Lately, while imbibing the recent mainstream media blathering, I note that one is expected to succumb to their frequent blandishments to feel sorry for Republicans. We mean ol’ lib’ruls are accusing them of being accessories to violent crime and of causing all sorts of other social ills. I would like to take this opportunity to invite these media people and the political structure they serve to open their eyes and see they have been used like yesterday’s comely lobbyist and discarded like last year’s campaign literature, because the goal they worked so hard for has been achieved. They are no longer necessary to the corporatist movement which benefited from their efforts. They are now deemed as expendable as the rest of us. Welcome to Equality!
Case in point. When is the last time Rush Limbaugh was disrespected by corporate America? I for one cannot recall such an event, yet this week Limbaugh had a promotional ad sign taken down in Tucson. Clear Channel is suddenly concerned that people won’t approve of violence-based promotion of their productions in light of the recent Giffords shooting. That he isn’t immune should deflate that Der Rigid O’ Bull a bit!
And then there is the Republican Party, which kneels at Lord Limbaugh’s feet for chastisement every time they stray away from the “values” he promotes daily on his “entertainment” show. There aren’t enough contributions coming in to pay the Party debts anymore. Now that Citizens United has crushed any opposition to corporate money dominating the political discourse of this land, the Party has been dismissed into the wilderness to enjoy the harsh and deadly climate they have helped to create. How ya like THIS reality show, Sarah? Figure out which end goes in first yet?
So where have the big GOP donors gone? To the likes of Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, according to T.W. Farnam of The Washington Post. Farnam reports that American Crossroads took in $70 million just since the Citizens United decision was issued on January 21, 2010. That amount is 10 times what the Republican National Committee raised in 2010, and almost twice as much as they raised for the 2008 national election campaign.
What is American Crossroads to do with such huge sums? A hint just might be contained in this post, which contends that the government is “forcing” American banks by increasing their capital reserve requirements to sit on all of Your Money given to them by both George W. Bush and Barack Obama through the TARP program and other measures. The author of this equivocation even admits that the banks are sitting on large sums, but “dat mean ol’ gubmint” won’t let them issue the sort of securities (which originally caused this crisis) to raise the funds needed for loans. Why should the banks have to deal with the mess they created when they have bought the government’s services in the past to clean up for them? And they won’t have to now, for American Crossroads will see to it that responsibility will be evaded and bonuses will be protected! Keep sending those checks to support the Good Works, Wall Streeters!
Now I never claim to be an economist. But if I have $100 and a $50 bill comes in to be paid, I understand that I can’t tell my creditor that they will have to wait until my next paycheck for remittance. I pay the damn bill and get on with life! I fail to understand (and this complaining canard creator does not explain) how much the banks need to retain to cover existing loans (I do know THAT much about the regulations!) versus what they have available above that amount to make loans. It’s not like they don’t have any funds, after all!
The banks are doing something to make money, or else JP Morgan Chase would not be reporting a 47% rise in quarterly profits of $4.8 billion, adding up to an annual total of $17.4 billion, an amount 48% higher than the 2009 figure. (Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America will issue their statements this next week.) That is a lot of money that could be going to fund job creation!
It gets worse. In addition to these profit figures, JP Morgan Chase also revealed that they have $28.1 billion for pay and bonuses— $9.7 billion of which will go solely to JP Morgan’s investment bankers. The 8,000 other London-based JP Morgan Chase employees will divide roughly $3 billion. It can’t be that much different for JP Morgan employees across the Pond in the Big Apple. David Hillman, spokesman for the Robin Hood Tax campaign in the UK, called these figures “a slap in the face to ordinary people” with unemployment high and impoverishment growing. It can’t be any different on Main Street, USA.
This is the issue against which the wealthy have to protect themselves. We, the peasant People of the United States (and the UK, apparently) are already extremely disgruntled over the the unabated unemployment and the increasing number of foreclosures while greed continues to be propitiated. Foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac expects that foreclosures are “likely to remain numerous while unemployment remains stubbornly high”, with about one million U.S. homes repossessed out of 2.9 million court petitions filed. We aren’t going to be taking lightly such huge hits while unearned remunerations are doled out! It’s personal now!
