Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Largest Government Bailout In History: Socialism on an Unprecendented Scale

The Party That Wrecked America-our beloved Republithugs- has sponsored the most massive socialistic program-"the mother of all bailouts"- in the history of the world toprop up our wobbling financial system, and has put you and me, and all other taxpayers, on the hook for One Trillion Dollars at least, in addition to the other centi-billion dollar bailouts that have been engineered to prop up the plummeting housing market and our failing banking system.

Not that the Republicans stand alone- Obama has added his voice to that of McCain and his Trailer-Trash running mate, as well as to that of Bush- in supporting this massive misallocation of taxpayer funds at a juncture in our history where they could not be more wanted for other dire necessities.

Our leadership in both parties has totally failed us.

Make you no mistake- this is a bipartisan debacle that will not only elevate your cost of living steeply while robbing our cities and towns of badly needed revenues for dire infrastructure needs and critical civil services- as cities are deprived of "give-backs" of the federal income taxes their populations have paid in-but will drive the U.S. Treasury that much closer to insolvancy.

Those of you who remember my postings as "Paradise" on Craig's blog a few years ago will recall that I Told You So, but even I could not have predicted the cascading failure that is unfolding in front of us now.

If you believe that the bailouts that have been promulgated will in any manner benefit the American taxpayer, homeowner, or typical citizen, then you are delusional, and have clearly been drinking too much Kudlow and Cramer kool-aid on CNBC.

And if you believe that this country has, or ever had, anything resembling a Free Market, then you are so drunk on the kool-aid that all anyone can do for you is check you into rehab.

The trillion dollars or so that the series of bailouts promulgated thus far will be in addition to the $5 trillion of worthless mortgages belonging to FNMA and FNMA that we have been placed on the hook for. And it will not stop there, for remember that the FDIC, which insures your bank deposits up to $100,000 per customer, is also steeply underfunded, and will need more money just to cover the bank failures that are coming down the tube in the next few years. Some prognosticators predict that as many of half of the extant banks out there will fail, representing a couple hundred billion in deposits at least;yet the FDIC at this time has only $50 Billion to insure $1 trillion in deposits.

This disaster will continue to unfold at least for another two years, and the money allocated thus far will be soaked up like three drops of rain on a sidewalk in July.

What does this mean to the denizens of North Coast neighborhoods, as well as to the other citizens of Chicago?

It means that Chicago, one of the largest net taxpayers in the country second only to New York City and Los Angeles, as well as one of the last in line for federal "give-backs" of tax revenue, will suffer more deterioration of critical water, sewer, and transportation infrastructure, while local taxes will escalate to offset the dwindling funding from Washington. It means more income taxes for everyone- and if you believe that McCain can keep income taxes level, let alone lower them, while the federal deficit baloons to the point where the U.S. Treasury can no longer meet its debt service, then you deserve everything that will happen to you and the rest of us as this country continues to lurch toward complete bankruptcy.

It will mean even less money available for the failing war effort in Iraq, and still less available to the military in order to secure our oil supplies allover the world. For that is what our military really is- it is our oil security service, for every war we have fought in the past 80 years has really been about access to oil and safeguarding oil pipelines in the hot spots of the world. Those of you who think such a concern is frivolous and the money spent on it is wasted, be prepared to park your car and do without adequate heat and hot water for a looooooog time.

To those of you who made money flipping condos and houses during the credit-based housing boom of the past ten years- well, I hope you enjoyed yourselves, even though it was at my expense and that of not only every honest citizen who bought only what he/she could afford to pay for or not at all (and less than what they should have been able to buy for the same money), but at the expense of every taxpayer in the country. The party is over now and most likely forever, and you will have to earn your living by honest effort now. I hope you got bagged good and proper on your last attempted flip. May you spend the rest of your lives living in one-room apartments in four-plus-ones.

As for the efficacy of the bailout, it is money shot to hell that will only add to our national debt while the $400 Trillion or so worth of derivatives, based on worthless CDO paper that is worth perhaps a third its face amount, at a ratio of leverage of something like 10:1; will continue to unravel. Will we be able to bailout another ONE HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLARS worth of derivatives based on almost-worthless CDOs?

Such is the price of the spree of greed, fraud, and out-and-out larceny that was the Housing Bubble of the Early 21st Century. The poor are poorer, there are more homeless than ever, housing costs are 40% higher for almost everyone than 8 years ago, and millions of homeowners owe more on their places than they are worth. So much for the fabulous "wealth creation" of the fake boom.

Just one thing more- why have there been no Perp Walks for the financial industry honchos who built themselves $40MM mansions and bought 500' yachts with the proceeds of this rampage? Why, when about 300 million U.S. denizens are being made into unwilling homeowners, are these people permitted to keep the ill-gotten gains of the past 10 years, which include yearly compensation up into the hundreds of millions of dollars?

I mean, when I made a mistake that resulted in a $20,000-plus inventory loss a few years ago, I had to pay back almost every dime (the last $2,000 being "forgiven"). After all, I'm a licensed professional, so of course I had to pay back my losses, for, after all, I got to keep my gains.

So.. why have not the hedge fund managers, insurance and banking and lending executives, and derivatives traders who netted incomes in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually, based on their former profitability, not been compelled to give back their ill-gotten gains that have cost us our financial system?

So, in the future, let no one speak of what a wonderful thing "free markets", and unregulated larceny are and how they help "create wealth". There is no such a thing as a Free Market in a context where "freedom" means the license to steal and defraud while the responsibility for losses is passed on to parties- in this case the body of U.S. taxpayers- who did not get to attend the party but who will be stuck with the losses.

There can be no freedom without responsibility. If you are free, you must accept the responsibility for your actions. You must eat your losses. If you cannot accept the consequences of your mistakes, then you must bear with restrictions and regulations, and it's time to return our financial system to the regulatory framework that prevailed prior to 1980.

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