Nov 3, 2008
Now that the elections are over, we will be hit in the face with the real consequences of the financial crisis, one worse than anything since the Great Depression.
We have already seen its outline. For three decades the capitalist class has increased its profits by attacking the standard of living of working people. To make ever more profit, the capitalists shifted money out of production into financial speculation. And, to increase profit still more, they created vast mountains of debt – debt pushed on consumers, debt taken out by the big banks so they could speculate for a bigger return. They turned the economy into one big financial casino, out of which they made trillions of dollars and in which they burned up trillions.
When it came time to cash in the chips, the biggest banks and financial interests said they had no money to redeem their debts.
The Bush Administration, backed by the leadership of both parties and backed by Obama and McCain, rapidly moved to bail out those same big banks and investment houses.
The government has already disbursed or committed 1.5 trillion dollars – all of it to go to the vultures who created this crisis. And it has guaranteed them another 3.6 trillion dollars. This comes to 5.1 trillion dollars – almost twice the total income of the federal government last year, including all the money that came in from Social Security taxes.
The money to pay this bill is going to come from us. It’s going to be paid by every working person in this country, through all sorts of taxes and fees, through severe cuts in every government program, public services, education, medical coverage, Social Security, Medicare – much more severe than anything we have seen since the Great Depression.
Obama and McCain, before the elections, continued to make promises – but the cold, stark reality is shown by these bail-outs, which they both voted for and both supported, bailouts for which we will be expected to pay.
Both Democrats and Republicans handed over the keys to the Treasury to the capitalist class that put us in this mess.
With the elections over, we will also be hit by the reality of ever-widening wars in the Middle East and Central Asia, wars that have been pushed out of sight during the end of the election campaign.
The National Intelligence Report, whose publication was delayed until after the elections, recommends that the war in Iraq will continue at the current level for the foreseeable future. And tens of thousands more troops are being sent into Afghanistan, and from Afghanistan into Pakistan.
These wars have devastated other countries; created enormous animosity throughout the world toward the U.S. – including toward all of us; laid waste to a generation of young men and women who volunteered for these wars out of a mistaken sense of service or because they could not find a job. And these wars grabbed resources that could have been used to improve life in this country.
John McCain said quite openly he would keep these wars going. Barack Obama campaigned saying he would reduce the war in Iraq – reduce, not end it. But he wants a bigger war than Bush is carrying out in Afghanistan, and he called for going into Pakistan. He didn’t propose to end the wars – only to shift their center.
We are in a war here at home, attacked by an avaricious capitalist class. And we are in wars overseas, pushed there by some of the biggest corporations in the world. All these wars – the ones overseas and the one here at home – are going to get unmistakably worse after the elections. And both big parties have already shown they side against working people in these wars.
The working class must not pay for this avaricious capitalist class that is leading society from one disaster to the next. Our needs must come first: an immediate end to these wars; a job for everyone, wages that let us survive; decent living conditions in the cities and countryside.
This is what we have to fight for – today, the day after the election, the day after the new president and congress take power, and in the months that follow.