The bailout bill -- or as Arthur Silber more rightly terms it, the "Extortion Bill" -- is already law, thanks to the Democrats in Congress, and to Barack Obama, who spent the day working the phones and twisting arms to make sure the $700 billion bonanza for the filthy rich passed without any more of the hiccups that held it up earlier this week.
The plan that Obama made his own -- despite its origins in the poison kitchen of the Bush White House -- is far worse than the version voted down on Monday.
Every reputable economic expert says that the plan is unworkable; it will not solve the problems at the root of the current economic crisis, but will only make them worse. It entrenches many of the fraudulent practices that led to the meltdown in the first place, and rewards the perpetrators for their misdeeds with a gargantuan amount of public money, which they can now use to carry on largely as before, albeit with a few new toothless "oversight" mechanisms operated by their own Wall Street cronies, and their bribed-and-bought hirelings on Capitol Hill.
There were many viable, reasonable, eminently centrist alternatives to the radical, plutocratic Bush-Obama scam -- alternatives which would have been politically palatable to a broad spectrum of the electorate. One of the best ones of this ilk that I've seen was outlined in the eminently mainstream Washington Post earlier this week by two eminently respectable Yale economists. (You can find it here.) There were many other such practical and effective plans offered by reputable experts, any one of which could have gone a long way toward protecting ordinary citizens now exposed by the meltdown, supporting the banks, and stabilizing the markets -- all without effecting one of the largest single redistributions of wealth since the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in 1917.
None of these plans were considered or debated or even mentioned, not even for a single moment, by the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate. Instead, they joined the Republican leadership and the Bush Administration in repeating, over and over, the Big Lie that there was NO OTHER CHOICE but some basic version of the unworkable Bush plan. The Democrats -- led by Barack Obama -- not only threw a political lifeline to the most despised president in American history (in the middle of an election year!), they deliberately took ownership of a measure widely rejected by the American public
-- a class war weapon of mass destruction whose malign effects will reverberate through American society for years, perhaps generations to come....
First, Obama and the Democrats fully own the extortion bill.
Obama and the Democrats, as much as the Republicans, are nothing but whores for the sickeningly corrupt financial and corporate interests that control the U.S. government. I've been pointing this out about Obama for some time. Furthermore, in their determination to make certain that the ruling class's affluence and power are maintained with the work, blood and lives of "ordinary" Americans for generations to come, both Republicans and Democrats have turned their terrorist tactics on Americans with close to full force. All that is missing are the bullets -- but they may not be long in coming as conditions deteriorate. It should be illuminating (read: nauseating) to see most of those who would condemn brutal police state actions when ordered by Republicans watch identical events in total silence -- and in this context, silence means consent -- because a Democrat orders them.
Second, and see an earlier essay for much more on this subject, Obama's election will ensure the death of significant political opposition in this country for the foreseeable future as much as any single development can....
Remember: there were viable alternatives to the Bush-Obama scam. It did not have to go down this way. It happened because the bipartisan political elite WANTED it to happen. And they wanted it to happen because those who have bought and paid for them wanted it to happen. As the old saying goes, you dance with the one that brung you...