When Will Poor, Working, and Middle Class Learn That the #GOP is Not Their Party?

The Great Depression was the direct result of the Gilded Age, a time when banks, corporations, and the men (were there any women or people of color in power then?) of wealth and power had government by the balls, treated workers like shit, and worst of all when it came to banks, wildly speculated with their depositors’ money, lost it all, and crashed the economy.

 

Sound familiar? It should.

 

Tanks and cavalry prepare to evacuate the Bonus Army July 28, 1932
Tanks and cavalry prepare to
evacuate the Bonus Army
July 28, 1932

A YouTube video about The Bonus Army recently landed in my inbox. It seemed to be blaming the wrong people and trying to connect past and present dots that simply do not exist or connect except in ways that conservatives and Republicans would rather they didn’t.

H.R. 7726, the Patman Bonus Bill that would have paid WWI vets their bonus early, was passed mostly by Democrats in the House of Representatives in 1932. The vote was 211-176. 152 (72% of the total) of the 211 Aye votes were by Democrats. 126 (again, 72%) of the 176 Nay votes were from Republicans.

When HR 7726 reached the Senate, it was rejected 18-62. It was a more “bi-partisan” split on the 62 Nay votes. Only slightly more Republicans (35) than Democrats (27) voted against it. Still, it was rejected by more Republicans than Democrats.

The point here being that it was Democrats looking out for and trying to do the right thing for the little guy – in this case, WWI veterans – more so than Republicans.

It seems pretty clear that Republicans, then as now, seem perfectly at ease using veterans as political pawns.

It also must be pointed out that the president who ordered U.S. troops to forcibly evacuate The Bonus Army protesters wasn’t some crazed, power-mad Democrat. It was Herbert Hoover, a Republican. (Yes, I know. FDR imprisoned Japanese-Americans. An unforgivable and heinous act, too, I agree.)

American voters swept Democrats into power in 32. This was thanks in part to Hoover’s failures at turning around that era’s disastrous Republican economy, as well as his handling of desperate and penniless World War I vets demonstrating in DC close to an election.

After 1932, bankers began to be put in their place, organized labor grew stronger and stronger, and especially after WWII and still under Democratic governance, the Middle Class really came into its own and prospered. It was the Middle Class who created America’s Golden Age, not the rich and powerful. They did not build that, we did.

History doesn’t lie. Look at the facts.

Look at which party basically controlled Congress and the White House most of the time from 1933 to 1979. Look at the balance of power between labor and management. Look at the financial services and banking regulations in place. Look at how consumer and environmental protection laws started making our workplaces and our lives safer. Look at how our consumer-driven economy was powered from the middle-out, not the top-down.

What other conclusion is reasonable? America’s hard-working middle class has mostly Democrats, progressives, and liberals to thank for the prosperity it enjoyed throughout late 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s.

Understand, too, that we have mostly conservatives, the wealthy, and Republicans – starting with their patron saint, Ronald Reagan, and people like his Randian ideologue and economic zen master, Alan Greenspan – to blame for where we’ve fallen to now.

Maybe the present-day generation of ordinary Americans – especially those Americans who find themselves out of work, struggling to make ends meet, slipping out of the middle class, or downright destitute and poor – will wake up once again and as they did in the 30s to the reality that Republican ideology and policies like trickle-down economics are generally horrible for anyone but the rich and powerful.

So, yes, let’s hope history does repeat itself. Let’s hope Americans will once again dump the GOP, and let’s hope it starts with the midterms in 2014.

Sources.

 

Let’s #NeverForget915 and the Lies of Trickle-Down Economics

NeverForget915On this, the 5th anniversary of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, Americans should take time to pause and remember this as yet another heinous crime of historic proportions perpetrated on Americans on a day in September.

It wasn’t terrorists and it wasn’t Main Street who killed our economy. No, this crime was perpetrated on us by a conspiracy forged between Big Money on Wall Street and Small (not Big!) Government politicians who carry their water and actually pass rules and laws that make the crime legal.

That means we’re also to blame. Actually, it’s not all of us who must share the blame.

There’s no other way to say this. It’s Americans who vote for politicians who want to further deregulate all kinds of industries, including the financial services industry, who share in the blame. By electing people who work to shrink government and deregulate industries, we’re actually creating a “Socialism of Wall Street” where the gains of capitalism are privatized to an infinitesimally small number of people while all the losses are socialized to all the rest of America.

