Thank goodness for the GOP


Last week the Republicans on the congressional Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) released an "authoritative" report blaming our country's economic collapse on the Community Reinvestment Act (the act that expanded home ownership to middle-income families), on the quasi-government mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and on mortgage loans to people of color.

And to think that up to now I erroneously thought the causes were things like powerful unregulated financial institutions, the proliferation of hedge funds and risky financial products, reckless big-money managers, and Wall Street-driven debt and bubble economics!

All of that toxic brew, I believed, flowed uncontrollably through the arteries of our capitalist economy, whose singular dynamic is - am I wrong about this too? - to maximize profits for a tiny tier of rich financial managers, corporate owners and super-wealthy families.

Am I glad that these "good men of the GOP" set me straight!

Thanks to this report, I'm relieved from blaming Wall Street and the politicians who greased the skids for bringing down the country. I have spent much too much time and energy over the past two years cursing the "Greed is Good" philosophy and practice of the likes of Goldman Sachs and Citicorp. In this new mental universe, Gordon Gecko, the unscrupulous character in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street" movies, and Dubya can become my heroes - not low-life charlatans, not the scum, but the salt of the earth.

But hold on! My education didn't end here. I also learned from the Repubs on the FCIC that in addition to reining in Fannie and Freddie and irresponsible homebuyers, elected officials should "take seriously the need to reduce our federal deficit."

Really! Damn! I hate to admit it (nobody likes being wrong), but I was under the false impression that the lesson from this economic catastrophe was the pressing need to restructure and stimulate the economy in the interests of the American people and ecological sustainability.

The federal deficit - inherited from the Bush administration and then unavoidably enlarged due to declining revenues and necessary counter-crisis spending measures to jumpstart a stagnant economy - I wrongly assumed was a lower-order problem.

In other words, I incorrectly believed that the deficit had to be reduced, but not in the short or medium term. In fact, the corrective prescription to a slumping economy in my mixed-up mind was actually to spend more, not less, on jobs, local government and public services.

But thanks to the Republicans on the FCIC, I see the error of my ways. There's an easy recipe for revitalizing the U.S. economy and fixing its finances - reduce the federal deficit. It's that simple.

Cut out pork like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment insurance, funding for education, and food stamps. Tighten up lending. Create a stable, profit-friendly investment environment and before you know it the economy will go into overdrive. The two trillion dollars of idle investment capital will flood into the real economy in a heartbeat (even though most Americans - other then the tiny group of very wealthy people - don't have much money to spend for consumption goods).

This is good to know going into the New Year! And it makes me think: what a treasure we have in the right-wing-dominated Republican Party! It lights up the dark. It brings clarity where there is confusion. And it saves us from our worst selves.

I'm sure this holiday season I'll receive (hopefully) a gift or two under the Christmas tree, but none of them can match this report from the good fellows of the Republican Party.

Nothing is as precious as truth. Thank you my good friends.

And if you believe this, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I am ready to sell you.

Photo: americans4financialreform CC 2.0



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  • Can't wait to read the article comparing the GOP plan and the Commission's final report. Should be a hoot.

    Posted by UnionCat, 12/26/2010 9:00pm (5 years ago)

  • Good economic theory, good politics and good humor. Thanks Sam. Who says theory has got to be boring.

    Posted by Jarvis Tyner, 12/23/2010 12:54pm (5 years ago)

  • Sam;

    I'm curious...just what would a "gimme, gimme" person like yourself know about something as "precious" as "the truth"? Have you and your types had ANY meaningful experience in generating the capital that supports jobs? What have you got to show for your "efforts" (and those of people like you) except generations of failure and dependence upon others (you know; those who are actually willing to put out the effort to generate capital and provide MEANINGFUL job opportunities) for your very existence?

    Sorry, but sometimes I kinda' get a little sick of hearing the peculiar brand of "economics" loutish, ungrateful clowns like you espouse and attempt to foist off on others. Get real, will ya'?

    Posted by Ken Meyer, 12/22/2010 8:22pm (5 years ago)

  • Great article Sam! it's about time to inject some humor into these very serious political articles.

    Posted by Lance Cohn, 12/21/2010 9:49pm (5 years ago)

  • Organizing,organizing,organizing for peace,peace peace and jobs,jobs,jobs,unionization,unionization,unionization,side by side the banal calls for hundreds of coupon clippers to rule hundreds of millions in the U.S.,in the wake of Citizens v Federal and Holder v Humanitarian Law is our chanllenge.
    Many,many organizers and progressives are busy at this now-thank goodness.
    The apparati of the One Nation together action will be helpful. Obviously this effort moved to stay the hand of the extreme right,with and in the event of the Nov 2010 elections-we didn't get the response we worked for,but we maintained important ground and unions obtained new levels of electoral organization in many localities.
    Now is the time to establish millions of relationships with those who helped the historic movement to defeat the extreme right in Nov 2008,and those who have worked to blunt and stop the sharp weapons of Citizens and Holder.
    As this article ridicules and derides the extreme right and its failed solutions,we must build unity and the peace movement,against the austerity and compromises of the center and right center,because these "compromises will violently worsen the conditions of women,Latinos,African Americans,youth,the elderly,immigrants-the working class(note the long term economic damage the tax break for the rich extension will do versus the short term pittance,of unemployment extension,badly needed,to youth and elderly) and all,as the recent narrow defeats of The Dream Act and Don't Ask show.
    It is not so much time for massive ridicule as it is time for massive peace and job programs with a base in the great numbers of people in the United States of America.
    It is no historic accident that the One Nation Together demonstration took place on the "Mahatma's" birthday to celebrate the real legacy of MLK.
    If the millions,especially in the labor movement,get millions more involved in unity and struggle between now and Nov 2012,we will surely be able to protect future gains of the working class between 2012 and 2016.
    Thank goodness for the CPUSA and its quiet but profound role in the One Nation Together effort,and its future.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 12/21/2010 1:42pm (5 years ago)

  • At least they maintain their cast iron resolve to not waver from their true character in their whole hearted attempts with Reagan and Bush to bankrupt the country so they can spout off with a background of economic trouble their eternal and hypocritical mantra of " Cut government spending and balance the budget ! "

    Posted by Leandro DellaPiana, 12/21/2010 1:15pm (5 years ago)

  • Lets not overlook the collusion of government - both parties - in undermining regulation (e.g., OFHEO) and thwarting State efforts to curb predatory lending (Google Bush - Spitzer). Wall Street had lots of help from Congress and the executive branch. Things aren't much different under Obama.

    Posted by Erik Kengaard, 12/21/2010 1:11pm (5 years ago)

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