Washington is operating today as if we have been conquered by a foreign power that has suspended our democracy and doesn’t care what the American people think.
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Such a crony capitalist political machine is in the tradition of Argentina, or Venezuela, but not America.
Juan Peron, or Hugo Chavez?
Just as with the health care bill, this reality of the legislation President Obama is promoting is not stopping him from telling us just the opposite. Last Thursday, at Cooper Union in New York, President Obama said regarding the Dodd bill:
“Now, there’s a legitimate debate taking place about how best to ensure taxpayers are held harmless.… But what’s not legitimate is to suggest that somehow the legislation being proposed is going to encourage future taxpayer bailouts, as some have claimed. That makes for a good sound bite, but it’s not factually accurate. It is not true…. nobody should be fooled in this debate.”
The Wall Street Journal noted the bigger deceit on that same day, saying:
President Obama came to office promising an era of political comity, but…[m]ore than any President in recent memory, Mr. Obama has a tendency to vilify his opponents in personal terms and assail their arguments as dishonest, illegitimate or motivated by bad faith.
The Journal noted the President denouncing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as “merely a mouthpiece for the bankers” for opposing Obama’s permanent TARP bailout socialism bill. The Journal continued:
Mr. Obama added that Mr. McConnell’s objections to the bill were not merely “just plain false” but also “cynical” — and then he repeated the attack on motives at another event the following evening. We can’t recall anything close to this kind of language from say Ronald Reagan toward House Speaker Tip O’Neill, or even George W. Bush after Harry Reid called him a “liar.” But it is an Obama staple.
The Journal recognized, “Likewise, in his September address to Congress on health care, Mr. Obama did not merely disagree with opponents but accused them of being “cynical and irresponsible,” spreading “misinformation,” and making “bogus,” “wild” or “false” claims through “demagoguery and distortion.” I have shown over and over in this column how all of this applies to President Obama’s own rhetoric on health care, which never fooled the American people. Moreover, how is this consistently tawdry, misleading rhetoric advancing the supposed era of post-partisanship that candidate Obama promised us as a central theme throughout his 2008 campaign?
In a December interview, President Obama explained, regarding the “bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street”:
“They’re still puzzled why is it that people are mad at banks. Well, let’s see. You guys are drawing down $10, $20 million bonuses after America went through the worst economic year that it’s gone through in — in decades, and you guys caused the problem.”
But vilifying Wall Street for causing the financial crisis is just another political propaganda stunt taking advantage of the gullible to provide cover for the permanent bailout socialism power grab. While the financial community did lapse into some excesses, that was mostly in response to the incentives provided by badly misguided government policies, and by itself would not have caused much broader economic harm.
The real cause of the financial crisis was those badly misguided government policies. As Stanford economics guru John Taylor explains in his book, Getting Off Track, the crisis was rooted in the incredibly loose, cheap dollar, low interest rate monetary policies of the Fed from 2001 to 2006. Those policies were so loose that negative real interest rates were maintained for 2 ½ years, even while the economy was already expanding briskly. Such negative real rates were like payments to financial firms to take on excessive leveraging and risk, which is exactly what they did in response. The excess money poured into a hot housing market during those years, creating the housing bubble. When the inevitable bursting of that bubble came, the financial crisis was the natural result, bringing down all the overleveraged firms. The Fed’s misguided policies brought back a classic boom and bust business cycle, after Reagan’s strong dollar, anti-inflation monetary policies had slain the business cycle for 25 years, a generation.
Greatly exacerbating the problem was misguided, counterproductive overregulation, not deregulation or lack of regulation. It began 30 years ago with the Community Reinvestment Act, abused under President Clinton in the 1990s, along with HUD and Justice Department discrimination suits, initiating the bad loan policies of the subprime mortgage market. Banking regulators promoting cheap, easy mortgages only added to the problem. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac then spread the problem throughout the financial community, worldwide, promoting securities based on those junk mortgages. The credit rating agencies backed by government regulation further misled everybody by granting AAA ratings to those securities. This began the housing bubble even before the Fed got going. When the bubble inevitably burst, the trillions in weak mortgages betting on ever rising housing prices naturally caused chaos in financial markets.
Common Sense, Responsible Regulation
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online