Wednesday, November 05, 2008

How would gov't have bailed out Wall St. if they were middle class or poor?

A New York Times columnist wrote a very stupid article about how Treasury Secretary Paulson may have hurt McCain by not starting the bailouts sooner, rather than letting Lehman Brothers collapse.

It is now clear that the decision to let Lehman Brothers fail — made the weekend of Sept. 13 and 14 — provided a stunning blow to investor and consumer confidence. The economic statistics coming out now show that car sales and other retail sales, already weak, fell off a cliff. Business orders from other businesses dried up. What had been a fairly mild recession — and one that many denied was a recession at all — became a sharp one.

History does not allow do-overs, so we will never know what would have happened if Lehman had been treated as Bear Stearns was, or as the American International Group soon would be.

He seems to miss the point of why the bailout proposal justly drew the wrath of ordinary Americans on the left AND right.

Here is the response I posted on his blog:

Bailing out Lehman might have staved off the other bailouts by mere weeks or days, but it was the impression of the bailouts, not the failures, that hurt McCain.

The public perception is one of profound conservative hypocrisy and corruption. They demand unregulated capitalism and draconian cuts in the safety net for the middle class and the poor, but them trip all over themselves to bail out their wealthy friends when their scams blow up in their faces.

Think of what we do to people who need medical help without insurance or whose insurance shows them the door. They have to sell their houses, bankrupt themselves, and sometimes get divorced to qualify for help. Their lives are ruined.

By contrast, Paulson specifically demanded no strings attached, no requirements for hardship, and we have seen the results: they took our money and partied like the spoiled, useless, sociopathic frat boy human filth that they are.

If we treated them the way we do the middle class and poor who need help, they would have to drain their bank accounts of the past decades’ bonuses, sell the BMW, and three houses, and be forced to work for minimum wage until taxpayers get our bailout money back. And just for the hell of it, they would have to get random drug tests to make sure they aren't using our money for coke or crystal meth.

But of course that is based on an assumption that they are merely incompetent rather the more likely scenario that they committed intentional fraud on borrowers and the US taxpayers. In which case, they should be held in jail without bail pending their RICO trials, and wondering when it's safe to go to sleep without another inmate doing to them what they have done to America--and the world.

No comments: