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View Diary: Bill Halter comes out swinging - SLAMS (!!) Lincoln for bailout vote (193 comments)

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  •  bingo - that captures my perspective (1+ / 0-)
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    quite well.

    You wrote:

    the financial meltdown of 08-09

    Independent commentators were warning about serious problems by the middle of the 2000s. The Fed began employing 'emergency' actions in 2007. By 2008, they were bailing out Bear Stearns while Congress - and Bush - were so concerned about the state of the economy that by spring 2008, we were doing hokey things like that $600 tax rebate which was just enough to do nothing.

    That's the heart of the anger. It's an emergency when the wealthy need money. The economy will [insert Armageddon scenario here] if we don't give money to rich people by [insert vague urgent timeline here]. That didn't start with TARP. The economy didn't suddenly and unexpectedly freeze up in September 2008. Policy makers had a whole freakin' year of 'emergency' actions to address the 'urgent' fire - and they let it burn and burn and burn and burn and, well, you get the idea...

    It's of course legitimate to have other perspectives. But I think it's important to be able to see why some Americans are so pissed off. The 'emergencies' conveniently happen in ways that mean rich people get more money, all the while conveniently not including anything that fixes the underlying problems to prevent the next emergency. There's been very little 'bailout' for average Americans; we are dependent upon trillions of dollars 'trickling down' to the rest of us. This puts Democrats in a very vulnerable political position because, nevermind the details, in short framing we're basically on the side of the banks. We've cast our lot with Wall Street.

    I think that's a bad political move, and we should do everything possible to change course.

    •  Well I think that's the wrong framing here (1+ / 0-)
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      No doubt, that IS the way TARP has been framed... "it's an emergency when the wealthy need money."  But TARP wasn't an emergency simply because "the wealthy needed money."  Had the banks been allowed to collapse, trillions and trillions in investment and retirement savings of average Americans would have gone out the window, and the $700 billion move, in retrospect, would have looked like a genius move.

      I understand why Americans are angry.  We have every right to be angry, at the right people.  Be mad at the banks for screwing everything up.  Be mad at the government for allowing this stuff to go on for so long.  Be mad at Congress for not having passed comprehensive financial reform yet.  But don't blame TARP as being part of the problem - it isn't.  This diary, and the video in the diary, focuses specifically on a loan program that, objectively speaking, is NOT part of the problem.  That our politicians and media are throwing TARP in with all the problems that lead to this disaster is what I'm objecting to.

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