January 20, 2010
-- by Dave Johnson
The Wall Street banksters are giving out $150 billion in bonuses this year. This is money they have because the taxpayers:
1) provided cash to bail them out directly and through schemes like the AIG pass-through
2) guaranteed or just bought their toxic assets
3) pay a tax on savings accounts through low interest rates set bu the govt, which goes to the big banks
Obama says the bonuses are "excessive" but he can't really do anything.
Can you remember what the Bushies would have done when they wanted to stop something? There would be a huge, coordinated PR campaign smearing them, coming up with one smear or justification after another until something sticks. Every newspaper would be running headlines about how these evil bankers are ruining the country. The public wouldn't be discussing anything else. There would not be any law, opponent, etc. who could get in the way without being crushed.
No law, no rule, no ethics, nothing would have gotten in their way, they would just do it. And then they would justify it. They they would repeat something until no one remembered anything except what they repeated. They would just make their own reality.
Meanwhile, Obama says the bonuses are "excessive" but he can't really do anything. And with only 59 seats in the Senate they are going to have to pivot way to the right to get anything done. Etc.
One the one hand, Bush's disdain for the processes of democracy brought us to the edge of losing our treasured traditions - and may yet result in that loss. But on the other hand, Obama is not helping democracy with his reluctance to confront the very forces that are threatening to take that democracy away and replace it with corporatism -- government by the monopoly capitalists.
Posted by Dave Johnson at January 20, 2010 4:39 PM
The problem is that Obama is tied to this system but unlike Bush he tries changing it.
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