How much more proof is needed that deregulation, coupled with greed and power, leads to terrible outcomes for everyone except those with wealth and power? I consider myself to be a capitalist, but I also know from experience that corporations have proven time and again that they cannot be trusted to police themselves alone.

For an excellent accounting and timeline of events that led up to the crash of ’08, I recommend reading this 2011 Forbes piece, Lest We Forget: Why We Had a Financial Crisis.

In it, Steve Denning writes:

Many actors obviously played a role in this story. Some of the actors were in the public sector and some of them were in the private sector. But the public sector agencies were acting at behest of the private sector. It’s not as though Congress woke up one morning and thought to itself, “Let’s abolish the Glass-Steagall Act!” Or the SEC spontaneously happened to have the bright idea of relaxing capital requirements on the investment banks. Or the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency of its own accord abruptly had the idea of preempting state laws protecting borrowers. These agencies of government were being strenuously lobbied to do the very things that would benefit the financial sector and their managers and traders. And behind it all, was the drive for short-term profits. <emphasis added>

I think “…being strenuously lobbied…” is too polite a euphemism.

It was the Big Money One-Percenters exercising their control over politicians who got agencies to do their bidding. 2008 was the result of the lies Reagan told America about trickle-down economics and the size of government, and the perpetuation of those lies coming from Republicans, extreme neo-cons, and the One Percent ever since. They are the ones who killed our economy in 2008, and they will do it again unless we do something to stop them.

Need more evidence?

Here are some facts about the 2008 bailout, courtesy of Public Citizen.

  • Amount the crash cost the U.S. economy: $22 trillion
  • How much everyone would get if that $22 trillion were divided equally among the U.S. populace: $69,478.88
  • Assets of the four biggest banks in America — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wachovia/Wells Fargo — when they were “too big to fail” in 2008: $6.4 trillion
  • Assets of those four banks today: $7.8 trillion
  • Of the 63 former Lehman Brothers employees identified by a bankruptcy examiner as being aware of an accounting scheme Lehman used to mask its true finances, number who are employed in senior financial services positions today: 47
  • Number of the 25 banks responsible for the bulk of risky subprime loans leading up to the crash that are back in the mortgage business: 25
  • Chances that an American voter thinks that regulating financial products and services is “important” or “very important”: 9 in 10
  • Chances that an American knows the Earth orbits the sun: 8 in 10
  • Amount spent in 2012 by Wall Street and other finance industry behemoths on lobbying to roll back, water down and weasel out of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: $487 million
  • Number of registered financial industry lobbyists in 2012: 2,429
  • Number of lawsuits filed as of April of this year by Eugene Scalia, son of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to hold up implementation of Dodd-Frank rules on legal technicalities: 7
  • Rank of finance industry among all corporate election spending by sector in 2011 and 2012: 1
  • Amount the industry gave to political candidates in 2011 and 2012: $664 million
  • In 2012, rate at which revenues of JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the U.S., matched Public Citizen’s operating expenses for the entire year: Every 80 minutes

To my friends on the right, isn’t it time to wake up to the reality that trickle-down economics is a lie? The One Percent don’t care about you, and you are extremely unlikely to ever become one of them.

Isn’t it time to join forces as average, middle class Americans to make our voices heard about getting big money and it’s corrupting influence out of politics, and to get our democracy turned back over to us ordinary citizens?

You can start by joining and supporting CoffeePartyUSA and by becoming a Citizen Co-Sponsor of the American Anti-Corruption Act.

UPDATE 9/16/2016:

I am no longer a supporter of any kind of Coffee Party USA. To understand why, click here.

http://anticorruptionact.org/
http://anticorruptionact.org/

30 Years Ago: The Day the Middle Class Died



Had to add a few comments to this one.

The Reagan worshipers don’t want my emails. Too bad. I would truly like to understand how this narrative can be repudiated.

Didn’t they actually live the life described below, too? I can’t say with absolute certainty, but I’m pretty sure that no one I know grew up in places like today’s Westlake, TX, Kenilworth, IL, Mission Hills, KS, or a whole list of NYC suburbs (http://www.forbes.com/2011/01/18/americas-most-affluent-communities-business-beltway.html), and they don’t live there now.

