Worshippers of the free-market religion have found themselves racing to defend their beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence that their “free-market” doesn’t work.
First, the latest economic numbers. Jobless claims jumped to the highest level since just after the events of 9/11/01. 516,000 claims were made last week. As corporations try to keep their profits and executives try to keep their obscene compensation flowing, millions of Americans are going unemployed.
Which leads to Americans being unable to afford their homes. Foreclosures continue to set records. A couple of statistics bear watching: there were 25% more foreclosures this October compared to last October, which was higher than the October before. 279,500 homes received at least one foreclosure notice last month, 5% higher than those issued in September. More than 84,000 properties were reposessed last month. That’s 84,000 families that just lost their homes before the holiday season. How many of those folks lost their jobs earlier this year because executives wanted their multi-million dollar incomes? That’s what the “free-market” generates. Programs are being enacted to help homeowners stay in their homes. Not surprisingly, it’s been the banks that have initiated those programs. Bush’s government continues to drag its feet – the “compassionate conservatives” don’t care if thousands of Americans lose their homes. Their motto: “You’re on your own.”
I’ll point out once again that when it came to saving Bush’s cronies’ bacon, Bush and Paulson whipped out a plan real quick – because they had been planning on the financial crisis for months. They knew it was coming. Why didn’t they do anything? Because they planned on ginning up fear of a recession so they could get their plan passed through Congress quickly. There is an apt sports analogy here: you keep running a play until your opponent figures out a way to stop it. Bush has used the fear card to pass bill after bill his handlers had been sitting on. They just needed to wait for the most effective time to push them. And time and time again, Democrats in Congerss allowed themselves to be walked over. The news that Bush’s Bailout lacked any real transparency or accountability should come as no surprise: this is the most secretive, unaccountable administration in U.S. history. The question is: what are Americans going to do about it? Cluck their tongues in admonishment, only to move on to the next episode of “Dancing With The Stars”? Then they reap what they sow. The economy will not improve until Americans tell both parties that enough is enough. $290 billion of our children’s and grandchildren’s tax dollars have been given away in the largest theft in history. It’s going to be a constant pain for the next 30-60 years dealing with the debt Bush has left us. It’s actually more like a tax: the Bush tax. Thanks fiscal Cons!
In a last minute attempt to shore up his own legacy, Bush is planning on telling the rest of the world the current financial crisis is “not a failure of the free-market”. Really? What failed then? No, the facts are clear. Governments allow markets to exist. When you take government out of the market, massive financial crises like the Great Depression and this current mess are the result. Bush’s economic policies will go down in history as well as President Herbert Hoover’s. Those policies ushered in the Great Depression. What will we call Bush’s disaster?