There is a 100% certainty that they did!
By Jack E. Lohman
We’re gonna do it again.
In November we’ll elect new politicians but leave the same moneyed interests in power. You know, those unelected CEOs and their campaign contributions that got us to where we are today.
No honest businessman would design a company with the bribery and corruption that exists in our current political system. No respected clergyman would tolerate this corruption in his church.
Yet our politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, even the “values” crowd, refuse to fix it. They instead thrive on it, though our corruption is really no better than that in the other governments we condemn.
Don’t blame the lobbyists, because they are not effective without cash in hand. Blame the corporations that supply the cash, and blame the politicians who take it.
Today’s is a free marketer’s dream. We’ve privatized profits and socialized losses. We are about to spend $1 trillion of taxpayer dollars to repay the $1 trillion that our corrupt CEOs and banks siphoned from the system. Main Street is about to bail out Wall Street, as they say.
That trillion dollars was in the system and now it is not. It’s in the pockets of the wealthy and must now be repaid by the middle class. It is the obvious result of the wealth transfer, gigantic CEO salaries, and growing inequality. What else could you expect?
Joe Biden is right: This bill has to fall on the shoulders of the rich, not the middle and lower wage earners. One can afford it, the other can’t. It’s time that they gave back at least some of their gains.
Will it slow investments by our wealthy? Yeah, but probably only in other countries, as that’s where they bave been making their investments anyway. But it is also draining our federal cash for new energy development.
So, we must do exactly what the conservatives have despised yet today they embrace: convert the failed free-market system to a government-owned system. At least partially. What other option do we have? The greedy took too much from the national pie and we must now pay the piper.
As well, if eliminating short selling is a good idea to recover the market now, as London recently did for 10 days, why not make it permanent to prevent a recurrence? If speculating on Wall Street has driven gas prices through the roof, why not make it always illegal?
Answer: Because politicians are paid to not use common sense, and they earn their pay well.
Our basic problem is political corruption and only secondarily a bad economy. It’s the politicians and the campaign money they receive from the special interests that want in your pocket. The national pie is not growing; they just want a bigger share of what’s there, and thus far they’ve been getting it.
I agree that we are doing what we must. For the moment. Hopefully other countries will continue loaning us money, but even that is at risk.
Importantly, with public funding of campaigns we would never have gotten to this point. Only when we remove the corruption will the politicians work on behalf of the country’s best interests.
From The Week (an excellent non-partisan magazine):
“American banks created this crisis by lobbying for deregulation, said Mark Tran in Britain’s The Guardian. All through the 1980s and ’90s, the U.S. banking sector lobbied for repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, an FDR-era reform meant to prevent a repeat of the 1929 crash. In 1999, the banks finally succeeded in gutting the act. Since then, they have been ‘able to re-enact the same kinds of structural conflicts of interest that were endemic in the 1920s—lending to speculators, packaging and securitizing credits and then selling them off, wholesale or retail, and extracting fees at every step along the way.’ The result is the mess we’re in today.”
The Liberal view:
William Greider: Paulson Bailout Plan a Historic Swindle
David M. Herszenhorn: Seven Hundred Billion Dollars Sought for Wall Street in Vast Bailout
Robert Kuttner: The Price of Wall Street’s Rescue