My father was a high school graduate who put 3 of his 4 kids through college without crushing debt and with one decent paying union job at Westinghouse. He owned his own home after paying off the 30-year mortgage. We went on vacations to “exotic destinations” like Washington, DC, and Ocean City, MD. We occasionally but not all that often ordered a pizza or went out for dinner. (Anyone else remember the Ho-Jo fried clams? That was big time for us!). Every 6 or so years he was able to buy new middle class sedans like Plymouth Satellites, Dodge Darts and Ford Futuras (woo-hoo!) made in America by fellow middle class workers. He had decent enough benefits so that he and we weren’t bankrupted when he was diagnosed with heart disease and needed a quadruple bypass in the late 70s.

He retired with dignity and with a pension that wasn’t anything like a lottery windfall but at least was sufficient enough to keep him from having to find part-time work at a McDonald’s or WalMart just to make ends meet.

What was so wrong with that America?

What would be so wrong with having some of that back?

How the hell did we screw things up this badly?

I’ll tell you. The unvarnished, bald-faced, honest and harsh truth is that we got here exactly and precisely by believing the lies we were told by Reagan, Greenspan, the GOP, and the rest of the trickle-downers who convinced too many of us that if the rich got richer all our boats would rise with that tide.

It was and still is a lie. Now those of us left in the middle class are left to drown in that rising tide.

Published on Saturday, August 6, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

30 Years Ago: The Day the Middle Class Died

by Michael Moore

From time to time, someone under 30 will ask me, “When did this all begin, America’s downward slide?” They say they’ve heard of a time when working people could raise a family and send the kids to college on just one parent’s income (and that college in states like California and New York was almost free). That anyone who wanted a decent paying job could get one. That people only worked five days a week, eight hours a day, got the whole weekend off and had a paid vacation every summer. That many jobs were union jobs, from baggers at the grocery store to the guy painting your house, and this meant that no matter how “lowly” your job was you had guarantees of a pension, occasional raises, health insurance and someone to stick up for you if you were unfairly treated. [On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired every member of the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) who’d defied his order to return to work and declared their union illegal. They had been on strike for just two days.] On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired every member of the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) who’d defied his order to return to work and declared their union illegal. They had been on strike for just two days.

Young people have heard of this mythical time — but it was no myth, it was real. And when they ask, “When did this all end?”, I say, “It ended on this day: August 5th, 1981.”

Beginning on this date, 30 years ago, Big Business and the Right Wing decided to “go for it” — to see if they could actually destroy the middle class so that they could become richer themselves.

And they’ve succeeded.

On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired every member of the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) who’d defied his order to return to work and declared their union illegal. They had been on strike for just two days.

It was a bold and brash move. No one had ever tried it. What made it even bolder was that PATCO was one of only two unions that had endorsed Reagan for president! It sent a shock wave through workers across the country. If he would do this to the people who were with him, what would he do to us?

Reagan had been backed by Wall Street in his run for the White House and they, along with right-wing Christians, wanted to restructure America and turn back the tide that President Franklin D. Roosevelt started — a tide that was intended to make life better for the average working person. The rich hated paying better wages and providing benefits. They hated paying taxes even more. And they despised unions. The right-wing Christians hated anything that sounded like socialism or holding out a helping hand to minorities or women.

Reagan promised to end all that. So when the air traffic controllers went on strike, he seized the moment. In getting rid of every single last one of them and outlawing their union, he sent a clear and strong message: The days of everyone having a comfortable middle class life were over. America, from now on, would be run this way:

* The super-rich will make more, much much more, and the rest of you will scramble for the crumbs that are left.

* Everyone must work! Mom, Dad, the teenagers in the house! Dad, you work a second job! Kids, here’s your latch-key! Your parents might be home in time to put you to bed.

* 50 million of you must go without health insurance! And health insurance companies: you go ahead and decide who you want to help — or not.

* Unions are evil! You will not belong to a union! You do not need an advocate! Shut up and get back to work! No, you can’t leave now, we’re not done. Your kids can make their own dinner.

* You want to go to college? No problem — just sign here and be in hock to a bank for the next 20 years!

* What’s “a raise”? Get back to work and shut up!

And so it went. But Reagan could not have pulled this off by himself in 1981. He had some big help:

The AFL-CIO.

