Shame on the Democrats for Bailout
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid betrayed their own party—and what remains of its populist roots—in pushing through the bailout bill.
They got rolled by Henry Paulson.
They succumbed to blackmail by the banks.
And rather than address the legitimate concerns of their own progressive members, they veered off to placate rightwing Republicans.
In so doing, they tossed away the most leverage they will ever have to bring Wall Street to heel.
At a moment of maximum weakness and vulnerability on the part of the financial institutions, which almost literally came begging cup in hand, Pelosi and Reid demanded absolutely nothing of them in return for $800 billion.
No resurrection of Glass-Steagall.
No repeal of Phil Gramm’s Commodities Futures Modernization Act.
No demand that banks that lend mortgages must keep those mortgages, rather than peddle them on Wall Street.
On top of that, the consumer who got fleeced by the unscrupulous mortgage dealers did not get a moratorium on foreclosures, or a freeze on interest rates.
Nor did Congress allow judges to renegotiate mortgages of people who fall into foreclosure—except the rich, of course. Under current law, judges already can help them on their second homes.
Nor did the bill contain any stimulus for the economy, which would help people get jobs. The House capitulated just hours after the government released data that another 159,000 Americans were looking for work last month.
The bill did raise the federally insured deposit limit in banks from $100,000 to $250,000 but who but the rich has that kind of money to stash, anyway?
This entire bill redistributed wealth from those with little to those with a lot.
As Bernie Sanders noted, “It is grossly unfair that the middle class, whose standard of living is declining, is forced to pick up the tab for Wall Street’s greed and irresponsibility, and not the top 1 percent who have benefited from Bush’s reckless policies.”
Wall Street should send bouquets to Harry Reid and Henry Paulson, and it’s already c.o.d.
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