Thursday, December 2, 2010

Republicans stand by their principles - such as they are

Former budget director David Stockman has been at it again, irritating Dems and Repubs alike with his embarassingly factual numbers. This time around, he referred to as "silly", soon-to-be House speaker John Boehner's passionate defense of tax cuts for the wealthy .

Republicans think they have been given a new mandate for implementing their ideology in congress, but I'm not so sure that the typical voter was motivated over concern for the well-being of the rich. Rebublican rhetoric on cutting taxes has always been devoid of logic, and they have combined it with blaming soaring deficits on the Democrats. What stirs my ire is that they have never been compelled to explain just how borrowing money to pay for government programs is somehow preferable to raising the needed revenue through taxation. The massive national debt got a huge jump-start from the Reagan tax cuts, then the Bush Jr. tax cuts coupled with an Iraq war charged on credit. Attacking the Democrats for the national debt is really ringing hollow.

There is so much other news to comment on, it's difficult to keep up. The ongoing Wikileaks dump of secrets is rumored to seriously impact a number of large banks. This would be a good thing, even if the markets are thrown into panic mode along the way. The public anger erupting in Ireland offers a glimpse of what could happen here - in this case, the Irish government bailed out insolvent banks that were playing casino and then caught short when the bubble burst. The cost of the bailout is being passed on to working stiffs through cuts in services, tax increases, and - get this - the minimum hourly wage is being cut by an entire Euro. In effect, the bailout of the uber-rich is being paid for by the hardest working and lowest paid folks. It's a wonder that an armed revolt hasn't already begun. The French revolution executed their royalty for lesser cause than that.

I expect that it's just a matter of time before a wave of disclosure hits the financial powers-that-be in this country. Just where did the massive trillions of bailout funds go, which the Fed is now admitted to have doled out from the off-budget "balance sheet"? Word is that European banks got a chunk. And what were the reasons for swiftly infusing trillions into the likes of Goldman Sachs, AIG, and Bank of America? What type of toxic financial instruments, casino-like gambling and outright fraud did the bailouts cover? When the American citizens discover their part in paying for rescue of the rich, things could become a bit tense over here.

If Republicans think their mandate is to simply attack the other party, let them think again. If they truly want to be agents of reform, let them divorce themselves from servitude to large corporations and bankster interests, and begin credible and impartial investigation into the misdeeds that contributed to the financial crash of 2008 and subsequent great depression. If they don't do this, they run the risk of facing the same recriminations as Democrats and anyone else who had their hands in the corrupt money pie. Disclosure will happen, and someone will begin to shout "off with their heads" before long.


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