The biggest organization of unions in America told its members to cross the picket lines of the air traffic controllers and go to work. And that’s just what these union members did. Union pilots, flight attendants, delivery truck drivers, baggage handlers — they all crossed the line and helped to break the strike. And union members of all stripes crossed the picket lines and continued to fly.

Reagan and Wall Street could not believe their eyes! Hundreds of thousands of working people and union members endorsing the firing of fellow union members. It was Christmas in August for Corporate America.

And that was the beginning of the end. Reagan and the Republicans knew they could get away with anything — and they did. They slashed taxes on the rich. They made it harder for you to start a union at your workplace. They eliminated safety regulations on the job. They ignored the monopoly laws and allowed thousands of companies to merge or be bought out and closed down. Corporations froze wages and threatened to move overseas if the workers didn’t accept lower pay and less benefits. And when the workers agreed to work for less, they moved the jobs overseas anyway.

And at every step along the way, the majority of Americans went along with this. There was little opposition or fight-back. The “masses” did not rise up and protect their jobs, their homes, their schools (which used to be the best in the world). They just accepted their fate and took the beating.

I have often wondered what would have happened had we all just stopped flying, period, back in 1981. What if all the unions had said to Reagan, “Give those controllers their jobs back or we’re shutting the country down!”? You know what would have happened. The corporate elite and their boy Reagan would have buckled.

But we didn’t do it. And so, bit by bit, piece by piece, in the ensuing 30 years, those in power have destroyed the middle class of our country and, in turn, have wrecked the future for our young people. Wages have remained stagnant for 30 years. Take a look at the statistics and you can see that every decline we’re now suffering with had it’s beginning in 1981 (here’s a little scene to illustrate that from my last movie).

It all began on this day, 30 years ago. One of the darkest days in American history. And we let it happen to us. Yes, they had the money, and the media and the cops. But we had 200 million of us. Ever wonder what it would look like if 200 million got truly upset and wanted their country, their life, their job, their weekend, their time with their kids back?

Have we all just given up? What are we waiting for? Forget about the 20% who support the Tea Party — we are the other 80%! This decline will only end when we demand it. And not through an online petition or a tweet. We are going to have to turn the TV and the computer and the video games off and get out in the streets (like they’ve done in Wisconsin). Some of you need to run for local office next year. We need to demand that the Democrats either get a spine and stop taking corporate money — or step aside.

When is enough, enough? The middle class dream will not just magically reappear. Wall Street’s plan is clear: America is to be a nation of Haves and Have Nothings. Is that OK for you?

Why not use today to pause and think about the little steps you can take to turn this around in your neighborhood, at your workplace, in your school? Is there any better day to start than today?

P.S. Here are a few places you can connect with to get the ball rolling:

Main Street Contract for America

Showdown in America

Democracy Convention

Occupy Wall Street

October 2011

How to Join a Union by the AFL-CIO (they’ve learned their lesson and have a good president now) or UE

Change to Win

MoveOn

High School Newspaper (Just because you’re under 18 doesn’t mean you can’t do anything!)



“I thought Republicans believed in government out of our lives, the precious right of privacy, and the right to be left alone. Well, then what they hell are we doing in abortion, and gay/lesbian issues, and mental health…I have a cousin who was gay who was a war hero, World War II. We’re all human beings.”

Former Wyoming GOP Senator Alan Simpson (http://bit.ly/k5FRjB)

Let’s Keep Blaming Labor

A friend recently shared a Detroit News video report from 2007 about Camacari, “Ford’s most advanced assembly plant,” that opened in 2001 in Brazil.

The piece ends with the following claim:
“Sources in Dearborn say privately that this is the sort of facility Ford would love to build in the U.S. if only the UAW, historically adverse to this sort of supplier integration, would allow it.”

Let me begin by saying that I’ve never worked in the automobile industry, although very close friends have. I’ve never been a member of the UAW, nor any other labor union.

That said, I have to wonder about the kind of thinking and reporting that leaves the viewer with the unchallenged conclusion that it is labor’s fault that good paying, middle class jobs like building cars goes overseas because the UAW won’t “allow” modern plants in America.

The auto industry is clearly one of the central pillars of our economy, and the web of dependencies that has been created seems completely entrenched and undoable. The reason it will be almost – not quite, but almost – impossible to change any of that and build a broader, more sustainable, diverse, and healthier economy is simple.