As our homes are essentially the main investment most of the working class make in their lifetimes, this is a realistic fear on the part of those who take what isn’t theirs, and there is little doubt among the afflicted as to who is to blame for this. There is also little doubt as to who enabled this crime against society—our own government officials of both parties. Attorney and author Ellen Hodgson Brown explains in largely layman’s language why this is so in an article published by The Baltimore Chronicle. She sums up by observing the now-common wisdom:
“The old rules no longer apply because they have been changed to suit the moneyed interests that hold Congress and the Fed captive. The law has been changed not only to keep the guilty out of jail but to preserve their exorbitant profits and bonuses at the expense of their victims…If you’re a bank, it seems, anything goes. If you’re not a bank, you’re on your own.”
And if you get sick, die quickly.
This knowledge and hostility is only going to grow as state and local governments falter under the growing strain of relatively fixed expenditures unmatched by revenues. Many such entities have appealed to the federal government for assistance to avoid ending desired protections and services. But their hopes were just dashed by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who declared a desire to avoid “involvement” in state and local fiscal issues.
This angry taxpayer wishes that Bernanke felt that way about Banks Too Big To Fail! What ever happened to the false adage of the Free Marketeers regarding those businesses which don’t succeed? It is no longer operative. The old rules no longer apply if you own the government, and you get to define the new ones.
I am of the opinion that there were many other ways to repair the economic damage done to our economy than to turn the controls over to the drunken sailors who neo-conned it into the shallows. Since the government has ended up paying for the losses the banks suffered due to their malfeasance, they should have taken title to all the afflicted properties as they did General Motors. The failed banks themselves should have been shut down, and their boards dissolved. The afflicted properties could then have been sold off to new investors (they are out there, or else the Dow Jones wouldn’t be rising) at their actual market value, and there wouldn’t have been a threat of a loss-of-confidence run on the dollar. We taxpayers would still have had some of the costs dumped on us, but they would have been less than those we now face.
But it is now too late to take any of these alternate steps. The horse has escaped after kicking down the barn doors and hauling them off to the bonfire. Those who benefited from The Grandest Theft Ever now seek to defend themselves against our righteous retribution. Citizens United gave them the legal cover they needed to finace the effort to keep the government off their backs by stirring up the rabble while they resume the scrapping of America for pleasure and profit during the commotion. The corporatists no longer need to own a trained elephant to dance to their tune as a distraction. They can rent the Democrats much cheaper, and the Democrats haven’t lost their appeal to the American people—yet.
How’s that outsourcing thing workin’ for ya, Repubs? Like them lower wages? You’ll adapt! Only the strong survive, ya know! Free Market, and all that! Chin up! Back to work!
In Tucson this week, President Obama slid over what could have been the national inspiration for the decade: make America as good as Christina Taylor Green imagined it was. It should have been the theme of his speech. It should be the saying of his administration, an analog to the Clinton motto of “It’s the Economy, Stupid!” It could have been as powerful as anything John F. Kennedy said which led the nation to achieve so much.
But it will never be. Obama is not going to go over Bernanke’s head and attempt to resume his 2009 position on federal support for state and local bonds. He isn’t going to believe, as Ellen Hodgson Brown stated in her article, that as “the [Fed] provided roughly $3.3 trillion in [cash] and $9 trillion in short-term loans” to The Banks Too Big To Fail, what’s another $140 billion to cover the projected 2011 collective budget deficit of the states? That figure is less than the estimated amount to be spent in 2011 to conquer Southern Central Asia for the safety of American oil company profits! It’s less than what will be needed to clean up the Gulf of Mexico ruined by just such a British-based corporation! But it’s clearly more of an exertion than he deems the nation to be worth.
Yet the last laugh must be reserved for the Republicans who spent the last 30 years bringing the nation to the precipice. They weren’t given the House majority to continue to perform their No Theater. The midterm results show a desire by some voters (not this one!) for GOP leadership, and the standards are now so much tighter that it won’t be as easy to fleece the sheared sheep and still pull the wool over their eyes. They led us to the edge, and they will be the first pushed over the side by the undefended flock. How ya like what those 30 pieces of silver buy ya now?
The corporate shepherds are clearly not going to come to their rescue. They and their former lupine rivals have new fish to fry at the Crossroads. A much more profitable venture, you know.