Wednesday, September 24, 2008

With Bush Down, Demos Find Vigor To Fight Bailout


It took the mainstream media about 72 hours to find the backbone to criticize the Treasury Department's $700 billion giveaway.

It actually took them seven years to finally stand up to President Bush the Bully. It shouldn't matter that his lame duckiness is at its lowest of lows or that he seemingly doesn't care about anything anymore. The Democrats are finally asking the pertinent questions with some vigor.

You might wonder how the dogged administration finds the wherewithal to trot out their oldest scheme: framing the issue around fear and perceived retribution against the left if the small possibility of what terrible thing might happen actually happens.

How many times can the Bush You Cried Wolf use this Machiavellian maneuver? Hopefully not this time.

It took until Monday for Democrats to vehemently question the wisdom of giving Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's unfettered control over what would be the largest sovereign fund in the world.

The New York Times ran four stories yesterday, including an editorial and opinion piece by Bob Herbert that laid into the idea of giving so much money to the very people who have nearly destroyed the economy.

Peter S. Goodman's probing page one news analysis featured three economists who blast the proposal.

Dean Baker, co-director of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, said “It’s almost amazing they can do this with a straight face. There is clearly skepticism and anger at the idea that we’d give this money to these guys, no questions asked.”

But, Allan Meltzer, a former economic adviser to President Reagan is closer to the real issue concerning bailing out private institution under the guise of the people's interests.

“This is scare tactics to try to do something that’s in the private but not the public interest,” he said.

It is a bit disingenuous for the President to hold the risk of recession over the public and Congress when it is very likely that a recession is in our midst regardless of the current near meltdown. The question now is how bad and how long.

What's good for business is good for America. Herbert Hoover believed so and our MBA-toting Commander-in-Chief believes the same.

The largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich has occurred under W's watch. The surging flow of dollars from creaky one-bedroom apartments to million dollar McMansion's has come with a price that, regardless of election year special circumstances, has fomented deep and latent anger in the 98% of Americans leaving in modest means.

The threat of economic meltdown if the status quo continues is too close to the silly arguments leading to the invasion of Iraq for the comfort of the electorate.

It's telling that the cost of this proposed bailout is nearly the same price tag as our adventure in Iraq. The same price that would shore up universal health care and probably fix up some of our school's that look like shanties with desks and mismatching chairs.

Like the war in Iraq, the mega-bank bailout leaves this question to be pondered: who stands to benefit?

Probably the same guys who financed and profiteered from the war--the banks-and you thought $3 ATM fees were steep.

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