Thursday, January 21, 2010

Could The Administration Really Be As Stupid As They Sound?

I understand the political imperative:  You just got your political head handed to you by the embarrassing loss of  'The Kennedy Seat' in Massachusetts.  The dream of major health care reform, if not dead, is barely showing a pulse. What you are willing to settle for as a health care 'victory' would have been seen as an outrageous failure six months ago.  So what do you do to recharge your 'change' props and get back in the good graces of the 'angry' voter? 

You go after the greedy bankers.

Now, let me be clear:  You know that the term I've often used when referring to these Wall Street guys is 'bankster.'  So I don't have too high an opinion of their ethical makeup or professional skills. But the grandstanding speech given today about how 'we're gonna get tough on the big banks so they can't abuse the system and bring it all crashing down on us again' ignores one simple, but big, fact:

Most of the entities responsible for the meltdown were not banks.

AIG--not a bank.  Lehman--not a bank.  Bear Sterns, Fannie Mae--not banks.  Various and sundry mortgage brokers who peddled subprime crapola--not banks.  The rating agencies who took the crapola and slapped AAA ratings on it--yes, you got it--they weren't banks, either.

Even the survivors like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley--they weren't banks when the meltdown occured either. 

So what are these guys in Washington smoking?

We have 10% unemployment; almost 20% underemployment.  Unemployment for people under the age of 30 in the black community is approaching 50%.  Yet the first major initiative after the Brown election shocker is to make it harder for banks to make money. (Yeah, THAT'S gonna really free up credit to small business.  That's really gonna help with credit card issues.)

Understand, I'm not worried about the banks.  They will find a way to work around anything that Washington can throw at them.  Other than the pain of a short term market correction, these proposed new regulations will be as irrelevant and unimportant as all the big talk about reining in health insurers and big pharma turned out to be over the past year.

But what about jobs?

I repeat, what about jobs?

One year into the era of change, can you give me the name of one specific job initiative.  Can you describe even one job program?  We have endless talk and posturing about health care and Wall Street bonuses, but the urgency of putting people back to work seems to always be an afterthough.


Where's the WPA.  Where's the CCC? Where's the real effort to get paychecks into the hands of ordinary Americans?  Either via direct government hiring, or by agressive efforts that gives a real and tangible incentives for private business to hire back workers?

But noooo.  Let's pretend that the anger we perceive from the public is simply anger about the fat cats. 

Well here's a news flash, morons:  if people had jobs they would give a flying fig about fat cats and if they don't have jobs, nothing you do to the fat cats is gonna help.

It was a disgusting and pitiful sight today to see rich white men who never spent a day in their life unemloyed and never had to meet a payroll trash other rich white men in an effort to shift the focus away from the fact that they have failed to do what they promised.

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