Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dancing on the Backs of the Bruised

From Ron Paul, posting on Lew Rockwell today:

Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike.

The events of the past week are no exception.

The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress’ throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister. It makes a mockery of our Constitution, which our leaders should never again bother pretending is still in effect. It promises the American people a never-ending nightmare of ever-greater debt liabilities they will have to shoulder. Two weeks ago, financial analyst Jim Rogers said the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made America more communist than China! "This is welfare for the rich," he said. "This is socialism for the rich. It’s bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters."

That describes the current bailout package to a T. And we’re being told it’s unavoidable.

The claim that the market caused all this is so staggeringly foolish that only politicians and the media could pretend to believe it. But that has become the conventional wisdom, with the desired result that those responsible for the credit bubble and its predictable consequences – predictable, that is, to those who understand sound, Austrian economics – are being let off the hook. The Federal Reserve System is actually positioning itself as the savior, rather than the culprit, in this mess!

  • The Treasury Secretary is authorized to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets at any one time. That means $700 billion is only the very beginning of what will hit us.
  • Financial institutions are "designated as financial agents of the Government." This is the New Deal to end all New Deals.
  • Then there’s this: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." Translation: the Secretary can buy up whatever junk debt he wants to, burden the American people with it, and be subject to no one in the process.

There goes your country.

Even some so-called free-market economists are calling all this "sadly necessary." Sad, yes. Necessary? Don’t make me laugh.

Our one-party system is complicit in yet another crime against the American people. The two major party candidates for president themselves initially indicated their strong support for bailouts of this kind – another example of the big choice we’re supposedly presented with this November: yes or yes. Now, with a backlash brewing, they’re not quite sure what their views are. A sad display, really.

Although the present bailout package is almost certainly not the end of the political atrocities we’ll witness in connection with the crisis, time is short. Congress may vote as soon as tomorrow. With a Rasmussen poll finding support for the bailout at an anemic seven percent, some members of Congress are afraid to vote for it. Call them! Let them hear from you! Tell them you will never vote for anyone who supports this atrocity.

The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are about to be looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care?

When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media?

Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.


K9 said...

i agree! now is the defining moment. i would rather suffer the consequences than to lose our souls. they are selling it as : you wont be able to buy a car; you wont be able to stay in your house; you wont be able to send your child to school. i wonder are those things greater than our liberty?

keep calling people. 202 224 3121

people who were against the bailout 3 days ago are suddenly for it. its like an alien invasion movie -one minute your friend is on board, next minute it looks like your friend, but it doesnt sound like them anymore and their eyes look "weird" grrrherhahaha (pod people)

i see some progress in that some of the reps are pushing back saying that it doesnt have to be as paulsons plan lays it out. there are market related strategies presented and i hope mccain can help.

great post moi. which is why we all wish YOU were president. (in oscar ;-D)

Anonymous Boxer said...


I thought the same thing, K9, people I respect telling me the bailout is "good" and I actually think "they got to you too??".

With men/women giving their lives ever day for this country are we so weak that we can't make sacrifices of our own? Oh Dear God, you mean I may not GET A NEW CAR?

Pffffttt. I'm not buying it.

Great Post. I wish you were in Washington.

moi said...

I know what you mean with these Pod People! AND they're all wearing Crocs. Seriously, I saw about a gazillion pair on people's feet yesterday and thought, "Aw, shit, not only are we going to hell in a hand basket, we're all going to LOOK like hell on the way there."

I think Paulson, et al MUST own stock in the company. Come on, Party People: "Running scared" is not a good look for any of us.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Why don't they just claim on the insurance for their losses instead of making poor Joe Public the whipping boy for their own financial shortcomings (or should that be shortsellings)?

The Troll said...

Haven't agreed much with Doctor Paul the last 2 years or so. But he's back-on-the-right-track on this issue. Especially liked his ridiculing the idea that because something is "bi-partisan", it's automatically good.

The funny and fortunate thing is this. Had Ron Paul opted to run as an independent this year, he'd have been languishing in the Polls at about 3% or so and not getting much coverage. Or much of a chance to galavanize support on a particular issue.

But THIS issue would have IGNITED his campaign and he'd have had a chance to SOAR up to 10% or so by November 4th.

Thus giving the election to Obama.

The Troll said...

Take the Obama Quote Quiz!

K9 said...

my senator just sent me a form letter 'splainin why he's going to do the deal. even though 98% of georgians who called said no deal to the bailout.

despite all my rage i am still just a ratinacage
(smashing pumpkins)

moi said...

