As much as I hate being baited the eighties savings and loan scandals brought to us by Saint Ronnie has been reinvented for the new millennium by King George and the Stalinists. This phrasing my seem inconsistent, but since Jonah Goldberg has decided that the left is right or right is left its only fitting that someone points out that when Republicans make money hand over fist they’re small government anti-regulation entrepreneurs, but when they inevitably run into trouble they’re arrogant little orphans that think the nanny state should bail them out, WALL STREET AND SOCIALISM….
One of the things that shocks me is that the liberal blogosphere has been deadly silent about the massive bailout of bankers that is taking place with taxpayer money, and fueling the collapse of the dollar. Where’s the outrage? What we’re seeing is a classic example of “Privatize the gains during the boom — e.g. hand out $30B+ in Wall Street bonuses each of the last several years — and socialize the losses during the bust.” But for this to be taking place in the context of a financial apocalypse among the American middle class (9m families currently have negative equity in their homes, and prices in all likelihood have much further to fall) strikes me as bordering on criminal. Why aren’t the Democrats demanding the re-regulation of Wall Street and the reining in of compensation in the finance industry as quid pro quo for these bailouts?
It has already beem mentioned that Bush’s mess in Mes’Opotamia isn’t helping anyone except a hand full of war profiteers and it also seems linked to the current dollar crunch, War, Jobs and national Debt
There is no longer any doubt that the Iraq War is a moral and strategic disaster for the United States. But what has not yet been fully recognized is that it has also been an economic disaster. To date, the government has spent more than $522 billion on the war, with another $70 billion already allocated for 2008.
With just the amount of the Iraq budget of 2007, $138 billion, the government could instead have provided Medicaid-level health insurance for all 45 million Americans who are uninsured. What’s more, we could have added 30,000 elementary and secondary schoolteachers and built 400 schools in which they could teach. And we could have provided basic home weatherization for about 1.6 million existing homes, reducing energy consumption in these homes by 30 percent.
But the economic consequences of Iraq run even deeper than the squandered opportunities for vital public investments. Spending on Iraq is also a job killer. Every $1 billion spent on a combination of education, healthcare, energy conservation and infrastructure investments creates between 50 and 100 percent more jobs than the same money going to Iraq. Taking the 2007 Iraq budget of $138 billion, this means that upward of 1 million jobs were lost because the Bush Administration chose the Iraq sinkhole over public investment.
Recognizing these costs of the Iraq War is even more crucial now that the economy is facing recession. While a recession is probably unavoidable, its length and severity will depend on the effectiveness of the government’s stimulus initiatives. By a wide margin, the most effective stimulus is to expand public investment projects, especially at the state and local levels. The least effective fiscal stimulus is the one crafted by the Bush Administration and Congress–mostly to just send out rebate checks to all taxpayers. This is because a high proportion of the new spending encouraged by the rebates will purchase imports rather than financing new jobs in the United States, whereas public investment would concentrate job expansion within the country. Combining this Bush stimulus initiative with the ongoing spending on Iraq will only deepen the severity of the recession.
Bush and the bellicose echo of the right-wing noise machine have been assuring Americans for years that we live in a dreamy free market economy where bad investments yield consequences. This is the
America Republican system, an economy for smart manly men who know how to push a wheel barrel full of cash to the bank. Now the wheel is falling off the barrel and guess who gets to pick up the tab, the Nascar dads and soccer moms that the same Republicans said would protect them. Now when the middle-class goes to work everyday they can figure into their weekly expenses how much of their income is going to little Marie’s dental expenses and how much to help keep the country from falling into the fiscal valley of Republican ineptitude.