Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Politics as Usual!

The notion that some sort of non-regulation of securities by Bush has caused the current downturn is disingenuous. Every credible economist insists now that the housing crisis fueled by the demands of President Clinton and his ilk that everybody own a house is the cause. Bush warned repeatedly during his administration that something had to be done but lacked the guts or the means to turn that around. He compounded the mess by starting the bailouts with the $300-per-person gratuities early last year and made things much worse by signing into law the humongous $787 billion “bank bailout” last fall. That’s not quite fair because the Congress was completely taken over by democrats in January 2007, so that’s where the boondoggles started but he could have vetoed them, as he should have.

When the democrats took over, the market stood at 12,622 (24 January 2007). It increased during the boom in place until 09 October 2007 (14,165). Then came the campaign, with either Clinton or Obama heavily favored to win – not much difference in philosophy. By 15 October 2008 the market stood at 8,578. On 04 March, it was 6,876. It has lost one-half its value in the two years democrats have controlled Congress and lost one-fourth of its value since Obama essentially took control with his pronouncements after the election. Obama’s refrain, along with his Congress, has been to do what FDR did.

Concerning FDR: Henry Morgenthau was Treasury Secretary 1934-45 during the Great Depression of the 1930s and said this in 1939: “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong…somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises…I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started…And an enormous debt to boot!” The unemployment rate in 1933 was 25%, in 1939, 17%.

In the middle of all the prosperity since WWII, Jimmy Carter and an overwhelmingly democrat-controlled Congress nearly did what Obama’s trying to do – turn the USA socialist, though he tried it another way – interest rates at 21% and rate of inflation in 1980 at 13.5%. The unemployment rate (7.5% in January 1981, about what it is now) reached 10.8% in September 1982 before Reagan fought it out successfully with House Speaker Tip O’Neill and the democrats for years to get the economy back on track. That ended the malaise-thing, which the rednecks, both democrat and republican, thought was actually something slathered on bread or dumped on lettuce.

The latest broken promise by the Anointed One has to do with his refusal to veto the current $410 billion budget bill account of its 8-9,000 earmarks (amounting to some $7.7 million, if anyone actually knows), the things Obama said he would end. The excuse: last year’s business. It would have been better if he and his press guy had said nothing. The Congress of last year is virtually the same as the current one, both run by the democrats. The hypocrisy stinks.

This is from Bloomberg, by Mark Drajem: “March 2 (Bloomberg) -- Ron Kirk, President Barack Obama’s nominee as U.S. trade representative, agreed to pay $9,975 in back taxes, partly for improperly deducting tickets to Dallas Mavericks basketball games, a Senate panel said. Kirk, a lawyer at Vinson & Elkins LLP in Dallas and a former mayor of the city, also erred in failing to report, as income, honoraria he received and donated to a scholarship fund at Austin College, the Senate Finance Committee said today in a report.

Committee Chairman Max Baucus and the White House said they still support Kirk, the fifth of Obama’s nominees to top posts whose family taxes have become an issue in the Senate’s confirmation process. Kirk’s back-tax bill is a fraction of the $48,268 paid by Tim Geithner, who was confirmed as Treasury secretary, and the $140,000 posted by Tom Daschle, who withdrew his nomination for Health and Human Services secretary.”

This is another tip-off of how a Chicago machine-politician sees government, something to USE for whatever purpose, without a smidgen of loyalty. While young men fight and die, these tax-dodging sleazebags make it into the highest offices. Yeah...that’s UGLY, but apparently the amount is what matters, not the principle. Daschle just took TOO much, but Geithner, who only paid up for two years of stealing out of four (statute of limitations), and Kirk...well, just cheating for chump change (just under a cool $10,000)...so let these crooks have the plush jobs. This is rank corruption – stinks!

Obama should tell Kirk to bug out, but that won’t happen. The Senate ought to vote “nay,” but that won’t happen. The lady tax-cheater who was supposed to have the new Obama-created conformance post stepped out, though her rip-off was less than a thousand. Maybe she had an idea of principle, while these other cheaters have no principles at all. Disgusting!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

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