The Subprime Super Power

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I know it’s not news and I have alluded to it before, but this whole talk about toxic loans and bailouts is a just one laughable joke. Everyone complained about how the auto executives flew into Washington on their private jets, but no one gave the Wall Street bankers the same scrutiny when they flew into town. How much worse was the auto industry’s management than that of Wall Street? Yes, American cars suck and nobody wants to buy them, but our investment banks weren’t that much better — otherwise they wouldn’t have crumbled.

What continues to shock me, though, is that our government is the most toxic of all the players. Recognize that we have been fighting two wars that have cost billions of dollars while the American people got a massive Bush tax cut. We talk about the costs to the American tax-payer of the trillion dollar bailouts, but the tax payers will not have their taxes increased. We simply borrow the money abroad, mainly from China. Our wars and our bailouts are being bankrolled by the Chinese. We are the world’s greatest toxic borrower; we are the Subprime Super Power.

It’s just like the private security forces that we outsourced to fight the war in Iraq because it would have been devastatingly unpopular to enlist a higher number of troops. We don’t mind fighting wars, as long as they don’t affect our bottom line: our taxes aren’t increased, and the wars are fought by minorities, poor white people, or military families. We pretend we care about the bailouts, but as long as our taxes aren’t increased to pay for them, we’re game.

Meanwhile, the right wing has blamed the toxic mortgages on the left wing’s liberal policies that forced banks to make loans to the poor and minorities who had bad credit. And most have agreed that a huge culprit has been the American public’s consumptive appetite to live beyond its means on credit. How different is that from our government paying for wars and corporate bailouts with borrowed money? Eventually someone’s taxes will be increased to pay the bill. Our politicians are betting that that time will come on someone else’s watch. As we’ve learned from Wall Street this year, the day of reckoning can come sooner than thought.

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