Thursday, September 25, 2008

Letterman: Someone's Putting Something Into McCain's Metamucil

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Last night never very trustworthy Insider Democrats were buying into Bush's trap for them, that either they go along with his hideous and unsupportable bailout package-- panned by scores of economists from every part of the country (not to mention Peter Orszag, head of the Congressional Budget Office who agrees that the "bailout" could well acerbate the economic problems of the country) or just let the country fall into a Depression. First the letter economists sent to Speaker Pelosi yesterday:
As economists, we want to express to Congress our great concern for the plan proposed by Treasury Secretary Paulson to deal with the financial crisis. We are well aware of the difficulty of the current financial situation and we agree with the need for bold action to ensure that the financial system continues to function. We see three fatal pitfalls in the currently proposed plan:
 
1) Its fairness. The plan is a subsidy to investors at taxpayers’ expense. Investors who took risks to earn profits must also bear the losses. Not every business failure carries systemic risk. The government can ensure a well-functioning financial industry, able to make new loans to creditworthy borrowers, without bailing out particular investors and institutions whose choices proved unwise.
 
2) Its ambiguity. Neither the mission of the new agency nor its oversight are clear. If  taxpayers are to buy illiquid and opaque assets from troubled sellers, the terms, occasions, and methods of such purchases must be crystal clear ahead of time and carefully monitored afterwards.
 
3) Its long-term effects.  If the plan is enacted, its effects will be with us for a generation. For all their recent troubles, America's dynamic and innovative private capital markets have brought the nation unparalleled prosperity. Fundamentally weakening those markets in order to calm short-run disruptions is desperately short-sighted.
 
For these reasons we ask Congress not to rush, to hold appropriate hearings, and to carefully consider the right course of action, and to wisely determine the future of the financial industry and the U.S. economy for years to come.

So why can't Democratic leaders see this clearly? What the hell is wrong with Barney Frank? (We already know what's wrong with Steny Hoyer and Rahm Emanuel and it's called corruption.) They seem determined to keep the Democrats from sweeping the November congressional elections-- and they will succeed at doing just that. Yesterday's CongressDaily pointed out that Hoyer was playing down the damage he is doing to grassroots Democrats by playing hi corrupt Insider game, absolutely wrecking the Democratic brand that paints them as the party of working families. "He argued that while voters and members are angered by the bailout concept, voters will understand that Democrats are responding to the bad policies of the Bush administration, and that the government put the bailout in play. 'I think it is a problem for Republicans,' said Hoyer. 'I don't think it is a problem for us. To allow this to go down for political purposes would be irresponsible.' Hoyer's Big Business and K Street allies have "ramped up lobbying efforts for quick passage of a plan, concerned that failure to act is affecting all sectors of the economy and preventing businesses from having enough liquidity to get loans. The Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce [two far right bastions which donate millions of dollars to defeating Democrats but who have no problem with Blue Dogs and Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party like Hoyer and Emanuel] both weighed in for immediate passage. 'Make no mistake: Americans will not be tolerant of inaction that leads to calamity,' wrote Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs at the Chamber. The primary K Street focus is to kill a provision that would have banks that take federal aid accept a major change in bankruptcy law by allowing judges to reduce the principal of the mortgage to a home's current market value. The language is currently in the working draft, but it faces strong GOP opposition and some resistance from Blue Dogs."

What the Democratic leaders are accepting is Bush's hysteria about "my way or the highway" and that if they don't vote for his plan-- even a version of his plan with a few meaningless sops to Democrats-- there is no other way to combat the problem created by Big Business and the political hacks who have enabled them. While Hoyer and his posse are kissing up to the mortal enemies of working families, wily Republicans are making it clear that the don't support this bill which is so reviled by most Americans. Below is a letter that Mike Huckabee sent out to the Republican base yesterday. Notice how he takes a very different approach from the craven Hoyer. The Republicans want to ride this issue to congressional victories. Hoyer will cause the defeat of dozens of Democratic candidates in November. He starts (and ends) with a request for contributions, of course. And then goes to the heart of the matter in a tone that sounds more like what Democrats should be saying-- and what all the Blue America candidates are saying-- than the kind of stance taken by Hoyer and Frank:
Frankly, I’m disappointed and disgusted with my own Republican party as I watch them attempt to strong-arm a bailout of some of America’s biggest corporations by asking the taxpayers to suck up the staggering results of the hubris, greed, and arrogance of those who sought to make a quick buck by throwing the dice. They lost, but want the rest of us to cover their bets so they won’t be effected in their lavish lifestyles as they figure out how to spend their tens of millions and in some cases, hundreds of millions in bonuses and compensation which was their reward for not only sinking their companies, but basically doing the same to the entire American economy.

It’s especially disconcerting to see the very people who pilloried me during the Presidential campaign for being a “populist” and not “understanding Wall Street” to now line up like thirsty dogs at the Washington, D. C. water dish, otherwise known as Congress, and plead for help. I thought these guys were the smartest people in America! I thought that taxpayers like you and I were similar to the people at the U. N. who have no translator speaking into their headset-- that we just needed to trust those that I called the power bunch in the “Wall Street to Washington axis of power.”

The idea of a government bailout in which we’d entrust $700 billion to one man without Congressional oversight or accountability is absurd. My party or not, that is insanity and I believe unconstitutional.

