Chump Change And Contempt
After the Republican debates and Obama’s address tonight we get another chance to evaluate the political elites who share power in the US. What we see is more of the same – Democrats and Republicans are political prostitutes who have utter contempt for working people.
As background keep in mind that it was their votes and signatures on bills that began deregulation under Carter and Reagan(1). They pushed for exporting trade union jobs under Bush1and Clinton (2) and for the complete deregulation of predatory banksters under Clinton(3). Bush2 eased the way for the banksters to loot the economy, slash the taxes of the rich, export more jobs and embezzle hundreds of billions from the treasury to gift the rich (TARP). Obama’s continued all of Bush’s policies and vastly increased the theft from the treasury to the looter classes.
By far the worst effect of their bipartisan policies is massive unemployment. It’s hovered around 16% (4) for over two years and involves 25 million unemployed and underemployed. That figure may not mean too much to those who live off stocks and bonds, the managerial class or the political elites. But for working people caught in that nightmare it means unrelenting toxic stress levels, homelessness, malnutrition, poor or no health care, spiraling domestic violence, escalating suicide rates and being victimized by the police and courts when they seek extralegal relief.
The unemployed, underemployed, the homeless and those tossed without rhyme or reason into the cesspool of poverty are our brothers and sisters. Any one of us, at any time, could end up in their shoes, homeless, hopeless and looking at a unhappy life and an early death.
When we evaluate the Democrats and Republicans and their attitude towards unemployment it’s useful to examine how they’ve treated the rich. The rich got almost $500 billion dollars in TAX CUTS over the last decade. Add to that the cost of servicing the debt created by those cuts – $400 billion dollars – and the tab comes close to nearly a trillion dollars. The wealthy are not creating jobs, they’re spending that money or hoarding it. Obama and the Democrats publically claim to oppose tax cuts for the rich but they’ve consistently voted for or signed extensions of those tax cuts.
The rich got TARP, a $700 billion dollar gift to the looters who lost money when their housing bubble burst which will end up costing more than $50 billion dollars. In addition to TARP the rich got 1.25 trillion dollars in secret loans from the Fed. (See QE1 below)
The rich got the benefits of QE or quantitative easing , the creation of massive amounts of money out of thin air by the Federal Reserve Bank. It came into use after cutting interest rates and sham ‘recovery’ bills aimed at giving money away to contractors and industrialists failed miserably. There have been three of them and they likewise failed miserably. QE1 – In 2008 Fed created $1.25 trillion dollars to buy up ‘toxic’ mortgage-backed bonds in a unsuccessful attempt to stabilize the economy. (5) QE2 In 2010 the Fed created an additional $600 billion while Congress and the Administration pitched in with $1 trillion in tax cuts all aimed at creating economic growth. It failed miserably. QE3 is due this year. (6)
The rich got the bulk of the benefits from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which cost $787 billion dollars. Of that roughly $81 billion dollars was used on things like unemployment benefits. Most of it was wasted in sweetheart contracts with corporations and banks. Not one penny went to help people facing foreclosures.
The cost of the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Bailouts was $317 billion dollars. That money did not stop one foreclosure. (7)
That equals four trillion, one hundred and fifty four billion dollars. 80 billion was for workers and the rest went to the rich. (The figures for the secret loans and for QE1 are the same and only counted once.) All these actions will have a trifling effect as the economy slides further and further into the pit (8). European central banks are holding on by their fingernails, ready to fall and create a landslide that’ll drag the US economy down with them. US inflation rates in energy consumables and foodstuffs are close to 25% excluding the housing market.
Obama’s new job plan is a rehash of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It’s worthless from the point of view of ending the Depression or ending the nightmare of massive unemployment.
What’s needed is a 100% tax on annual income totaling over $250,000.00 a year from all sources including income from trusts, investments, and bequests for individuals and families. And since corporations are individuals the same thing should apply to their profits after expense not including payments to stockholders.
Secondly we need a total and immediate withdrawal of all US forces to their US home bases followed by demobilization.
Third we should abrogate all agreements to pay off the national dept to rich people or foreigners while protecting the few investments of working people.
Then we can create a real jobs program to zero out unemployment by funding massive Manhattan Project style programs to green industry, agriculture and the infrastructure, guarantee good housing and education, institute socialized medicine and end hunger and malnutrition here and around the world.
That will never be done by the political prostitutes of the two major parties or the criminal banksters and looters who own them. Both groups will have to be rendered powerless by the creation of workers parties and a workers government.
(1) Carter, Reagan, deregulation – http://www.salon.com/technology/how_the_world_works/2009/06/04/jimmy_carter_did_it
(3) Clinton, deregulation and the new Depression – http://www.progressivehistorians.com/2007/11/bill-clintons-role-in-mortgage-crisis.html
(4) Real unemployment rate, Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Dept of Labor charted here http://portalseven.com/employment/unemployment_rate_u6.jsp
(6) Quantitative Easing – http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/nov/03/quantitative-easing-question-and-answer
(7) CBO Fannie Mae Freddie Mac http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/122xx/doc12213/06-02-GSEs_Testimony.pdf
(8) the Depression is getting worse. Here’s the highly recommended viral YouTube video that explains it. RSA Animate http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOP2V_np2c0&feature=player_embedded