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Obama's Big Sellout

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,398
19
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Matt Taibbi is a Rolling Stone editor who is one of the few journalists who will to dig into this unholy marriage of corp and state. He was doing it under Bush and continues to. This article is long so if your thing is "Obama's a socialist" or "Bush is a Racist" I'd move along otherwise what he illustrates is disconcerting to say the least. Brief excerpt below go to site for full betrayal.
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/31234647/obamas_big_sellout/print
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Obama's Big Sellout
The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway

MATT TAIBBI

Posted Dec 09, 2009 2:35 PM
Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers "at the expense of hardworking Americans." Obama may not have run to the left of Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it's not like you saw him on the campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing.

Then he got elected.

What's taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy. What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside...........
....................
But the real kicker came when Frank's committee took up what is known as "resolution authority" — government-speak for "Who the hell is in charge the next time somebody at AIG or Lehman Brothers decides to vaporize the economy?" What the committee initially introduced bore a striking resemblance to a proposal written by Geithner earlier in the summer. A masterpiece of legislative chicanery, the measure would have given the White House permanent and unlimited authority to execute future bailouts of megaconglomerates like Citigroup and Bear Stearns.

Democrats pushed the move as politically uncontroversial, claiming that the bill will force Wall Street to pay for any future bailouts and "doesn't use taxpayer money." In reality, that was complete bullshit. The way the bill was written, the FDIC would basically borrow money from the Treasury — i.e., from ordinary taxpayers — to bail out any of the nation's two dozen or so largest financial companies that the president deems in need of government assistance. After the bailout is executed, the president would then levy a tax on financial firms with assets of more than $10 billion to repay the Treasury within 60 months — unless, that is, the president decides he doesn't want to! "They can wait indefinitely to repay," says Rep. Brad Sherman of California, who dubbed the early version of the bill "TARP on steroids."

The new bailout authority also mandated that future bailouts would not include an exchange of equity "in any form" — meaning that taxpayers would get nothing in return for underwriting Wall Street's mistakes. Even more outrageous, it specifically prohibited Congress from rejecting tax giveaways to Wall Street, as it did last year, by removing all congressional oversight of future bailouts. In fact, the resolution authority proposed by Frank was such a slurpingly obvious blow job of Wall Street that it provoked a revolt among his own committee members, with junior Democrats waging a spirited fight that restored congressional oversight to future bailouts, requires equity for taxpayer money and caps assistance to troubled firms at $150 billion. Another amendment to force companies with more than $50 billion in assets to pay into a rainy-day fund for bailouts passed by a resounding vote of 52 to 17 — with the "Nays" all coming from Frank and other senior Democrats loyal to the administration.

Even as amended, however, resolution authority still has the potential to be truly revolutionary legislation. The Senate version still grants the president unlimited power over equity-free bailouts, and the amended House bill still institutionalizes a system of taxpayer support for the 20 to 25 biggest banks in the country. It would essentially grant economic immortality to those top few megafirms, who will continually gobble up greater and greater slices of market share as money becomes cheaper and cheaper for them to borrow (after all, who wouldn't lend to a company permanently backstopped by the federal government?). It would also formalize the government's role in the global economy and turn the presidential-appointment process into an important part of every big firm's business strategy. "If this passes, the very first thing these companies are going to do in the future is ask themselves, 'How do we make sure that one of our executives becomes assistant Treasury secretary?'" says Sherman................
 
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Zorkorist

Diamond Member
Apr 17, 2007
6,861
3
76
Zebo,

Frankly there is no way President Obama could orchistrate such a scheme.

The guy epitimizes liberalism, in a climate that wants liberalism.

There's no secret agenda here.

-John
 

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,398
19
81
Zebo,

Frankly there is no way President Obama could orchistrate such a scheme.

The guy epitimizes liberalism, in a climate that wants liberalism.

There's no secret agenda here.

-John
This excerpt reminds me of your reply: (you really should read it funny as hell)

Morning, the National Mall, November 5th. A year to the day after Obama named Michael Froman to his transition team, his political "opposition" has descended upon the city. Republican teabaggers from all 50 states have showed up, a vast horde of frowning, pissed-off middle-aged white people with their idiot placards in hand, ready to do cultural battle. They are here to protest Obama's "socialist" health care bill — you know, the one that even a bloodsucking capitalist interest group like Big Pharma spent $150 million to get passed.

These teabaggers don't know that, however. All they know is that a big government program might end up using tax dollars to pay the medical bills of rapidly breeding Dominican immigrants. So they hate it. They're also in a groove, knowing that at the polls a few days earlier, people like themselves had a big hand in ousting several Obama-allied Democrats, including a governor of New Jersey who just happened to be the former CEO of Goldman Sachs. A sign held up by New Jersey protesters bears the warning, "If You Vote For Obamacare, We Will Corzine You."

I approach a woman named Pat Defillipis from Toms River, New Jersey, and ask her why she's here. "To protest health care," she answers. "And then amnesty. You know, immigration amnesty."

I ask her if she's aware that there's a big hearing going on in the House today, where Barney Frank's committee is marking up a bill to reform the financial regulatory system. She recognizes Frank's name, wincing, but the rest of my question leaves her staring at me like I'm an alien.

