Now we've learned that the bank bailout was much bigger than we thought. While people lose their homes, bank executives and their stockholders live high on your dollar.
The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret....The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue..
Saved by the bailout, bankers lobbied against government regulations, a job made easier by the Fed, which never disclosed the details of the rescue to lawmakers even as Congress doled out more money and debated new rules aimed at preventing the next collapse
Now we see that the Republicans have no objection to raising taxes as long as it's on working people:
Every blessed once in a great while, all artifice is stripped away, rhetoric collapses under the weight of its own absurdity, and we get to see things as they really are. Such will be the case later this week when the Senate tries to vote on extending the payroll-tax holiday. The Republicans will oppose it—that is to say, the Republicans will support a tax increase on working Americans. And why? Because the Democrats want to pay for it with a small surtax on the very top earners. So the choice couldn’t be more direct: which is more important, giving the middle class a tax cut or protecting those who make more than $1 million a year? Republicans are making it clear.Now we see a suicidal path that sacrifices the basic American economic bargain:
For most of the last century, the basic bargain at the heart of the American economy was that employers paid their workers enough to buy what American employers were selling.To keep this unholy alliance going, Republicans are actively trying to suppress Them from voting. You know, Them. The poor, the brown, the students, the young. Those who are "takers". Republican Congressman Paul Ryan makes it explicit:
...New data from the Commerce Department shows employee pay is now down to the smallest share of the economy since the government began collecting wage and salary data in 1929.
Meanwhile, corporate profits now constitute the largest share of the economy since 1929.
...Corporations don't need more money. They have so much money right now they don't even know what to do with all of it. They're even buying back their own shares of stock. This is a bonanza for CEOs whose pay is tied to stock prices and it increases the wealth of other shareholders. But it doesn't create a single new job and it doesn't raise the wages of a single employee.
...A basic bargain was once at the heart of the American economy. It recognized that average workers are also consumers and that their paychecks keep the economy going.
We can't have a healthy economy until that bargain is restored.
We're coming close to a tipping point in America where we might have a net majority of takers versus makers in society and that could become very dangerous if it sets in as a permanent condition.This political view is unsustainable. If you don't have people who can make and buy things, you don't have much economic activity. Eventually, that's bad even for the well-off. But in a party where science-denial and rejection of the reality of climate change are doctrines, you can't expect that much foresight.
Anyone who votes for a Republican is voting for the past: the Gilded Age, or the wild '20s, when the rich got richer and the working class suffered. Our infrastructure is crumbling and some cities can't pave roads or light the streetlamps, but the party on Wall Street is ongoing. It's a vote for selfishness, against community, against social fabric, and it's profoundly unChristian.
Now what are we going to do?