Thursday, March 26, 2009
By Ivan G. Goldman
We’re being told, as one Republican congressional member said it, that President Obama is taking America on a hard left turn. Actually he’s trying to take back only a part of what zealous right-wingers have stolen from us over the last forty years, such as union rights and a more progressive tax system. Right now the top income tax rate is 35 percent for the wealthiest taxpayers. As recently as the Kennedy Administration that figure was 91 percent. That is not a misprint.
More on that another time. Now I’m going to squawk about two inexplicable Obama mistakes. The first was making Lawrence Summers director of the White House Economic Council. This powerful position is now filled by a fat fool who leaves a trail of horrors everywhere he goes. Yet he keeps getting promoted to higher positions. He’s like the eye of a hurricane. Nothing personally touches him, but everything around him gets smashed into bloody toothpicks. But that’s not even the worst of it because now he gets to go around defending and perpetuating his blunders. All of which is very, very bad for the United States of America.
As a protégé of turd-mongering bandit Robert Rubin, Summers (pictured above) was one of the principal destroyers of the global economy, but if you ask him about it, he’ll tell you he did everything right. Summers pushed through the emasculation of the FDR-era Glass-Steagall Act that had prohibited investment bank/brokers, insurance companies, and traditional banks from mingling their businesses. That’s because there are inherent conflicts of interests among them. If it ain’t broke, you shouldn’t fix it, but the financial greedheads who hated Glass-Steagall poured money into Congress and into the hands of then-President Bill Clinton to take apart the New Deal legislation. In 1999 they got their wish while Summers, who’d been Rubin’s deputy, was Secretary of the Treasury. "Today Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the 21st century," Summers announced.
This barely reported giant step into darkness (few journalists understood it) turned loose banks, insurance companies, and brokers to engage in just about any business they wanted – businesses they knew nothing about, including the underwriting of a treacherous vehicle called the credit default swap. It basically insured the losses of crap-shooting masters of the universe even though the guarantors had no way to pay up and no way to disentangle the crazy derivatives they created. Meanwhile, Alan Greenspan, possibly the dumbest bastard in America, looked for new ways to deregulate other greedy bastards like himself who were almost as dumb as he is.
Rubin became CEO of one of the grateful hydra-monsters his initiative set loose upon the globe and went on to make barrels of money as his Citigroup traded the new, exotic derivatives made crazier by the legislation he'd spawned as a “public servant.” Unlike some of those AIG execs, he hasn't given back any of his tainted dollars. Meanwhile Summers, basking in the light of greed and idiocy, supported Republican initiatives to cut taxes for the rich, including taxes on capital gains, so we now have gardeners and housemaids taxed at a higher rate than the gazillionaire investors who employ them.
When Enron and other thieves looted California because the looters were able to buy off the Legislature and deregulate utilities, Summers complained it wasn't working out because there needed to be even more deregulation.
As he advises the President, Summers has an agenda in direct conflict with the nation’s, and he’s repeatedly shown his willingness to piss on everybody while he tells us it’s raining perfume. He shouldn’t be let anywhere near a government of the people.
Second thing Obama’s doing wrong: You can’t fix health care if you barely mention the insurance companies taking nearly half the dollars spent on health care. Get real, Barack. Tackle the giants.
In the midst of all these problems, I have a suggestion. Curl up with a good book. You might try my novel The Barfighter, set for April release by the Permanent Press. These books make excellent Father’s Day and Mother’s Day gifts. You might want to buy several boxes and pass them around this Christmas instead of cards. Find out more at http://www.thepermanentpress.com/bookdisp.ihtml?id=528