Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Bush and Banks Robbing the American Taxpayer

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I’ve written about this a little since Sep 15th, when everything in the financial markets went to hell.  I didn’t trust the Bush “administration” to handle the financial crisis with any degree of honesty or integrity.  I take no pleasure in reading news reports that my worst fears continue to come true.  Bush and Sec. Treasury Paulson are taking American taxpayers for a ride; a ride that they will never be held accountable.  How bad is it already?  As detailed by Jerome a Paris, here are the up-to-date details:

  • the original $700 billion bailout;
  • an additional $140 billion in tax breaks for banks (quietly non-announced by the Bushies);
  • $150 billion for AIG, on much sweeter terms than they were paying for the earlier $85 billion bailout (with a whoopping 5% drop in the interest rate they have to pay, for instance);
  • lest we forget, the $29 billion guarantee to JPMorgan for Bear Stearns assets (but that’s almost small change now);
  • and $1,200 billion new liabilities on the Fed’s (ie ultimately the taxpayers’) balance sheet, backed by mostly junk paper;

That’s $2.3 Trillion in just under two months’ time.  From a party that will whine for the next four years that Democrats are being fiscally conservative.  Is it responsible or moral to give away more taxpayer money to banks that ran around unregulated for years?  Is it responsible or moral to renegotiate the AIG deal with a lower interest rate when they blew through their original giveaway in a few weeks’ time?  Is it moral or responsible for the Federal Reserve to refuse to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral?

This is the kind of immoral and irresponsible behavior that cost the Cons the 2008 elections.  Yet, the lesson they’ve learned so far from the elections is they didn’t attack Democrats enough; they weren’t loud enough about their failed ideas and policies.  Believe me, the American voter heard more than enough disgusting Con attacks.  Voters have suffered under the Cons’ failed policies.  The problem is Con policies are too extreme for America.  If Cons want to come back toward the center-left the nation actually occupies, they’ll win plenty of elections.

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