30 September 2008

Bob Herbert, Truth-Teller

The original article by Bob Herbert is available from The New York Times (now free, but BugMeNot or reg. req.), but I just have to quote extensively from it because so many of the points are so completely spot-on.
I’m not holding my breath, but I would like to see the self-proclaimed conservative, small government, anti-regulation, free-market zealots step up and take responsibility for wrecking the American economy and bringing about the worst financial crisis since the Depression.

Hear, hear!

George H.W. Bush warned us about “voodoo economics” in 1980, but the ideologues clamped a gag on him and put him on the Gipper’s ticket. For much of the time since then, the madmen of the right have carried the day. They were freed of their remaining few restraints with the ascendance of George W. Bush in 2000.

These were the reckless clowns who led us into the foolish multitrillion-dollar debacle in Iraq and who crafted tax policies that enormously benefited millionaires and billionaires while at the same time ran up staggering amounts of government debt. This is the crowd that contributed mightily to the greatest disparities in wealth in the U.S. since the gilded age.

This was the crowd that cut the cords of corporate and financial regulations and in myriad other ways gleefully
hacked away at the best interests of the United States.

(bolding mine.)

This is a point I don't see brought up nearly often enough. These morons have finished the job the terrorists started. Think about it for a moment: what do you think was Al-Queda's actual goal in attacking the World Trade Center? Sure it would kill some people, and strike fear in the hearts of others, but why that building instead of, say, the Statue of Liberty?

Answer: because the WTC was a symbol of America's economic might. Al-Queda can't win a war with us based on body count, and they know that. But they can destabilise America economically, and bring it down from its position as the only superpower or the forceful imposer of Western values, or at least that was their plan; little did they know we can do that ourselves far more efficiently than they, and the proof is here in the pudding.

In short, the NeoCon economics "gurus" who pushed this crap on us have not only lowered our standard of living and reversed a decade of economic growth, they've sold out this country for a few extra dollars of profit and really don't seem to care. That's as least as anti-American as anything Al-Queda ever dreamed up, and probably explains why they haven't attacked us directly since 9/11; why bother? We've surrendered our civil liberties and our economic power ourselves, by supporting these traitors as they raped and plundered our country.

Now these same robber barons are holding our pensions, retirement funds and hopes for the future hostage as the ransom tops a trillion more dollars of debt. Could Al-Queda have handled this any better?

Think about it.

When President Bush went on television last week to drum up support for the bailout package, he looked almost dazed, like someone who’d just climbed out of an auto wreck.

“Our entire economy is in danger,” he said.

He should have said that he, along with his irresponsible Republican colleagues and their running buddies in the corporate and financial sectors, put the entire economy in danger. John McCain and his economic main man, Phil (“this is a mental recession”) Gramm, were right there running with them.

Let me be blunt: the fact that this guy in particular is not swinging from a tree near Wall Street astounds me. In simpler times, he would be.

Since I am anti-lynching and anti-death-penalty (unlike "pro lifers"), I would strongly advise Mr Gramm and his neocon wife not to show their face in public ever again. Retire to one of their many houses, find a private golf club, enjoy their grandchildren. If average taxpayers ever understand exactly how badly they've been screwed by this one individual -- almost solely responsible for the "Enron" loophole, the subprime crisis and this credit crunch -- there will be no place in the US safe enough for him to walk the streets.

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