Looking at Today’s “Fiscal Cliff Crisis” with Yesterday’s Eyes
I was just spending some time “googling” around with various expressions relating to the current financial crisis. This “googling” brought me to an entire discussion over at Democratic Underground from back in 2010, when people could still express concerns about the President’s policies as they weren’t yet written in cement.
One of the more important considerations in looking at this current crisis is that at the time of the Bailouts, and at the time of Obama appointing Geithner and allowing Bernanke to continue to head the Fed, the public was told “not to worry.” Yes, Virginia there may be reasons to question things, but the Nice Old Santa of Big Bank Bailouts was a huge present that was going to keep on giving.
After all, as painful as it was for people on Main Street to see trillions of dollars going into Wall Street, at least once this happened, the economy was going to recover. And so then any need to consider the heinousness of giving away the Big Bucks to Big Financial Firms would VAPORIZE.
Examine, if you will, this Question from back in 2010: “I’m wondering…will the bailouts and the government collusion with the banks succeed in covering up this heist? Or is there an upside to this somehow?
Answer (using a popular 2010 meme)-If the bailout works and the banks return to “business as usual”–then eventually, the banking system will stabilize and most people will never know how dire the situation was.
So add to the ludicrous aspect of the above, the idea that for several years now, the public has been told that the economy is in recovery mode. If that were indeed true, then how is it that we need to keep adding so much money to the Government’s operating budget each year? If people were working, they’d be paying increased taxes. They wouldn’t need help with Food Stamps, or with local County-provided medical insurance payments. Meanwhile, the states are suffering, as they have more people on safety net programs, and the Feds are not helping with sending them monies. (Apparently, the Federal Monies have to go to weapon systems, and to the DEA and ICE to round up the citizens who thought that medical marijuana was legal, and who acted accordingly.)
So although we are told the economy is in recovery, clearly we are not.
Then we are also told of how Obama’s ACA is revenue neutral. Yet consider this: he had to trim some 500 billions of dollars from MediCare in order to make the ACA somewhat palpable to the Right Wingers. Even that trim didn’t reassure them. But it did assuage most Obama supporters, who rejoiced that it was not the MediCare insured who would pay higher premiums on their end of things, but it would be providers who would see the cuts. Nobody wanted to hear what I knew from my life as an elder care worker – doctors way, way back in the early 1990’s, they no longer could afford to take in new patients on MediCare as they weren’t being paid enough. So how does cutting back on paying providers help? If you can’t find a doctor to take you as a patient, how can you say that MediCare is a worthwhile program? And now we have the proposal of more MediCare cuts, or else the extension of the eligibility age to 67 from 65, are options being considered by our elected (and non-elected) officials.
Meanwhile, the Talking Heads keep rolling out the notions of Bad Bad Things to Come, if we don’t trim back the government spending. Apparently one of the scarey scarey aspects of these bad things to come is the situation wherein the credit rating agencies decide to clip the USA’s credit rating. I have never understood why the credit rating agencies were allowed to stay up and running After all, at some point in 2010, it became apparent that all through the 2000’s, they simply gave whatever companies that paid them whatever rating they wanted. Even right before the 2008 Near Total Collapse of Wall Street, the mortgage companies, and even Lehman Bros, had decent credit approval ratings. So why should these firms even exist?
The only reassuring notion still in my mental tool box is this one: perhaps I could immigrate to Iceland. Iceland is actually a nation that didn’t mind the credit rating agencies. They didn’t employ any BailOuts. Although they initially suffered as they attempted to right the tremendous negative economy the Boom Times of 2000 to 2008 had heaped on them, they finally restored their economy. While here in the USA, it appears the nation will be in lock down, “Austerity” mode for decades. All of it will be perpetuated by citizens who refuse to demand what any decent Icelander citizen demanded – that those at the top of the heap, who perpetuated the frauds, go to jail, and those at the bottom not be required to endure drastic cuts to social programs or to endure the idea that more BailOuts will be needed.