And so here we are.
Bad loans, bad investments, bad mortgages.
Nobody is sure who is or who isn’t insolvent or who will or won’t be tomorrow.
The money to make possible the buyouts which we hope will hold things together will come from the Treasury and will go to people who want out of the market and into Treasury bonds and thus will come back to the Treasury. No new money, no new wealth will be created–in fact, there will be a lot less wealth. Thousands of homes are worth a lot less than they were a week or two ago and they ain’t coming back up any time soon. Lord only knows how many investment portfolios have been wiped out, how many 401K programs are on life-support, how many more business entities will come crawling to the government (not your friend, your enemy as they always say) begging to be saved from their own greed and mismanagement.
The government is rushing to save the same people who got us into this mess because they are “too big” to be allowed to fail.
The rest of us? Much too small.
We are seeing real-life proof of the truisms about how the best way to be able to borrow money is to already have borrowed a great deal money and why the preferred credit card holder is always the one deepest in debt.
All this, amidst some of the most shameless and cynical caterwauling from the “private sector” ever.
Nearly 30 years ago, the Sainted Ronald Reagan, as verified by his (fired) Budget Director, planned a budget which would hamstring the government and prevent successors from implementing new social programs by building up a retaining wall of debt. To his credit, when early indications showed that his outlandish original tax cuts would seriously ruin the nation, he worked with a Democratic Congress to restore some semblance of balance in that area at least.
That was the polite way of screwing the country.
George W. Bush has done it the hard way, essentially tearing down all our institutions that he could, putting us at war literally and figuratively with most of the known world, embracing a policy of lying and obstruction which thwarts the very heart of the U.S. Constitution and supporting a financial policy which cast aside every regulation he could find, whether through new legislation, the appointment of overseers who would ignore existing legislation or secret “signing statements” in which he negated his own public word as reflected by signing bills.
And he has, for all practical purposes, abdicated at this point. A small, failed weasel of a man, cowardly to the last, who still believes that history will save his reputation.
But here’s the thing, and make no mistake about it.
Even with the clear failure of their philosophy and programs crashing down all around us, the people who supported this disaster every step if the way have not given in a whit to reality.
For them, it’s just another example of how we’re all a nation of whiners.
The $1 Trillion debt being dumped on the back of the American people? Suck it up, you losers, that’s the way the game is played.
Jobs and homes lost? That’s why god gave you bootstraps (even if he didn’t).
Obama’s plan to reinstate the taxes on the very top levels of income? Hey, can’t do that now, it’s not sound policy when we’re so deep in debt.
Obama’s promise to give a tax cut to almost everybody else? It is to laugh; we’re in an economic crisis.
New social programs? See Ronald Reagan above.
In a way, for the economic troglodytes, the never-right-once-yet neocons and the rabid right, the Great Meltdown is their salvation.
They will turn over a ruined, debt-ridden economy and a weakened government to the Democrats in January 2009 and be able to use the new administration’s struggles to lift the nation out of the wreckage they left behind to “prove” to the unenlightened, uniformed and just plain mindless which form their base that government doesn’t work, public programs are just for “them” (a code word that will have a new resonance with Obama in the Oval Office) and that bluster and ignorance are all we should demand of our public servants.
What became of the nation which achieved greatness because we demanded greatness of ourselves? Who killed the American Dream?
Look in the mirror, friends.
We get the government we deserve, the country we deserve, the vision we deserve.
Pogo said it best, a long time ago…
“We have met the enemy and he is us.”