Quote of the Day “As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for socialism is its adherents.” –George Orwell
It can’t be plausibly denied any longer. During the Bush administration it started with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. This new cabinet level department was a massive increase in the size of government. What have we gotten from it? Record breaking duct tape sales, secret government wiretapping and a botched hurricane rescue and recovery effort. Speaking of Katrina…Because of Republican success in stripping the courts of fair minded judges and replacing them with Chamber of Commerce politicians, and because of Republican laissez-faire regulations toward insurance companies, and because of lax Republican enforcement of antitrust laws, and Republican financed propaganda attacking lawyers, all of which occured over most of the last thirty years and accelerated over the last eight, the insurance companies were allowed to pay only a fraction of the cost of recovery. They denied claims where they could find or manufacture an excuse and when flood insurance was available they allocated most of the damages to that program, financed by the government. The insurance cabal had record profits that year, and throughout the first seven Bush years. Since there was no private entity to absorb the losses that come as the natural risk of obtaining those profits, the Republicans passed a huge homeowner bailout program that sent hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to fill the gaps left by State Farm and Allstate. It was socialism.
And now this. Seven Hundred Billion dollars (insert pinky into side of mouth while reading that number). Maybe more. Eliminate regulatory rules and oversight, install political hacks to the positions where minimal oversight could still be done in order to ensure that it was not, ignore predatory lending schemes and destroy the legal recourse that lawyers were using to keep the mortgage companies reined in, and you end up with a mortgage bubble. Bubbles burst. Conservatives are all for bubbles–that’s what happens in what they inaccurately describe as free markets. Years of prosperity followed by years of panic. From 1800 through 1930, there was a “Panic” about once every 18 years, almost always instigated by real estate speculation and during a time when there was very little government oversight of markets. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it. But these days, Socialists insure the investors when the bubble bursts by using their government power to buy up worthless stock and loans. Big government to the rescue–don’t conservatives hate that? Republicans don’t.
So what has eight years of George Bush has done for us in the realm of the economy? After spending almost two trillion dollars on the Iraq war and financial bailouts, your taxes and mine are going up. It doesn’t matter who is elected. That money has to be paid back, or at the very least the debt must be substantially reduced to restore our economic prosperity. So vote Republican if you have some other reason, just don’t tell me it’s because you are conservative, you want lower taxes and you are saving us from socialism. Because the GOP has firmly established that they are a party of bigger government, runaway spending, and socialism.
Finally, enjoy this humorous take on the same subject from Time Magazine.