Money.

And who controls the money?

This report says it’s the unions. Has to be them, right? I mean, the piece ends by saying that Ford supposedly wants to build plants like the one in Brazil in America with automation and JIT suppliers integrated inside and all that but the unions won’t allow it.

Really? Unions? Are they the people who decide where to invest capital to build plants? Seriously? Is that really the reason Ford doesn’t build plants like that in America?

Or is it possible that it might be because the Brazilian factory worker lives in a country where the minimum wage is less than $300 a month (http://tinyurl.com/24v5l8k)?

Ford’s employees in Brazil probably have no health care or other benefits, and while they may be “middle class” in Brazil I’m willing to bet just about everything I have left that they can’t even afford to buy one of the cars they make.

This is the kind of bullshit news reporting that really pisses me off, mostly because too many Americans are gullible enough – especially my friends on the right – to believe it. They buy this line of thinking that those poor bastards in the boardrooms and corner offices of corporate America are being held back by labor and government. All those magnanimous and benevolent capitalists want to do is invest more money into more businesses to create more jobs, but labor and the big bad government are keeping them from doing that. What a crock of shit!

It comes down to money. Yes, organized labor has money and power but make no mistake, dear reader. The money that matters and that makes these decisions is the real money – the richest 2% kind of money. GOP kind of money. It’s why I’ll never understand how middle-class Americans could ever, ever, EVER vote Republican. They’re voting against their own economic self-interest. The trickle-down, Randian economic model that was sold by Alan Greenspan and bought hook-line-and-sinker by that moronic B-movie actor and GOP god, Ronny, and his minions in the GOP has proven not to work.

None of those facts seem to matter, though, to the latest crop of defenders of the wealthy and so-called free markets; the tea baggers, the Boehner/McConnell crowd, and the real whack jobs like Rand Paul and his Libertarians. Less regulation, more wealth protection, and even tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans has become religion for them, and that belief system has been perpetuated by liars and haters like Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and others so much so that uninformed and easily-duped Americans actually believe in the magnanimity of the rich, and worse, the fallacy of the American Dream that they, too, can someday be rich.

Devotion, admiration, and even worship for wealth, the wealthy, and the so-called captains of industry is how we got to the sorry-ass state we’re in now. Maintaining that devotion and electing devotees of Ayn Rand and Ronny Reagan to high office is how we’ll go over the cliff for good, too.

But, hey, not to worry. Our children, grand children, and great grand children will have it better. Unregulated, unfettered, and under-taxed free markets and the absurdly wealthy who run it are making sure that we’re going to be a big part of the third world by the end of the century – maybe sooner. Then maybe all those middle class jobs will come back.

How, you ask?

Because we’ll be the nation of poor, desperate people willing to do anything for a few bucks an hour.

A Condensed History and Plea for a Better Future


Dateline: October 29, 1929

U.S. stock market crashes. That wouldn’t have been such a big deal for most Americans in 1929 except that unregulated banks had invested their depositor’s funds into the stock market, too, and without having to tell anyone what they were doing. When the stock market tanked and there no buyers, the banks couldn’t sell their holdings either. Some had to close. They no longer had the one thing a bank is supposed to have – money.

Remember, this is an unregulated industry and there was no such thing as the FDIC and deposit insurance. That didn’t come along until 1933 (http://www.fdic.gov/about/learn/learning/why/index.html)

Panic about being able to get to one’s money, of course, causes the “run” on the banks. Bankers have no money. They lost it all. Oops. Sorry about that.

No money in banks also means no credit for businesses to operate, either. Businesses, naturally, start to worry about preserving whatever remains of their capital so they let workers go. People don’t have work so they have no income. Remember, this is before unemployment insurance or any sort of government welfare programs, too. People literally have nothing. No money in the bank and no one working means no one is buying anything, either, so there’s no reason for businesses to produce much in the way of goods and services. It certainly doesn’t mean there will be any growth and rehiring any time soon. The spiral downward has started, and it’s adios amigos to everyone.

Ain’t unregulated, unfettered capitalism grand?

And with sincere apologies to some of you, that stupid fucking Russian cunt had the balls to write a few pieces of fiction less than 30 years later and some people like Alan Greenspan either came to believe it was a new religion, suffered severe amnesia about what had happened and why a few decades earlier, simply never bothered to study history at all, or more to what I believe saw then and now that deregulation is the surest way to become filthy rich at expense of ordinary people.

