Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hillary-- Not As Bad As A Republican! Really


CNN is reporting that McConnell plans to hold Social Security and Medicare hostage in upcoming debt ceiling debates when the government runs out of money (around November 5 or so). McConnell is wowing to not raise the debt limit-- forcing the government to go bankrupt and renew on its debts-- unless the Obama and the Democrats agree to deep cuts to Social Security and to Medicare. Almost all the Republicans running for their party's presidential nomination agree as do nearly all Republicans in Congress. And this ugly exercise in perennial GOP hostage-taking comes just as the Social Security Administration is announcing that there will be no cost of living adjustment (COLA) in 2016. The Social Security COLA will be zero, and McConnell and the Republican predators-- serving the wealthy donors who finance their miserable careers-- think that’s still too high, even though 79% of likely voters-- right across the political spectrum-- say they want to see Social Security benefits expanded, not cut.

All the Democrats in Tuesday night's debates agreed that Social Security must be protected, from the most conservative (who said she would preserve it) to the most progressive (who was adamant about expanding it it). It's amazing how closely the attitudes of the candidates tracks to the sources of their campaign contributions. Few voters fully grasp how tightly policy outcomes are tied to their own votes. Hillary gets gigantic amounts of money from the same predators the Republicans are funded by. Bernie doesn't. The Republicans want to diminish and eventually discard Social Security (and Medicare); that's the reactionary position espoused by Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell and the rest of them. Hillary wants to keep it as it is, the conservative position. And Bernie wants to expand it-- the progressive position. Hillary would rather have progressives focus on how she got an "F" from the NRA and Bernie only got a "D-minus."

Last week Bill Clinton's former Labor Secretary, economics professor Robert Reich, compared the two candidates on the Wall Street issue, something Hillary doesn't want Democratic voters to think about... ever.

Giant Wall Street banks continue to threaten the wellbeing of millions of Americans, but what to do?

Bernie Sanders says break them up and resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act that once separated investment from commercial banking.

Hillary Clinton says charge them a bit more and oversee them more carefully.

Most Republicans say don’t worry.

Clearly, there’s reason to worry. Back in 2000, before they almost ruined the economy and had to be bailed out, the five biggest banks on Wall Street held 25 percent of the nation’s banking assets. Now they hold more than 45 percent.

Their huge size fuels further growth because they’ll be bailed out if they get into trouble again.

This hidden federal guarantee against failure is estimated be worth over $80 billion a year to the big banks. In effect, it’s a subsidy from the rest of us to the bankers.

...[R]ather than prevent this by breaking up the big banks and resurrecting Glass-Steagall, Hillary Clinton is taking a more cautious approach.

She wants to impose extra fees on the banks, with the amounts turning not on the bank’s size but how much it depends on short-term funding (such as fast-moving capital markets), which is a way of assessing riskiness.

So a giant bank that relies mainly on bank deposits wouldn’t be charged.

Clinton would also give bank regulators more power than they have under the Dodd-Frank Act (passed in the wake of the last banking crisis) to break up any particular bank that they consider too risky.

And she wants more oversight of so-called “shadow” banks-- pools of money (like money market mutual funds, hedge funds, and insurance funds) that act like banks.

All this makes sense. And in a world where the giant Wall Street banks didn’t have huge political power, these measures might be enough.

But, if you hadn’t noticed, Wall Street’s investment bankers, key traders, top executives, and hedge-fund and private-equity managers wield extraordinary power.

They’re major sources of campaign contributions to both parties.
Barack Obama (D)- $68,174,449
John McCain (R)- $37,945,978
Hillary Clinton (D)- $34,935,233
Chuck Schumer (D)- $22,994,437
John Boehner (R)- $12,242,498
Mitch McConnell (R)- $11,418,151
John Cornyn (R)- $8,018,716
Kirsten Gillibrand (D)- $7,535,820
Richard Shelby (R)- $7,259,962
Rick Santorum (R)- $7,239,485
Robert Menendez (D)- $7,218,545
Mark Kirk (R)- $7,194,292
In addition, a lucrative revolving door connects the Street to Washington. Treasury secretaries and their staffs move nimbly from and to the Street, regardless of who’s in the Oval Office.