"Do you care at all about economic regulation?" I ask. "There was sort of a big economic collapse last year. Do you have any ideas about how that whole deal should be fixed?"

"We got to slow down on spending," she says. "We can't afford it."

"But what do we do about the rules governing Wall Street . . ."

She walks away. She doesn't give a fuck. People like Pat aren't aware of it, but they're the best friends Obama has. They hate him, sure, but they don't hate him for any reasons that make sense. When it comes down to it, most of them hate the president for all the usual reasons they hate "liberals" — because he uses big words, doesn't believe in hell and doesn't flip out at the sight of gay people holding hands. Additionally, of course, he's black, and wasn't born in America, and is married to a woman who secretly hates our country.

These are the kinds of voters whom Obama's gang of Wall Street advisers is counting on: idiots. People whose votes depend not on whether the party in power delivers them jobs or protects them from economic villains, but on what cultural markers the candidate flashes on TV. Finance reform has become to Obama what Iraq War coffins were to Bush: something to be tucked safely out of sight.
 
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Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
Funny stuff Zebo. I started out not liking taibbi because of his style, the Williasm Kristol pema-smirk, and ecsessive sarcasm and profanity, but I've become a big fan for the substance.
 

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,398
19
81
Well it is Rolling Stone - I don't think they hire you unless you can use one of the seven deadly words in every sentence.
 

Mursilis

Diamond Member
Mar 11, 2001
7,756
11
81
She walks away. She doesn't give a fuck. People like Pat aren't aware of it, but they're the best friends Obama has. They hate him, sure, but they don't hate him for any reasons that make sense. When it comes down to it, most of them hate the president for all the usual reasons they hate "liberals" — because he uses big words, doesn't believe in hell and doesn't flip out at the sight of gay people holding hands. Additionally, of course, he's black, and wasn't born in America, and is married to a woman who secretly hates our country.

These are the kinds of voters whom Obama's gang of Wall Street advisers is counting on: idiots. People whose votes depend not on whether the party in power delivers them jobs or protects them from economic villains, but on what cultural markers the candidate flashes on TV. Finance reform has become to Obama what Iraq War coffins were to Bush: something to be tucked safely out of sight.
And of course that right there is the fatal flaw of democracy - most of the voters are borderline morons, and even if they aren't, they'd rather know more about the final 8 on "American Idol" or the latest Hollywood starlet than about the people who control their lives in the gov't. Precious few care to inform themselves and pay attention to what's going on in DC, so of course they're getting robbed blind. As the subprime mortgage crisis taught us, some people aren't even competent to control their own lives, let alone the lives of others (via the vote), yet there's no competency requirement for voting.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,000
10,471
136
Some people here are apparently unaware of what McCain's bailout plan looked like.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,000
10,471
136
Well it is Rolling Stone - I don't think they hire you unless you can use one of the seven deadly words in every sentence.
I thought the main criteria for their writers is that they have absolutely no taste in music.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,000
10,471
136
Zebo,

Frankly there is no way President Obama could orchistrate such a scheme.

The guy epitimizes liberalism, in a climate that wants liberalism.

There's no secret agenda here.

-John
I'm curious, what is it that you think liberalism is, besides a dirty word?
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,000
10,471
136
This excerpt reminds me of your reply: (you really should read it funny as hell)

Morning, the National Mall, November 5th. A year to the day after Obama named Michael Froman to his transition team, his political "opposition" has descended upon the city. Republican teabaggers from all 50 states have showed up, a vast horde of frowning, pissed-off middle-aged white people with their idiot placards in hand, ready to do cultural battle. They are here to protest Obama's "socialist" health care bill — you know, the one that even a bloodsucking capitalist interest group like Big Pharma spent $150 million to get passed.

These teabaggers don't know that, however. All they know is that a big government program might end up using tax dollars to pay the medical bills of rapidly breeding Dominican immigrants. So they hate it. They're also in a groove, knowing that at the polls a few days earlier, people like themselves had a big hand in ousting several Obama-allied Democrats, including a governor of New Jersey who just happened to be the former CEO of Goldman Sachs. A sign held up by New Jersey protesters bears the warning, "If You Vote For Obamacare, We Will Corzine You."

I approach a woman named Pat Defillipis from Toms River, New Jersey, and ask her why she's here. "To protest health care," she answers. "And then amnesty. You know, immigration amnesty."

I ask her if she's aware that there's a big hearing going on in the House today, where Barney Frank's committee is marking up a bill to reform the financial regulatory system. She recognizes Frank's name, wincing, but the rest of my question leaves her staring at me like I'm an alien.

"Do you care at all about economic regulation?" I ask. "There was sort of a big economic collapse last year. Do you have any ideas about how that whole deal should be fixed?"

"We got to slow down on spending," she says. "We can't afford it."

"But what do we do about the rules governing Wall Street . . ."