Poet: I don't think it works that way. There is no "insurance" for speculation.

Troll: I think I'm going to write him in. Ducks.

K9: So, if AB is working on La Revolucion SWAG bags, I can count on you for the mix tape?

czar said...

i am not convinced that anything i hear anymore is real. many years from now, the "truth" of this era will be far different than the reality we think we are living through. i would lay even odds, for example, that chavez and ahmedinejad (sp?) and kim-jong il are straw men erected as foils for our desires to maintain or resurrect an empire. are we in a crisis? of some sort, yes. do i fear what's going to come of american society? yes. would i be perfectly content if some aspect of the current events were to drastically reduce the importance of the US in the world? yes. there, i've said it. i am perfectly ready to be switzerland or denmark or costa rica. it's not going to happen, but there's always hope. if the current crisis was brought about and extended by greed and bad decision making and selfishness and powermongering and idiots trying to run our lives, those are five things that are never going to change. yet i'll stay in this country because it's the best place for me to be, and, well, i've got two teenagers in various states of education, and I can't really leave them stranded here. and oh, by the way, like most American idiots, I am monolingual, which hinders my possibilities.

alright, squirrelfolk, let me have it.

moi said...

I dunno, the truth seems pretty clear cut to me. We've been seeing it coming for years: the big boys on Wall Street GAMBLED, betting for or against various aspects of an artificially inflated industry and they LOST.

Now, what if I called you up tomorrow and told you that if you gave me everything you have in savings, say, $100,000, and I had a "hot" investment guaranteed to double your money in six months (or a year, or whatever) and you fell for it and then LOST, you think the gub'ment should step in and cover your losses? Hell no! It's called gambling.

The ONLY reason the gub'ment is bailing these mofos out is because they're all part of the same Big Boy club. They got greedy. They got stupid. They lost. We're supposed to pay for that? I don't care where you live, that only comes up one flavor to Moi: Criminal.

And our government is peddling hysteria to scare us into thinking this bailout of people who amount to nothing more than common thieves, the worst kind of criminal in my book, is necessary. THAT I don't buy as the truth.

czar said...

my point exactly. the government is selling hysteria, as they've been doing for seven years. and they will continue to do so if the country votes red again.

i was not talking about the pros and cons of this bailout per se; more that i basically don't trust people running anything, which is why i don't think letting the market sort things out could necessarily work any better than a government solution. you've still got greedy bastards in charge of whatever is or isn't left, whether they are in charge of government or business. and left unrestricted, humans don't tend to operate in the most humane manner. the stanford prison experiment is a nice example of what happens when even normal people -- even dope-addled college students -- get a little power.

somewhere where i think we shouldn't be bailing individuals out is on subprime mortgages. personally, i don't go for anything but a 30-year fixed, because I don't need to stinking surprises. and every bank i've ever dealt with put me through the mill when it came time for the mortgage app. and i guess by extension we shouldn't be bailing out the companies that knew exactly what they were doing when they started granting loans to people with no shot in hell of paying them back when the rates adjusted.

having said that, the idea that an unfettered market gives me more personal freedom is not one I necessarily accept. when companies and markets can do whatever they like, they generally like to have their consumers bend over and take it until the pain gets too great . . . kind of like government. and we can stop using those products, same as we can vote the bastards out every two or four years . . . just not our own personal bastards. and left unregulated, events in this universe tend toward chaos. i believe that's right up there with gravity as far as laws go.

do i want the government running health care? why not? am I getting such a great deal now with my private insurer? i'd rather see everyone covered by the government, warts and all, than to have 40 percent uninsured or underinsured running to the ER for aspirin or a cough or nerve pills and running up costs all across the board. and trust me, the idea of being uninsured for many is not a choice. i know what i pay for insurance for a family of four, and if i were making anywhere in the range of, say, $40,000 a year -- not an awful wage -- insurance would be eating up almost 25 percent of my gross income. and that doesn't include what i'm paying doctors and medical institutions on top of what insurance doesn't cover.

the guarantees of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness don't mean squat if you start out life way behind the eight-ball. america has a caste system, like it or not, and a free market won't change that. and most people don't care what happens to their neighbors, so the idea of leaving everything to passionate nonprofits is, in my mind, a vision of utopia that americans by nature will not fulfill. i used to live in florida, where the old folks didn't want to pay school taxes because they had no kids in schools. i guess they would have been content to have drop-dead illiterate idiots staffing their nursing homes and attempting to make change without the cash register telling them how to do so at the local Wolfie's. and that's not necessarily the fault of the schools. education begins at home, but it helps if the home provides a healthy and well-fed environment.

