There was an incredible discussion on this topic last night on HBO's Bill Maher. My good friends at Crooks and Liars did a post on the debate that took placed last night which I wanted to share with everyone.
It’s so chic of conservatives like Sullivan to blame the American people for the economic crisis, because as Sullivan stated on Real Time, millions and millions of people took out loans on homes that they couldn’t afford. Yes, the Kudlow Thesis of the market housing crisis. Don’t blame the lenders and grifters that came upon us like a biblical plague of locusts, blame the people.
Naomi Klein, God love her, told him that it was the Wall Street profiteers that preyed upon society. His ideal conservative world is completely fictional. And as she says, what comes next is the real disaster. Today was Christmas morning to the fat cats on The Street, but what happens next to all the debt we the people have just incurred? Whoever is elected president will have a major role in deciding our fate. Sorry, I can’t write the whole transcript, so watch the entire clip.
Klein: The disaster is far from over. They’ve actually just relocated. The disaster was on Wall Street and they have moved the disaster to Main Street by accepting those debts and you said they didn’t have to bomb, the bomb has yet to detonate. The bomb is the debt that has now been transferred to the taxpayers so it detonates when, if John McCain becomes president in the midst of an economic crisis and says look we’re in trouble, we have a disaster on our hands, we have to privatize social security, we can’t afford health care, we can’t afford food stamps, we need more deregulation, more privatization. The thesis of the Shock Doctrine is you need a disaster to rationalize these very unpopular policies so the real disaster has yet to come.The real disaster is the debt that is going to explode on the American taxpayers. And then they do economic shock therapy.
They had to step in, but I don’t think they had to step in in the way they did. The reason why the stock market went up on Wall Street today is because it’s Christmas morning. Imagine waking up and being told your credit card debits have been wiped out, your mortgage has been erased. There’s a fairy godmother that has taken care of you. A guardian angel. But actually that’s the tax payers.
With a smirk, Andrew gets pissed and chimes in
Sullivan: You’re favoring nationalizing the other companies.and most industries?
Klein: No, I’m just saying. This is socialism for the rich.
Maher: Why are you so hostile towards this?
Sullivan: Because I think the fundamental thesis that she is proposing is wrong. I think the reason why we’re in this situation is not demonizing a few individual companies, it’s systemic. And part of the reason we have this is the American People. The American people since the 70’s have had stagnating income, so they decided to get something for nothing. And the government never told them they couldn’t. So we have the stock bubble of the 90’s and now we have the real estate bubble in the 2000’s.
Klein: That’s not why we have this.
Sullivan: And the government never told them they couldn’t. Wall Street is to blame for giving these people these loans, but no one is ever forced to take out a bad load they cannot pay.
Klein: The reason why this bubble was allowed to inflate was not that the American people demanded it, it was spectacularly profitable for Wall Street. Just in bonuses last year, they handed out 33 billion dollars in bonuses… The problem is we have crybaby capitalism where when the times are good they are preaching deregulation and when the times are bad they want the bail-outs. The problem I have with your argument is where is this ideal capitalism of which you speak?
Andrew, the lenders told them they could get the houses for nothing and then lied about how they would pay for it and what they would pay, then bundled the cash and passed it on… And it’s not the government’s role to tell people what they cannot do. That’s why we used to have regulations and background checks and down payments and mortgage lenders to oversee the system. It weeds out the people that can and cannot afford a home. He tried to deconstruct her argument because apparently he wasn’t getting enough air time at that point (he filibustered the entire show after that) with nonsensical rationalizations on the current state of affairs. I lived through it and saw it up close and personal. Yea, he supports Obama, great, but his conservative ideology is a sham.
Andrew Sullivan has been conned by a fictitious notion of what conservatism really is. He states his Utopian vision of conservatism, but leaves out the part where conservatives want to deregulate everything and get rid of oversight and government so they can reap a magical harvest of cash like they have been doing during the entire Bush administration. Now we are seeing the results of conservatism. It’s a failure. Does Sully really believe that conservatism exists without the fat cats expanding their pie of wealth in America to 1920’s or pre-New Deal proportions? They’ve been trying to undo the New Deal ever since it was instituted and by the way which brought the country back from the brink of destruction.
Do you want Barack Obama or John McCain to make these decisions? I think the choice is easy. Conservative rule rains Armageddon down upon our heads—whether it happens in two years or twenty. It’s inevitable.
Remember, this crisis didn't just happen yesterday and it's US the average Joe citizen who will have to pick up the tab on this mess. Food for thought when you think about the alarming amounts of illogical spending that is occurring on the local level by Mayor Boughton and how that will impact your lives on top of this current world-wide crisis.
* Still think 2.5 MILLION in bonding without going to referendum was a good idea?
* Still think a 130,000+ debt payoff to the Charles Ives Center dressed up as a open space purchase was a good idea?
* Still think a SEVEN YEAR tax break to BRT (with obstruction from the mayor's office when people complained about the deal) was a good idea?
* Still think the lack of the mayor to use tax breaks to attract businesses (or keep businesses) to the area (as was done during the 90s) WHILE the city now shows a SHARP RISE in unemployment in the last year a good idea?
* Still think giving 65,000 to the Film festival (while closing the library in order to save cost) was a good idea?
* Still think increasing fines to alarming levels was a good idea?
* Still think purchasing (or bailing out) the Historical Society was a good idea?
* Still think the increase in property taxes while receiving less city services was a good idea?
* Still think the mayor's office and his administration taking a pay raise in the middle of an economic crisis was a good idea?
Food for thought