She walks away. She doesn't give a fuck. People like Pat aren't aware of it, but they're the best friends Obama has. They hate him, sure, but they don't hate him for any reasons that make sense. When it comes down to it, most of them hate the president for all the usual reasons they hate "liberals" — because he uses big words, doesn't believe in hell and doesn't flip out at the sight of gay people holding hands. Additionally, of course, he's black, and wasn't born in America, and is married to a woman who secretly hates our country.

These are the kinds of voters whom Obama's gang of Wall Street advisers is counting on: idiots. People whose votes depend not on whether the party in power delivers them jobs or protects them from economic villains, but on what cultural markers the candidate flashes on TV. Finance reform has become to Obama what Iraq War coffins were to Bush: something to be tucked safely out of sight.
Excellent post. Hits the nail right on the head.
 

ayabe

Diamond Member
Aug 10, 2005
7,449
0
0
Rolling Stone sucks but Taibbi is probably one of the best political writers out there.

Unfortunately, trying to spend time monitoring the regulation situation as it ebbs and flows will only lead principled, informed citizens to throw up their hands in despair or go into a rage.

These firms will never fear collapse or bankruptcy or even some monitoring of their activities, it's already a done deal - they got away with it once, the precedent is set.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
Unfortunately, trying to spend time monitoring the regulation situation as it ebbs and flows will only lead principled, informed citizens to throw up their hands in despair or go into a rage.
PERFECT. And right. This is precisely what we saw with healthcare, it was changing so much this stupid fvcking bill they are on now that it's impossible to keep up. Literally changing by the week if not day, a normal person cannot keep tally of that.

As brought up in another thread, we still two years later see no meaningful legislation passed to try and prevent what caused this crisis.

For all the bitching Obama may do about the economy he has done fvcking nothing to try and prevent a relapse. Nothing at all, and neither have most of the others in Washington. A few bills here and there make sense but they've not been passed.
 

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,398
19
81
Rolling Stone sucks but Taibbi is probably one of the best political writers out there.

Unfortunately, trying to spend time monitoring the regulation situation as it ebbs and flows will only lead principled, informed citizens to throw up their hands in despair or go into a rage.

These firms will never fear collapse or bankruptcy or even some monitoring of their activities, it's already a done deal - they got away with it once, the precedent is set.
I've grown so cynical by reading the in's and out's of Washington I can barley bring myself to polls. I laugh inside at fools there when I see them with their buttons, signs and pins that have nothing to do with what really effects our lives.

I wish I could sit and enjoy a show like American idle.
 
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werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,873
462
126
Some people here are apparently unaware of what McCain's bailout plan looked like.
I'm blissfully unaware of McCain's bailout plan, but considering his voting record I'd assume it would look pretty much like Obama's plan except with less abortion. And once it made it through a Democrat Congress (read: once it was ignored in favor of the Democrats' own bail-out plan) it would look exactly like Obama's. However since McCain is not, and will never be, President, his bail-out plan is irrelevant.
 

jonks

Lifer
Feb 7, 2005
13,918
18
81
I read his last book. Truly depressing stuff when he writes about the political machinery in DC. Howwever, his undercover work at the evangelical church and his whole Truther confrontation makes for delirious reading.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
Well, thank you for the link, now this explains well why no regulation has come down the pike to fix things. I wondered what the hold-up was.
 

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,398
19
81
I'm blissfully unaware of McCain's bailout plan, but considering his voting record I'd assume it would look pretty much like Obama's plan except with less abortion. And once it made it through a Democrat Congress (read: once it was ignored in favor of the Democrats' own bail-out plan) it would look exactly like Obama's. However since McCain is not, and will never be, President, his bail-out plan is irrelevant.
It would look identical. Proof is Republicans virtual silence on these issues - they know where their bread is butter from too- they rail on the periphery stuff like Obama appointments who had a gaff in college stuff like that.
 

Robor

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
16,979
0
0
It would look identical. Proof is Republicans virtual silence on these issues - they know where their bread is butter from too- they rail on the periphery stuff like Obama appointments who had a gaff in college stuff like that.
Great read. I have to admit I was ignorant in how much these guys are all tied together. :oops: Why Obama put his trust in the same people involved in the collapse I don't understand. I hope he hitched his wagon to the right horse. :hmm:
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,000
10,471
136
It would look identical. Proof is Republicans virtual silence on these issues - they know where their bread is butter from too- they rail on the periphery stuff like Obama appointments who had a gaff in college stuff like that.
Exactly. McCain's plan would have looked identical not because he's some kind of RINO, but because the economic policy of the Republican party is identical to that of the Democratic party. This is something that, I have found, the majority of both Republicans and Democrats seem blissfully unaware of. Which is the whole point of your thread here, although I don't think everyone got that.
 

alchemize

Lifer
Mar 24, 2000
11,489
0
0
Boy, I'm disappointed in Obama. Almost leaning towards very disappointed, but not quite there yet.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,000
10,471
136
Boy, I'm disappointed in Obama. Almost leaning towards very disappointed, but not quite there yet.
In order to be disappointed, you have to be surprised. IMO there's nothing surprising about all this, including the fact that the Republicans are not only looking the other way, but actively and intentionally focusing on other (and IMO less important) issues. While OTOH to NOT expect economic authoritarianism from the Democratic leadership would be well.... weird.
 

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