Back to the 30s. So, the federal government creates programs to put people back to work – work that actually benefits society as a whole. My father worked in the CCC program. He and many other young men from PA took care of parts of the Appalachian Trail. So what, you might say. What did that really do for society? Ok. Forget the A.T. Ever hear of the TVA, Triborough Bridge, the Bay Bridge, or Grand Coulee Dam? There’s a good chance something where you live that serves you, your neighbors, and the common good – a school, a hospital, or a highway, for example – was built by people employed by BOTH private businesses and the government as a result of the federal government and deficit spending to fund work programs. (See http://americanhistory.about.com/od/greatdepression/tp/new_deal_programs.htm and http://www.pbs.org/wnet/blueprintamerica/reports/the-new-new-deal/public-works-administration/693/)

Let’s speed things up a bit. This is getting pretty long.

Lawmakers and citizens alike come to realize that businesses and especially banks are either too stupid or too greedy or both to be completely trusted to regulate themselves. Glass-Steagall is passed in 1932. The “Truth in Securities Act” is passed in 1933 and the SEC and a bunch of other laws are passed beginning in 1934. Banks, at least, are safe and some rules are in place to regulate the financial services industry.

Now it’s 1999. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, a GOP disaster euphemistically referred to as the Financial Services Modernization Act (reminds me the so-called “Patriot Act”. We should always get very suspicious of legislation given names that sound like sugar coating or the titles of Mel Gibson movies) effectively repeals Glass-Steagall.

Only a few short years later we find ourselves once again in an economy where too little regulation and oversight exists, thanks mostly to Greenspan, the GOP, and weak-kneed Dems.

W drives the final nails into the coffin up by giving away the federal surplus to the rich, invading 2 countries off the books based on total lies (except for the fact that Afghanistan was harboring bin Laden and he proceeded to fuck that up totally by invading Iraq) and running up the biggest debt since – you guessed it – that other GOP nitwit, Reagan. The financial service sector, who had been merrily creating so-called investments out of highly speculative debt, and the real cold-blooded capitalists who were making even more billions on derivatives tied to that shaky debt, have been doing so without regulation or oversight.

When the bubble bursts ON W’s WATCH, who pays? We the taxpayers do.

So I get the tea party anger. Honestly, I do. But the anger, frustration, and demand for change needs to be directed where it belongs; at deregulation, failed GOP economic and fiscal polices dating back to Reagan, and the disaster created that forced Bush to have to put TARP in place for Obama to have to accept and implement. Wake up, tea baggers and you Obama-haters. Have you just conveniently forgotten or chosen to ignore how we got here?

Now I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but the more I read and listen to people a lot smarter than I the more convinced I am that TARP had to be done to save the economy and that, perhaps, the biggest mistake being made in DC is that the feds are not spending enough.

The parallels all seem to be there to the 1930s. Some experts say that FDR was too concerned about fiscal restraint in the beginning. Had he done more, they say, the Depression may not have lasted as long or required WWII to really pull us out of it. (I’m sorry that I can’t find a reference to that and don’t have time to keep searching right now as we’re going to a grad party. Maybe someone else can find something on it. I only remember hearing it or reading it somewhere; maybe last Sunday on one of the news programs.)

There are people out there a lot smarter than I who can explain all of this a million times better. Here’s one…..

http://robertreich.org/post/719313692/my-father-and-alan-greenspan

What got me going on this today was an article in today’s NYT. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/us/politics/11tarp.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

It’s proof to me that Americans really aren’t very well-informed. Candidates for public office are probably the dumbest of the lot. Trying to make hay on who voted for TARP is like blaming the iceberg for the sinking of the Titanic (the iceberg didn’t do anything). Captain W and his administration steered us into that iceberg. In case you haven’t noticed, they and their cronies are long gone in their yachts for life boats.

How refreshing would it be for politicians to stand up to the STYLE OVER SUBSTANCE HYSTERIA IN THE MEDIA and actually educate the voters on what really caused the bottom to drop out of the economy and the fact that….gulp….there was no other choice but to go with W’s bailout. I mean, really. What alternative was there?

The real objective ought to be what comes next to keep this from happening……AGAIN!