundred million dollar bonus)? Yes.

    As much fun as Mel Gibson makes it look though… I think I’ll skip Beyond Thunderdome and root for Team America.

    Our next president will have a hell of a mess, but god willing we will painfully muddle through it. May the days of crony capitalism be diminished, and may the need for copiers flourish. Amen.

    Andrew

    September 22, 2008 at 9:39 pm

  4. 1) Al Jazeera is great :)

    2) saying it’s just caused by the hyper-rich is a bit short-sighted. Maybe partially, but certainly not all true. The cause is simply greed. And we all have a lot of that. And it’s actually something that occurs more in people who are rather not-rich. Everybody always wants that bigger house. That thing just beyond their reach. And hey, what could go wrong? So they borrow at their absolute utterly stretched limit. And actually nothing should go wrong with that, assuming you keep your job. The risk for banks is very small with such loans as well. They are so big, that if someone falls over it’s well absorbed. But then comes Bush with his foreign affairs and whatnot bushit way of ruling. Prices go up. (petrol, anyone?) And all of a sudden that poor sod who was at his limit can’t pay his mortgage anymore. No big deal… except that everyone in the country has that problem. Because everyone is so greedy and wanted that bigger and more expensive house. So all of a sudden a majority of people falls over. And that’s when the domino starts…
    So, you could argue it’s the poor, or that it’s Bush.

    3) I forgot…

    4) @ET: phone home!

    Steffen M. Boelaars

    September 23, 2008 at 12:55 am

  5. “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.”

    Agreed. 100%.

    Very well written!

    tobilynne

    September 23, 2008 at 8:16 am

  6. Great article and well written. No sugar-coating at all. We’ve had enough of that.

    wstreetis4lovers

    September 23, 2008 at 9:28 am

  7. Same things Hoover and FDR did. Nothing new.

    Scott Fox

    September 23, 2008 at 9:29 am

  8. Is America owned and operated by the banks and corporations? This event should answer this questio for us all. Americans should marching in the streets.

    Bailout out the finanical elite and stick it to the little guy. Classic… Are they laughing at us behind closed doors? I am sure they are. If we write this $700 billion check this would be the biggest robbery of all time.

    We require another plan. Knowing the fact the Paulson and Bush will not sleep until they bailout their bank buddies, we require to come up with a plan in which the tax payer and fellow Americans win as well.

    So since we are in the business of bailing out wall street geniuses, I figure my plan would should be heard as well…

    http://latestandgreatest.wordpress.com/2008/09/21/forget-the-bush-and-paulson-bailout-plan/

    PV

    September 23, 2008 at 9:42 am

  9. Really interesting article, thanks for a good read! I wonder how the ripples caused by American economy will affect us here in Europe.

    dwaal

    September 23, 2008 at 11:58 am

  10. Yes, the economy’s fubar. The banks aren’t making that up. But does anyone remember Enron strategically shutting down power stations to create artificial blackouts, forcing California to pay outrageous amounts for energy and bankrupting the state in the process?

    This is the natural, expected outcome of irresponsible fiscal spending and poor investments.

    Very disappointing how they don’t need to be clandestine, or even subtle, to fleece 0.7 trillion dollars from 300 million people. They merely need to push the panic button.

    Nestor the Chronicler

    September 23, 2008 at 1:41 pm

  11. It sounds like we got a bad crop. You don’t waste water or fertilizer on a bad crop. Just plow it under and a new crop will grow. What is unknown is how many banks will fail and that is the loaded gun that Mr Bush is pointing at Congress.

    Mike

    September 23, 2008 at 2:39 pm

  12. The problem is that without anything being done to help the Street, all the companies they built and helped prop up will implode and a lot of us taxpayers might end up without a job. The economy doesn’t really operate in sectors or compartments. It’s interwoven and problems cause chain reactions.

    That said, the upper management of banks which overdosed on toxic mortgages should be punished. But this is a civil matter to be decided in the courts. Could we punish the managers after we save our jobs first?

    gfish

    September 23, 2008 at 4:58 pm

  13. Good isn’t it..bail out the people at the top because the folk at the bottom are in financial trouble, makes a lot of sense..

    sarsen56

    September 23, 2008 at 6:23 pm

  14. I’ve been saying it elsewhere, so I’ll say it here: USD700,000,000,000 to AIG & Co. is the wrong move. Period.

    That said, I do believe something should be done, but I’ll be damned if I trust any plan that comes from the White House administration. After all, they haven’t gotten anything else right in eight-years, what makes anyone think they have this right?

    Solution? Simple. Consider: economists across the board agree that the engine of the U.S. economy is the average, everyday consumer. Apparently our voracious appetite for goods and services is responsible for approximately 66% to 70% of the economy.

    If the stimulus checks that were sent out the first time were a good idea (and of course they weren’t: not everyone spent them on new stuff so they didn’t stimulate anything) then new stimulus checks make even more sense. Divide the USD700,000,000,000 by the number of taxpayers who paid federal income tax in 2007 and send them each a check.

    How about that for an infusion of capital into the economy? AIG can go belly up (as it should for being stupid) and my family and I can get the house painted!

    forkboy

    September 23, 2008 at 6:34 pm

  15. Wall Street socialism. Interesting article on The Progressive:
    http://www.progressive.org/mag/wx091708.html

    Jeffrey Pillow

    September 23, 2008 at 6:39 pm

  16. […] Oh and read this post. […]

  17. Your last remark that this is not just the fault of the Bush administration is all too correct. It was Mr pro-business, centrist Democrat Clinton who signed the bill that ended the Glass/ Steagall finance firewall protections back in 99. It may be that the Republican- dominated congress would have been able to override a veto, but at least that would have given the Democrats the moral high ground when this shipwreck hit.

    Barbara Simerka

    September 24, 2008 at 4:38 am

  18. […] Space Exploration Bush’s Gloves Come Off: Give me 700 Billion Dollars Right NOW…Or Else! […]

  19. do u have a sweepstates 4 me right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    stacy rameriz

    August 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm


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