Blame conservatives!

Apr 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Blogs

Brian Michaelson

Contributor

Some days you just can’t be disgusted enough. Other days, you just shake your head and realize that Republicans are either too smart for their own good—or too dense. If history will be a lesson, you’d think after the first two economic debacles they created, they’d learn their lessons and not repeat it. But then again, Americans can be, well, even more dense.

The GOP has been squawking at every level about “socialism” and “big government” since the Obama Administration took office. Funny. If we look at the trend over the last 8 months, the former Bush Administration took more “socialistic liberties” with companies like AIG, Goldman-Sachs, CitiBank, J.P. Morgan-Chase, and a few other mega-corporations who are now reaping the greedy benefits of taxpayer-funded welfare. Ironically, after Obama decided to do the right thing and go after AIG’s “contractually obligated bonuses”, it became apparent that paying off these CEOs who drove their companies into the ground at taxpayer expense was “necessary”. Who believes this crap?

What parts of history don’t people remember when this stuff keeps coming around? If anyone wants a classic case of conservative economic principles gone wrong, I’ll provide you with three.

First off, the Savings & Loan collapse of the 1980s. Anyone recall the Keating Five? Charles Keating, among others (including GOP head-man John McCain), essentially collapsed the largest Saving & Loan business on the continent at their own personal gain, all because of looser regulation, and less oversight from our taxpayer-guarding friends at the SEC and FTC. Keating took the rap and went to prison for it, but had justice truly been done, McCain never would’ve ran for President. Ever. What became of all this? Even less regulation (does that make sense at all?).

Second, pre-FDR era. Need I really say more? Of course, most people don’t realize that FDR cleaned up the massive pile of dung left by his Republican predecessors Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. Hoover alone drove up inflation and unemployment so high, that we’re likely to never see levels that bad ever again. Al because J.P. Morgan and his Rockefeller buddies wanted less government insight into their monopolistic practices. Roosevelt, a Democrat, invested government money into federally sponsored jobs (thank FDR for the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam, and thousands of other WPA works), nationalized defunct banks and loan business (literally hundreds of them), tightened regulation on almost everything, and eventually never lived to see the fruits of his administration’s labors.

Third, and best of all, the post-9/11 Bush Administration’s removal of virtually every bank regulation in existence. What Clinton had attempted to shore up in the 90’s (back when we actually had a balanced budget and a robust economy not riding on a weak dollar), Bush essentially removed them all, at the behest of his buds in businesses like Enron (Ken Lay anyone?). Lo and behold, an artificially inflated economy riding on the coattails of bad economics has crashed so hard, we couldn’t have caught it if we wanted to. Simply because the fix to the problem of a slowing economy was—you guessed it—less regulation.

The lesson behind all this? Conservative economics and politics simply don’t work. They never have, and never will. Conservatives want unchecked capitalism, but if we can all learn from history, unchecked capitalism simply leads to unchecked greed.

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