I’m not certain, but hell may have frozen over. I agree with Bob Shrum’s succinct and accurate nutshell of the current Congressional crapola:
The Republicans’ behavior on the auto industry bailout could easily be dismissed as childish if only it weren’t so dangerous.
Their vote reflected a black-and-white ideology of free markets versus government—seasoned by a knee-jerk enmity to organized labor.
Shrum discusses historical opposition models, and compares the current GOP incarnation to the Hooverites, frozen in their failed, impotent ideological opposition long after FDR’s reforms had caught fire with the American public and reignited the withered economy.
As more Americans feel — and see, up close — the results of this Rand-ian obeisance to free market cure-alls? You can’t exactly explain away the results of ideological failure by acting the part of a populist anti-tax ass on Sunday teevee, now can you?
In these troubled times, an "I’ve got mine, screw you" mentality isn’t a good political marketing strategery for the Plantation Caucus. Especially if all those interconnected industries that supply parts and raw materials to automakers — not to mention local dealerships all over the country — go belly up because folks stop buying their products out of fear of bankruptcy making them obsolete.
The Fed is set to reduce interest rates again today, edging ever closer to zero, and reducing the remedies in their econ kit bag in the process. It may make Wall Street temporarily giddy, but what does it do for the rest of us?
Let’s ask the homeless, whose numbers have increased substantially in the last year alone (PDF). Or folks in the suburbs, where poverty is increasing. Or the increased costs to us all of child poverty. Or the folks running overly-strapped food banks and relief organizations all across the country who cannot keep up with ever-increasing and desperate demand for help.
So much of econ discussion is theory. But reality is consequences of failures fall most heavily on folks already struggling, folks who can least afford yet another hit on their already strained margins.
Roy hits this nail square on its fetid head:
In our giant corporate welfare state, libertarians can only hope for, and be pleased with, incremental victories — which suits the people we call conservatives, who take it as an opportunity to enact double standards that reward their friends and screw their enemies, and call it restraint. What for Gillespie is half a loaf is for the Republican Senators the whole megillah. "Small government" isn’t winning anything here; the government is just making sure its big ladle is serving one bowl more than the other.
The double standards and disaster capitalism? Brazen hypocrisy. Allowing them to get away with it? Not sitting well with anyone paying attention.
(YouTube — Fall Out Boy sings America’s Suitehearts.)