Key members of Congress, especially those involved with enacting financial laws or overseeing financial regulators, have fat paychecks waiting for them on Wall Street when they retire.

Which helps explain why no Wall Street executive has been indicted for the fraudulent behavior that led up to the 2008 crash. Or for the criminal price-fixing scheme settled in May. Or for other excesses since then.

And why even the fines imposed on the banks have been only a fraction of the banks’ potential gains.

And also why Dodd-Frank has been watered down into vapidity.

For example, it requires major banks to prepare “living wills” describing how they’d unwind their operations if they get into serious trouble.

But no big bank has come up with one that passes muster. Federal investigators have found them all “unrealistic.”

That’s not surprising because if they were realistic, the banks would effectively lose their hidden “too-big-to-fail” subsidies.

Given all this, Hillary Clinton’s proposals would only invite more dilution and finagle.

The only way to contain the Street’s excesses is with reforms so big, bold, and public they can’t be watered down-- busting up the biggest banks and resurrecting Glass-Steagall.

"Cut it out?" No one knows what she's talking about. Is that something she told Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs when he was writing her another check? But Dr. Tiffany D. Sanders, a Chicago-based psychologist analyzed the debate from a totally different perspective-- body language-- and came to the conclusion that Hillary dominated, "showcasing her sharp rhetorical skills and broad policy expertise over her four less-experienced rivals." She said Hillary's "posture, composure, confidence and command of the issues worked in her favor. Her light humor and high five with Bernie Sanders made her seem human and relatable-- something she had to accomplish. She gave America what they needed to become more comfortable with her at the helm and she reminded them that she would be the best candidate/person for the job... She looked presidential while Bernie Sanders looked more defensive and slightly agitated especially when Hilary challenged him on topics. He didn't say or do anything that made him stand out from Hilary. And at a superficial level, his image of a mad scientist doesn't resonate well. He needs to be polished in his speech (often monotone at times) and his appearance to connect with main street." Watch the video above. Do you agree?

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At 3:57 PM, Blogger lukeness said...

As she admitted... she "represented Wall Street" when she was in the Senate. They found her to be a very good representative, I'm sure.

At 1:29 AM, Blogger Ruben Chandler said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1:32 AM, Blogger Ruben Chandler said...

I don't know how assholes like republicans are allowed to keep office. It's almost America love it leave it and these cretins are anti-american. The radicals of the sixties and seventies are retiring these days. Punk rockers and some very violent bikers too. There will be hell to pay if they fuck us on the deal. After working, and believing all their lies of the American dream, only to become bereft in our advancing years will kill us. Then killing those micro-cephalic byproducts of incestuous cretinism will be self defense. If I am left to starve to starve to death I will eat Mitch McMaconnel's diseased liver with f**king fava beans and a nice chianti, okay? If what they are looking for is a zombie apocalypse, bring it.

At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greed is going to destroy the USA.

Republican servants of greed will keep the nation divided in order to maintain power over the rest of us. They only need to discourage enough people so that their rabid bullies can roam with impunity, striking out against the enemies of entrenched wealth. Then, as is going on in Wisconsin, they can push ex post facto laws exonerating criminals such as SNott Walker as a reward for services rendered. Who cares that the Constitution expressly forbids such legislation five separate times in its verbiage?

Cops are already allowed to kill with impunity. Soon, that privilege will be extended to the white Xtian male Republicans of the NRA. It could come as soon as 2016, for such financial power fears losing power to either a woman or a Jew.

The corporate sector is already making plans to exploit the rest of the world, but the US military hasn't seen fit to complete the conquest of the planet and the total subjugation of the planetary population. All the calls for war in various places -including by Hillary- are to curry favor with the corporatists who seek global domination. The candidates all cry out to the billionaires ruining this nation, "Vote for me and I'll set you free" to pillage and plunder, no matter who gets hurt in the process.

Those of us who oppose such actions are the enemy, and they will do anything and everything to stop us.


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