This will be my last post on this blog, or rather at this site. My new blog home, at least until I find a more fully-featured alternative, is at Google’s BLOGGER.COM, here. I’ve decided to close this blog because the host organization, WordPress.com, refuses to enforce their own terms of service against a blogger who believes it’s okay to pose as John McCain and use racial, ethnic and sexual epithets like “nigger” and “greek gay motherf***er”–and apparently it IS okay because WordPress.com will do nothing about it despite that both the posing as McCain and, more importantly, those references themselves CLEARLY violate the WordPress.com Terms of Service. I encourage you to read the ToS yourself and then make your objections known by emailing WordPress at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to continuing the growth of this blog at BLOGGER.COM, and I encourage all of you–even you moron Liberals–to come by and have coffee (or, in the case of the Libs, Obama Kool-ade).
Now, on to the post at hand (this will also be posted in its entirety on the new site for those wishing to go there now–comments will be replied to on the new site but there is no guarantee of a reply or even approval here).
I have long believed, and continue to do so, that our economy is not in near as bad a shape as the fear-mongering Democrats would like you to believe. Much as the Republicans own the issue of terrorism and national security, Democrats have (entirely through the timing of cyclical economic trends which, fortunately for the Dems, run in patterns that favor their rare ascendance to the White House) been able to successfully lay claim to economic issues. Just as the Republicans want to drive national security fears for political purposes, so do the Democrats drive economic fears. People won’t vote for Barack Obama unless things look really dire economically. The Democrats know this, which is why they clearly cheerlead the economic bad news that has been assailing us lately. When businesses fail leaders in the Democrat party go home with hard-ons. That’s a sad but incontrovertable truth. Could the same be said for the Hawks in the Republican party? Probably…but we haven’t had a grave national security threat in seven years so at the moment that’s a non-issue. Even the police action in Iraq isn’t in the American consciousness anymore, it would seem.
In any case, Democrats NEED to negatively drive the economic issue to win elections. This is why you see so many of them complaining about the next “Great Depression” every time McDonalds raises the price of a cheeseburger. This is also why you should essentially ignore these dire words at almost every utterance.
The crisis facing us now is, quite possibly, the leadup to an economic meltdown of exactly Depression-like proportions. If you ask any Republican they (we) are going to point to the idiotic policies of the Democrats in charge, and if you ask any Democtrat they’re going to point to deregulation supported by many Republicans as the reasons for this situation. Both arguments have some merit and I would discuss the mechanics of the breakdown if the blame game would be useful at this point. Fact is, though, it wouldn’t be. More to the point, it would be counterproductive at this juncture to bother pointing fingers because, right at this moment, we’re at the mouth of the chasm and our footing is giving way underneath us. It’s time to find a solution, even a temporary one, and worry about how we got here later.
While it’s important that we make progress toward the salvation of our economic engine, and do it quickly, it’s also important that we assure ourselves that the cure doesn’t ultimately lead to greater disease. $700 billion is a pretty big bandaid, but if the wound festers underneath it will be exactly that–a covering that disguises what’s actually happening, with more and worse consequences on the horizon. Let’s be real here; this “bailout” amounts to a $2300 check from every man, woman and child in the United States, due and payable TODAY. The actual dollars will be added to the national debt, and as we all know that is a burden that could be passed down to our children. It’s also a crushing amount that could spell ruination for this country–and you should make no mistake about that. Just as these banking institutions are failing due to too much debt and not enough money, so could the U. S. Government reach a critical tipping point where our assets are not enough to cover our debts and the “value” of those assets–the value of our government itself–will plummet. Other countries have the potential to buy up the United States if that happens, and it doesn’t take a genius to understand that owning the government, literally, means owning the country. I don’t speak Chinese well enough to feel comfortable with that scenario.
So what do our Democrat friends (and, in this case, our lame duck Republican President) want to do with this money? They want to buy up all the bad debt that is out there causing the economic engine to sieze up in the first place. They want to take ownership of paper that investors have deemed WORTHLESS, and with it assume ownership of real estate assets that back those securities. They want you to believe that this will solve, at least temporarily, our problems and that those assets and securities will climb in value in the coming (what, months? years? DECADES???).
If you believe that, there’s some swampland in Florida and oceanfront property in Arizona I’d like to sell you. The deeds on that are worth about as much as the ones Congress wants to buy with your $700 BILLION today.
So what does this magnanimous bit of generosity buy, exactly, besides worthless paper? Well, it greases the wheels of credit–we all know how productive credit is in this country, right?–and it “saves” a few financial institutions that played fast and loose with our money once before. What it DOESN’T do is hold anyone accountable for this mess, or take any of the money back out of the pockets of those who got rich while this crisis was simmering. It also, rightly or wrongly, offers a lifeline to the lot of us–and it’s a lifeline we absolutely must take advantage of. The collapse that would otherwise come is far worse than the one the Democrats keep harping about…this time.
So we’re left with a shitty resolution to an immediate problem that must be solved, yes?
REPUBLICANS in congress have a better idea, and ironically it’s the one that is supported by the vast majority of Americans who want nothing to do with this whole bailout thing in the first place. Yes, it is the Repubs who want to protect the taxpayer (and their constituents who, like me, have called and written to express our deep opposition to this idiocy). Republicans want to halt the mass giveaway of taxpayer dollars, scuttle the idea of buying up worthless paper, and instead offer a real-dollar “crutch” to Wall Street in the form of low-interest loans and other options that still grease the wheels but without assuming ridiculous risks and iffy payback plans. Republicans want to hold banking and brokerage institutions accountable for their stupidity by making them foot the bill for their own bailout. Additionally Republicans want to create financial incentives to bring money back into the marketplace naturally, by–among other ideas–cutting the capital gains taxes that stifle economic growth in the first place.
To use the football analogy, Democrats and the President want to go with the “when all else fails, punt” philosophy. I, and (thank God) a majority of the congressional Republicans want to run the fucking offense. It may be fourth down and ten to go, but let’s remember that we have a $12 TRILLION dollar guard up front and a pretty fleet-footed jackrabbit in the backfield who has sprinted us to the goal line many times before. We just have to get the ball in his hands.
The reality is that this DOES have to be done now, and it DOES require the input of whoever our next President is because, frankly, this mess will dominate his entire administration for years to come. Once again congressional Democrats are the ones trying to play political football (except that their idea of football is to give the ball to the other team and hope nobody breaks one deep) and blame Republicans for the holdup. Republicans (and John McCain) want to make sure that, with the game on the line, we’ve got the best play called.
A resounding majority of the Americans in the stands agree with the Republicans. It’s time for the President and the Democrats to lead the charge, or get the hell out of the way. The clock is running out, we’re out of time outs, the game is on the line and I’m sorry to say to Barney Frank, but PUNTING IS NOT AN OPTION.