so, where does that leave us? do i want the government controlling everything? no. do i trust humans and the institutions they run to make the right decisions and expect everything will work itself out? no. as with everything, extremes lead to evil, and a reasonable balance or compromise likely leads to a better approach. unfortunately, ever since reagan blamed every problem in the world on jimmy carter and the fundamentalists swooped in with him and said everyone was going to hell unless they toed (towed?) the party line, there's been no middle ground in this country to try to fix anything.

the 2-party/1-party system sucks. i wish that everyone with a decent idea was given an appropriate platform. that includes ron paul, and that includes dennis kucinich, who are probably closer to each other when it comes right down to it than they are to mccain or obama.

back to work. love ya, moi.

Aunty Belle said...

Rollin' mah eyes--funny, huh, how we''s both readin' LEW. Heh. Reckon it is about the shoes we wear.

BUT, take a looky at the BACK Porch too---

Dawgy- Pup, reason folks who was against the BO (Bail out) is now fer it is that they see what is REALLY the situation.

I'se againt the BO, done said so, but I does think thar's a worse thang than a crash and that they know WHAT that worse thang is. Hence the ZBO will happen. So pray them Southern Republicans hold the line tonight and we get massive controls on this behemoth.

moi said...

Czar: You made some great points. Although, really, we do not HAVE a free market at this point and never have had one, so we can't really dismiss it out of hand. So, yes, with that in mind, NO bailout means the wolves are back at it again.

And I couldn't agree with you more about no bailouts for mortgage owners and mortgage lenders. Again, buyer beware. It's as simple as that. If you think you're getting something for nothing? You're not. And if you haven't learned that by the time you're actually old enough to own a home, sorry, Charlie, tricks are for kids.

I totally disagree with you about anyone in this country starting life out behind the eight ball. And about gub'ment funded health care. But that's an argument for another time and most likely some beer :o)

Aunty: I think maybe you and I are Fashionista Soldja Sistas Separated at Birth? Hence, Lew, and a few other commonalities :o) And, sure, if we can't AVOID a bailout? Then show me the plan for massive controls. Interestingly enough, as SB pointed out to me last night, there are a few in the private financial sector who believe the bailouts could mean more money for us in the long run. Certainly, it can't be the bailout as pushed by Paulson. Which means they can't come up with something like that overnight. But they're trying so hard to get something done by the weekend, which just smacks of typical gub'ment incompetence. You see the faces on these people? They're like deers in the headlights. They have no idea what is going on and how to fix it.

P.S. Where ARE all the "fiscally responsible" Republicans in all this? Hello? Tap, tap. This thing on?

K9 said...

go richard shelby (R) Alabama!!

looks good this a.m. with market fixes not a massive blank check. Keep calling.

202 224 3121

i called this am to tell shelby, pence, bohner et all to say GOOD JOB hold the line.

keep calling.

moi said...

From Ron Paul this morning on Fox News (You Tube it): "[A lot of these representatives] are being asked how are you going to explain your vote back home and they say we don't know. When you get 99 percent of the people in your district against this, it's pretty hard for a politician to go against their district."

Let's hope "representation" prevails.

K9 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K9 said...

radio reports 95% against paulson's shakedown power grab. I dont believe the depression threat. do you?

The Troll said...

Great article from a highly qualified but UNHEARD voice at the Troll Report today.

Wendy said...

Forgive me, as I am a simple girl, but why can't we, the average taxpayers, vote for or against this bail-out? I would imagine there are more of us just toodling along, regularly paying our monthly mortgages, not purchasing new vehicles on a whim, and just wanting to be able to remodel that freakin' 1960s bathroom when we've finally saved up enough money to do so. Why are we--and, so they're saying, our children and future grandchildren--being punished?

moi said...

Wendy, it would be nice if we could. But we have to rely on our representatives to vote our wishes for us. On the news tonight, I heard that congress people are getting calls 100 to one against the bail out. But are they going to LISTEN to us and VOTE the way we ask Prolly not. Too much is at stake for THEM. Us? They could care less about.

Sure, that sounds cynical, but if they really cared, they'd not rush this bail out through and really break it down for us. Which they are not doing.