Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Forcing Middle America To Pay The Wealthy’s Risky Losses

"I believe the economy's strong. As long as we leave hands in the bucket -- people -- money in people's hands." — President George W. Bush

Lately it seems the worm is turning. Bailout Bill folks are looking for ways to reword the explanation of the proposal to have the government take over Wall Street banks and buy their troubled (and in some cases, virtually worthless) paper with our tax money. Now that the Stock Market dropped 777 points in one day (a new one-day point drop record for George W. Bush!), it seems many of those officially opposed to this plan are losing their resolve.

As I write this Wednesday afternoon, the Senate is sweetening the deal to entice Republicans to vote for the bill. Tax incentives (gee, who’d have guessed?!) If we’re gonna go broke, we might as well go broker than broke, huh?

And the media seems to think like the Congress now: that we “must” do something lest we all fall between the ever-widening cracks in the economy. They’re also reporting how more of us “everyday Americans” are now getting on board, fearing the worst. Way to be in the tank for Bush, media! It’s funny you’ve never paid attention when the cracks were smaller and taking swaths of the “little people” in America. For most of us, the worst is inevitable, and fears have evolved into grim reality.

We’re not in the mood to be told what we feel by either the insulated media or especially the extremely insular Bush Administration.

“Don't be told what you want
Don't be told what you need
There's no future, no future,
No future for you.” — God Save The Queen, the Sex Pistols

So now it appears the fix is in: everyone seems to be aligning to get behind Bush’s Big Bailout for Big Banks. They’re going to push this through, we’re going to give in, and the GOP and Corporate America are going to get what they wanted in the first place!

Over the years, Corporate America and their best friends in Congress and the White House, the GOP, have pushed through their dream list of virtually all they’ve ever wanted. Here’s what they got:

Tax cuts to the tune of 5, 6 or 7-figures or more (both to the wealthy and to corporate America),
Reduction of all forms of federal, state or local assistance to individuals,
Government assistance to business to help them with innovation or to survive during tough times,
Deregulation of all forms in business,
Anti-trust weakening (oligopolies) that starves out small business,
Privatization and profiting from formerly state or federal duties,
Privatization and profit from former utilities,
Restricting Occupational Safety and Hazard standards,
Restricting workers’ rights,
Tax breaks to free-trade that allows shipping work overseas,
Allowing companies to locate headquarters offshore to avoid U.S. taxes,
Allowing corporations to collusively gouge the American consumer and reap record profits,
Focusing tax audits on individuals while turning a blind eye to non-payment of business taxes,
Severely weakening torts and judgments (disincentives),
Appointing judges who favor business over individuals or consumers,
Severely restricting bankruptcy for individuals,
Allowing predatory lending and then allowing foreclosures to proceed while individuals lose homes,
Fomenting a climate where few ever bother with recourse on legitimate claims against business,
Killing consumer confidence due to no recourse against who they do business with,
Killing whistle-blowers rights,
Allowing self-policing that did not,
Ignoring and encouraging cronyism and lobbyist influence to write and further weaken laws for individuals while giving more power to business,
Politicians who openly game the system and pull in heavy “soft incomes” through “favors” or other fashion,
Allowing industries to set the standards and write the legislation which gave them free reign by law,
Won tax breaks for Big Oil on profits reaped from federally owned land leased in the Gulf,
Just won “Drill-Baby-Drill” oil-drilling allowing Big Oil to plant a rig anywhere offshore,
Allowing corporations ability to do nearly anything inside or out of the law that isn’t blatantly (read publicly) provable in a court of law,
Adhering to the mantra that free market are the standard and shall never be compromised,
Knowing of serious problems in the free market economy and instead lying to the public to have it appear problems don’t exist,
Suddenly changing the rules to allow free markets not to fail and to have the government step in to save them,
Allowing CEO’s and top-tier executive to retain stratospheric incomes, pensions and severance packages.

Meanwhile, the individual in poverty, the working-class or in middle class America was on the losing end of all of the above. Here’s what we got:

A couple hundred dollars in tax cuts (if lucky),
Higher local taxes and fees to make up shortfalls from the Feds,
Jobs lost to cheaper labor overseas,
Domestic jobs being streamlined and shed (due to the tight American job market),
Remaining domestic jobs with only increase in production and expectations and stagnant wages,
New jobs that pay less than previous ones,
Corporations merging and retroactively ending pensions,
Paid health care on the road to extinction,
Spiraling prices for everything,
Stuck with paying for their greed and excess.

So how does that feel? And with this Bailout Bill, we’re expected to be the usually docile American public we’ve always been, and just lump it silently.

Congress will pass the bill, and President Bush-baby will sign it, and everyone’s happy. Right?

Just one reminder …. Signature statements.

Below is a news blip from CNN reporting on the Emergency Spending Bill signed by the old Bush-baby before the fiscal year ran out 9/30. Pay special attention to the next-to-last paragraph. Then tell me … do you really trust this President to do the right thing on this, and do you want him signing this bill? I emphatically do not!

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush signed an emergency spending bill hours before the end of the federal budget year.

The stopgap measure includes both a $600 billion bill to continue goverment spending through March 6, 2009 and a $611 billion defense bill that provides $68 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bush signed it Tuesday night.

The interim measure allows a 26-year ban on offshore oil drilling to expire, subsidizes federal loans for automakers and offers aid to Gulf Coast hurricane disaster victims.

The bill also authorizes a 3.9 percent across-the-board pay raise for military personnel.

Bush said he reserved the right to “interpret and construe” the bill as he saw fit.

The end to the ban on oil drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts is a major victory for Republicans, who have seized on drilling as a major election year issue. Speeches at the Republican National Convention in August were often interrupted with chants of “Drill, baby, drill.”

"There's no bread? Let them eat cake!
There's no end to what they'll take!
Flock the fruits of noble birth.
Wash the salt into the earth." — Bastille Day, Rush

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