Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What You Don't Know About the Bailout

Mark Steyn is not getting it. On his blog yesterday, he cheers for Mark Levin’s idea of eliminating the US corporate tax as a way of providing “liquid refreshment” to the ailing US finances. He thinks it would be better not to eliminate the tax altogether, but to reduce it “dramatically”. He asks - the drain hoping to be mistaken for a plumber - if it is not reasonable to expect a Republican Washington after a decade to be down at least to the corporate rate of Sweden.

Hell Mark, what are you trying to do ? Turn the army of corporate tax lawyers into a bunch of nickel-and-dime bush-leaguers ? This is not Russia, ya’know, where a prez can invite the oligarchs for a friendly chat in a Kremlin rococco hall, and and lo and behold, the big boys do feel persuaded to do their citizens’ duty in preference to seeing the bolshevik hordes storming their palaces. They didn’t tell Putin in 2000: ‘Yeah, sure, Volod’a, we’ll have our tax experts look at what we should be paying Caesar’.

Come to think of it, maybe a bit of class warfare would be good for America. If for nothing else then to declaw the arrogant neocon visionaries. Krauthammer, last week traced the credit orgies, that date from the Reagan’s years and the deregulated S&Ls, to Jimmy Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. He believes the ‘pressure’ on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and down the line of money lenders, was created politically since that time, by bipartisan agreement to use government power to expand homeownership to people who had been shut out for economic reasons or, sometimes, because of racial and ethnic discrimination . Sure, Charles, the social conscience of Wall Street is to blame ! The money men were only trying to help in a good cause. Just as we all thought.

It is interesting to note that the big popular revolt against the package, the avalanche of phone calls and e-mails to the Capitol was nowhere reported, nowhere analyzed, nowhere acknowledged, until perhaps today on CNN, which reported with a number of days of delay, that the initial reaction of the street was 10 to 1 against the package. The fever has subsided now, we were assured, and the breakdown for and against is now 50-50. Well, is it ? Can you imagine no major poll has been taken on this mammoth “rescue plan” ? Does this seem real ?

The news organizations suddenly seem so inexplicably clumsy, and so circumspect as to what they will allow us to hear or see. Do we not have the right to know that 200 US economists have signed a petition denouncing the original Paulson plan ? Why would the major news outlets not report that a significant number of academics did not believe the plan was sound and some (many ?) do not think a bailout of $700 bln is even necessary ? And why has an Army brigade been assigned to the “Homeland” ? Did not know that either, did you ?

But you do know that there is no freedom of media or diversity of opinion in Russia, don’t you ? Ok, great ! But just in case you want to check what a popular Moscow TV commentator has to say on that, watch this. Yep, diversity of opinion is what we need.

Hello, Michael Moore ! Are you having fun yet ?