The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Both candidates ready to bail out the speculators

Sep 22, 2008

After months of a worsening economic crisis, John McCain and Barack Obama have finally taken notice.

John McCain has suddenly morphed from a staunch defender of deregulation into a populist, going from “the fundamentals of the economy are strong” to loudly denouncing the “greed” and “corruption” of Wall Street – while going along with all plans to hand billions of dollars to those same greedy, corrupt speculators.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, has seen fit to lecture us like a schoolteacher on the crisis, regulations and bailouts – without saying anything of substance. He talks about the “failed philosophy” of Bush and McCain, while doing nothing to fundamentally challenge that “philosophy.”

And, of course, both Obama and McCain blame the other guy – and the other guy’s party – for the mess the economy is now in. McCain even blames his own party!

The candidates’ tones and rhetoric might be different – but the proposals they make are much the same.

Both McCain and Obama now talk about regulation – more or “better” regulation of the financial industry. This is kind of like going to a den of thieves and asking one thief to “regulate” the rest of them.

McCain and Obama support the recent slew of government bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG, and they both support an even bigger bailout of the banks that hold worthless mortgage paper. They both say that such bailouts are “necessary” to keep the entire system from collapsing.

Not true – it’s not necessary. First, the money they’re pouring in WON’T keep the system from collapsing. At best, it only encourages more speculation, leading to an even bigger collapse. And second, there are other ways to use that money that would address the real economic problems.

By their own lowball estimates, the government has already committed one trillion dollars to the bailouts; most experts put that amount at two trillion dollars or more – and much more might be on the way. Effectively, the government plans to reach in and pull ten thousand dollars from the pocket of every adult in the country, and hand the money over to the failing banks and insurance companies. That’s just for starters.

Why not give that same trillion dollars to create jobs, to rescue homeowners caught up in this fraudulent mortgage squeeze?

If either McCain or Obama had the interests of ordinary working people in mind at all, they would be proposing such a thing. And they would propose that such a bailout of ordinary people be paid for by taxes on corporations and the rich. But they don’t – neither one of them. Instead, both support handing over several hundred billion more dollars to the banks and Wall Street traders – the very criminals who made the mess.

And then they dare to ask us for our vote!