Will there be far-reaching consequences without some intervention? Probably, but we honestly don’t know since we’ve really never seen this level of greed and stupidity all rolled into one massive move. But may I suggest that letting “Uncle Sugar” step in and bail out the billionaires who made the mess will be far worse and will start a long line of companies and individuals who will demand the same of the government-- which last time I checked means that they will be demanding it out of YOU and ME. This is not money that Congress is risking from THEIR pockets or future, but ours. Many if not most of us have already experienced lost value on our homes, retirement accounts, and pensions. Now they’d like for us to assume some further risks so they won’t have to.

What happened to the “free market” idea? Is that only our view when we WIN and when we LOSE, we ask the government to come in and take away the pain? 

If you are a small business owner, is this the way it works at your place? When you have a bad month, a bad year, or face having to close, can you go up to Congress and get them to write YOU a fat check to take away your risk?

Some of what contributed to this disaster is too much government in the form of Sarbanes/Oxley. Some is due to the tax structure that created the hunger for companies to “game” the system. Some is the common sense that was ignored like loaning money to people who can’t pay it back.

Wall Street has become Las Vegas east, but at least in Vegas, people KNOW they are gambling and they don’t expect the government to cover their losses at the tables. In Wall Street, they do. And the American taxpayer burdens the responsibility.

He then offers the exact kind of right-wing ideological nostrums that got us into trouble to begin with although he shrewdly couches it in populist terms and throws in some genuinely popular ideas like "Demand that the executives who steered their ships into the ground be forced to pay back the losses of their companies. Of course, they can’t, so let them work and give back to the government and they can live like the people they put on the streets or kept there. It makes no sense to put them in jail-- that’s just more they will cost you and me. I’d rather them go out and earn money-- just not get to keep so much of it this time. I’m not talking about limiting CEO salaries-- just those of the people who now are up in Washington begging for help because they ruined their companies.

"Attempts by Democrats and Republicans to blame each other is nonsense. They are both guilty and ought to own up and admit it. They all lived off big campaign contributions and the swill of the lobbyists who strong armed them into permission to steal. Enough of blame. Fix it! This would be a start. If we don’t hold these guys responsible, we are all finished."

Harsh words from the Huckster. But he is far from the only Republican fed up with the Republican Establishment. Matt Simmons, a big Bush booster and oil multimillionaire and energy guru not only endorsed Obama, he absolutely trashed McCain in no uncertain terms.

"John McCain is energy illiterate. He's just witless about this stuff. As a lifelong Republican, I'm supporting Obama. McCain says, 'Oh, we're going to wean ourselves off foreign oil in four years and build 45 nuclear plants by 2030.' He doesn't have a clue."

He's gone from being a huge Republican donor-- contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to reactionaries like John Thune, David Diapers Vitter, John Ensign, George Macacawitz Allen, Pete Sessions, Susan Collins, John Cornyn, John Sununu, Charlie Dent, Anne Northup, Norm Coleman, Don Young, Mike McCaul, Dave Reichert... the whole rogues gallery that engineered the energy crisis-- to doling out money this year to progressives like Obama, Mike Skelly and Chellie Pingree.


UPDATE: FOR THE SAKE OF THE NATION, SENATORS URGE McCAIN TO KEEP PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS OUT OF THE NEGOTIATIONS

Dodd and Schumer have been hammering out a proposal with the Bush Regime and with senators from both parties who understand economics. The last thing they need is some grandstanding dummy jumping into the negotiations and making them all about himself. They issued a joint statement this morning:
"We are pleased to report we are making bipartisan progress on a rescue proposal for our financial markets. During these discussions, we have received significant cooperation and constructive feedback from the other side of the aisle-- with one notable exception. Apart from his unproductive criticisms made from afar, we have heard nothing from Senator McCain on these critical issues. Now is certainly not the time for him to inject presidential politics into these delicate discussions."

Is McCain capable of torpedoing the whole process for his own ambitions? If you doubt it, you haven't been following the career of John "Let's Put America Last" McCain. Instead of having McCain come huffing and puffing into the negotiations trying to put his acrid scent on whatever it turns out to be, senators should consider inviting an actual financial expert like ex-candidate Jim Neal (D-NC) to help them get a grasp on the alternatives to what Bush is offering (my way or Depression).

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5 Comments:

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they're going to blow $700,000,000,000 on crap, they'd get a better bang for the buck if they just handed it out to taxpayers.


Doesn't all this sound familiar to anyone?

"Start a war with Iraq, or there will be catastrophe!"

"Give a trillion dollars to the banks, or there will be a catastrophe!"

That lying sack of shit little twirp has got Congress wrapped around his little finger. It's the most disgusting thing I've ever seen.

Of course the Democrats will give Bush what he wants. Jesus, I hate those cocksuckers.

 
At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And another thing:

Doesn't anybody realize that all this is going on EXACTLY ACCORDING TO THE PLANS OF OSAMA BIN LADEN?

This is EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTED!!! Get us bogged down in a horrendously expensive war, then bankrupt us!

Just like what happened to the USSR in Afghanistan. (Internal corruption in the USSR had its part then, just like it does with us now.)

Why can't anyone see this???????

We are so fucked.

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger ng2000 said...

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At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I just put in my two cents to suggest giving Savings Bonds or other Treasury debt securities as gifts this holiday season if you care enough about the future socioeconomic solvency of the Nation....

 
At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are so stupid.
I dont care if you are a liberal /democrat/republican.
after 911
we have never been attacked by fanatics.
we are not like other countries
who live in fear of terrorist
bombing their Hotels.Malls/street markets.
and by the way who has been in control of the senate/house !! these past years !!!!
YOU ARE A true liberal.
unable to see past your hate for anybody that does not agree with your Ideals.
at least metamucil is good for your health but you are full of shit.!

 

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