Archive for October 4th, 2008

The Only Tool In The Kit

Yet another example of Dubya’s genius for foreign policy:

According to CNN, the US is going to sell $6.4B in Weapons To Taiwan

State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood said Congress — whose approval is needed for the deal to go through — was notified Friday afternoon. He indicated the administration expects congressional approval quickly.

So, at the same time our economy is tanking, we poke a stick in the eye of our biggest creditor. I’m quite sure this makes some kind of sense in Bushland. Too bad the rest of us have to live with the results of their fantasies.

Like the old saying goes: When all you have is a stick, every problem looks like an eye…

October 4th, 2008 at 11:44pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Economy,Foreign Policy

The Death Of The Common Good

The bailout bill has already been aptly compared to previous travesties where the Democrats let Republican fearmongering  – and generous corporate donations – stampede them into voting for Very Bad Ideas, like the expansion of FISA and the invasion of Iraq.

But as bad as those cave-ins were, this one is worse.  Ian Welsh provides a detailed rundown of why the bailout will suck, and why $700 billion will only be the first installment of cash to be Hoovered out of our pockets.

The problem is that the common good has simply ceased to be a consideration to our lawmakers, at least when weighed against the short-term wants of corporate donors.

Consider global warming, which could make the entire planet all but uninhabitable.  Yet our government refuses to take decisive action to reduce carbon emissions or develop alternative energy sources, because the energy companies don’t like it.

Consider healthcare, where tens of millions of Americans are uninsured or underinsured, many of whom are going bust and thus contributing to the subprime crisis.  Yet our government refuses to even consider universal single-payer healthcare, because the insurance companies don’t like it.

The bailout is the same story.  We don’t have a majority that wants to impose any significant structural changes on the financial sector, or to give ordinary Americans mortgage or bankruptcy relief, or limit executive compensation, or raise upper-bracket tax rates to fund a bailout, because the financial companies don’t like it.

I would love to have a government that puts the common good ahead of what the corporations want, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.  Publicly financed campaigns that eliminate politicians’ dependence on corporate donations to get elected would be a great start, but I don’t think the companies would like it.

4 comments October 4th, 2008 at 02:57pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Politics,Republicans

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