The Bush Administration's Culpability in the Financial Crisis
by Meg White
The timing and urgency of the Bush Administration's call for action from Congress on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's plan to save the financial industry from collapse leaves only two possibilities. Either the White House is criminally incompetent when it comes to the economy, or our current financial status is part of a structured crisis planned as an early October surprise.
We believe that this is part of a structured financial crisis that got out of hand and unraveled too quickly. The great economic unraveling was supposed to happen early during the next administration. Our economy has been held together with bubble gum and strands of thread for several years.
Bush told friends from Texas, visiting the Bushes at the White House, that he intends to leave the next administration with little hope or resources with which to boot the status-quo and begin making long over-due changes in the governance of this country. This country and her people cannot not long endure without major transformation as a country....the grass-roots kind of transformation.
(The thing is; there is going to be change, and very soon. The difference between transformation and cataclysm is consciousness or conscious choice.)
He also told his friends, all of whom returned to Houston with concern for Junior's mental health, or lack thereof, that he was planning to leave the next administration no choice but to stay in Iraq. Sounds like a plan to bomb Iran, eh?
One thing seems sure. The financial meltdown, leaving the federal government in bankruptcy court, is not a mistake by the Bushites. Breaking the financial back of the federal treasury, in order to throw all of those "FDR/Communist 'entitlement' programs" out the window, has long been the goal of the Republican party, not just the ultra-conservative or neoconservative manifestations of it.
Both scenarios are frightening. Moreover, they lead us to the conclusion that the Bush Administration should have no hand in trying to solve this problem. (or any other problem, for that matter. I'm beginning to think that there is no bad news, no matter how bad, that the Bushites can't find a way to that event event into a gold mine for them and/or their pals on Wall Street and, often, their political supporters, plus the added joy of seeing their political rank and file opposition crash and burn. (There own rank and file, caught in the killing fields in Iraq and Afghanistan and the financial meat grinder at home, like most Americans in the poorer end of the spectrum of America's very own caste system, are just collateral damage,. unfortunate and all that, but necessary for the CAUSE.)
There's no doubt that the timing of this forced legislation is fortuitous for the Bush Administration. The passage of this proposal could be the last act of Congress before an election. Lawmakers don't want to look like they're politically stagnated right before their constituents head to the polls, making Congress more likely to go along with the plan.
More political chicken is obviously being played, right when we need bi-partisan sanity, not more D.C. games. Maybe there really is no sanity left in Washington, D.C.. How could there be? They can't even agree on what is real and what is not. Theynot only don't share any of the same opinions, which is expected, but they don't share the same facts, which is not to be expected and can be a sign of a number of things, none of which is good.
While the argument can be made that the meltdown has been approaching for months, it's been clear for weeks that government intervention was needed to stem the tide. Paulson's three-page proposal was presented to Congress a mere five days before their fall recess. The proposal came packaged with wild warnings from the White House about the dire consequences of Congress' inaction.
An economic collapse is coming. It is only a matter of when, sometime between now and late January. I will be amazed if we make it until Christmas. There is really not a damn thing we can do about it.
Bailouts are not the answer. All this bailout is going to do is just what the others have done; kick the can down the road and make matters worse. As American taxpayers and voters we must be aware of what has been clear to many of us for many years now, that our opinions don't matter to the very people who are now in hysterics and screaming bloody murder that we face hells gates if we don't clean up their mess. It's called extortion. Typical of a protection racket. Forget bailouts, call the RICO squad.
Some have equated this situation to the administration's rush to war. Also, the administration's slowness to fully comprehend or react to impending financial troubles reminds many of the ignored warnings about al-Qaeda before Sept. 11, 2001.
Used car salesmen: you have to hurry, make a decision fast or all will be lost. This administration has no credibility; like the little boy who cried wolf. Of course, this time, they are really in trouble and so are the rest of us, but nothing, least of all bailouts, is going to stop this trainwreck. No more cover-ups, fix-ups (legal and otherwise) or non-answers from on high.
This administration has been running a protection racket since 9/11/01, at the very least. American minds were shocked and awed by the events of 9/11 including the anthrax attacks which followed and nothing has has been the same since. We were hammered with one "orange" alert after another, witnessed increased incidents of terrorism worldwide and, of course, Osama's top ten video hits, hitting the airwaves at the most opportune times for this administration.
It's like the cold war on steroids.
We have been continuously lied to, if not deceived, fear-mongered and whipped into sick, patriotic vengeance-seeking against people who had nothing to do with 9/11.
We have lived through the Bush/Cheney nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue, feeling powerless and hopeless to stop the massive train-wreck we saw coming. Now, our deaf government wants us to believe that while our thoughts and opinions may not be worth much, our money certainly is quite powerful. We can save the world! Of course, we are talking about money we don't have yet and may never have. (Does anyone suddenly feel richer as a result of this last week? I know I don't.)
In any case, there were plenty of people talking about the crisis before this fall. Then New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post in February that was remarkably prescient about the looming crisis, ending it with the following warning:
"When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners, the Bush administration will not be judged favorably. The tale is still unfolding, but when the dust settles, it will be judged as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in their quest for profits."
Spitzer testified before Congress on the subject the same day the piece was published. He noted that the Bush Administration actively prohibited state's attorney generals from enforcing their own laws curbing predatory lending. The federal government even went as far as to stop an investigation of discriminatory lending in Spitzer's home state.
Spitzer was not the first, and certainly not the last, to bring attention to the crisis. As far back as 2004, the FBI warned of a coming mortgage crisis. But, as the Los Angeles Times reported last month, when the FBI asked for more resources to fight mortgage fraud, the program got cuts instead.
There's no way to give credit to all the people who warned of this crisis before the meltdown. But let's take a quick look at the man that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) accused of reacting too slowly to the crisis.
On March 22, 2007, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) wrote a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke and Paulson warning of a "potential coming wave of foreclosures," urging quick action from both the government and the private sector. He concluded the letter with the following:
"There is an opportunity here to bring different interests together in the best interests of American homeowners and the American economy. Please don't let this opportunity pass us by."
Eighteen months later to the day, the government has the gall to prod Congress into acting.
And McCain, right before he faulted Obama for not immediately speaking out about the economic crash last week, apparently spoke too soon. He flailed widely for a solution, even irrationally calling for the firing of Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Chris Cox. His actions this week have been denounced as "un-presidential" by conservative stalwarts such as George Will and the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal.
It could be that the Bush Administration had such skewed priorities that they just didn't see the crisis until it was too big to miss. But it's also possible that they were playing the disaster capitalism game so eloquently outlined by author Naomi Klein, who leveled such a charge last week: Let things deteriorate until there is no choice about the matter, and then let government contractors swoop in and save the day at a massive profit.
Oh, they saw it coming!
They set out to cause it.
They simply misjudged the time it would take for them to be "outed," so to speak, as highly irresponsible, greedy, entitled, lustful maniacs who do not live in the same reality as any of us.
No way, no how, McCain!
One of the recurring themes for lawmakers who are analyzing the proposal on the Hill this week is that the Bush Administration has left many questions unanswered. One of the questions we think they should be asking, whether this crisis came from ignorance or a master plan is, "Why should we put you people in charge of fixing this mess?"
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.