Deficits Don’t Matter
So famously said one of the architects of our current financial catastrophe, Republican vice president Dick Cheney. Enron and WorldCom had just spectacularly imploded from accounting fraud and lying, tax cuts were not producing revenue and two wars were on, but screw it all, goddamnit, we jiggered the political process out of reality, we can do it with the country’s finances too. This is our due: radically plunder, principle doesn’t matter, honesty doesn’t matter, prudence doesn’t matter, deficits don’t matter.
Now of course the day is here when deficits matter a great deal, the interest payment alone is a searing cash burden while Treasury is on a desperate hunt for funds we don’t remotely have. If the Chinese ending up yet more of our debt or the Treasury goes on a berserk printing spree the end result is the same, a terribly weakened dollar the world has as much faith in as they do Republican George Bush.
What galls me the most in this evolution is not the technical economic effects of deficits but rather the classically flip modern Republican fiduciary philosophy of The Rules Mean Nothing To Us. The world can’t survive without our economy, we can print our own money if we have to, and with enough political distraction and lying we can still get elected no matter how madly we run fiscally amok. Borrow at insane rates and loot the Treasury if necessary, anything goes at election cycle to keep the charade in place.
Even as financial giants have teetered and fell into smashing smoking ruins when Republican officials were yelling everything was fine, fine just days before, even as the Republican and financial political holy grails of capitalism and free market were simply, amazingly, tossed into the hypocrisy bin of history, even as events forced the Street and Republican Treasury Secretary Paulson into nothing more than pitiful broken beggars the American finance industry and Republican political leadership still want to play with no rules and no penalties.
Republican Treasury Secretary wants seven…hundred…billion dollars. Now. No new accounting rules, no new market rules, no taxation adjustments to help pay for it, no Congressional oversight of any kind, just hand over the vast fortune we have to borrow now. Shut up, there are no rules, they mean nothing to us anyway.
I was so charmed to read yesterday as writers and experts were trying to ingest this insanity of arrogance that a debt swap for assets—instead of this sick payoff to wrecked lying finance companies—was not in the works because, you see, Wall Street wouldn’t like it. They’d actually have to take losses on the books for screwing up. Rules? Accountability? Responsibility? Not the Republican Way, American, especially when it comes to taking your money.
More warm good will flowed freely toward the financial industry—it has brought us all such joy and tenderness through the years, yes—this morning when I saw Republican financial industry whiners actually proclaim accounting rules where a culprit in our current conflagration, feeble rules that nonetheless tried to obtain some transparency to their lying insanity.
Own the political establishment lock, stock and barrel for eight years and get enabled by a “journalism” corps run by Disney, General Electric and Viacom all that time and this amazing, incredulous sickening arrogance is the result: it wasn’t our own greed, lying and abuse that created this crisis, it was those rules we lie about and ignore anyway that did it. Jesus save us.
I’ve got some news for our catastrophically stupid screwup Republican and financial industry looters and whiners: your panicked ripoff bailout monstrosity is dead. Don’t take this furious American and liberal’s word for it, hell, your own House Republican delegation brings the news.
After the technology bubble, after Enron, after the housing bubble, after all the insane borrowing, and after taking a huge dump on bedrock philosophical principles they are not going to enable this insanity and face the voters in November. Even the Democratic leadership in Congress won’t get politically boxed into a corner where they votes for this ripoff and then have Republicans run against them on it in the Fall, which of course they would.
This bailout is dead, it has nothing to do with economic variables, the American political mechanism simply can’t spit it out. I see from the news yesterday the rest of the world and the markets perceive it too, the dollar plummeted and oil set a record for one day gain, my my my, a bad day for all of us.
The Republican political leadership and Wall Street better get used to it fast. They still desperately run around as if there just couldn’t be any rules or consequences for them, but the game is finally over. There’s going to be total hell to pay, everyone has to sacrifice to clean it up, rules will be enforced for everyone, and the idiots who perpetrated this outrage of incompetence will be held accountable. Welcome to reality, finally, thanks for taking down the rest of us to finally get there.