The Second Great Depression

By Ron Paul
Sept 30, 2008

Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike.

The events of the past week are no exception.

The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress’ throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister. It makes a mockery of our Constitution, which our leaders should never again bother pretending is still in effect. It promises the American people a never-ending nightmare of ever-greater debt liabilities they will have to shoulder. Two weeks ago, financial analyst Jim Rogers said the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made America more communist than China! “This is welfare for the rich,” he said. “This is socialism for the rich. It’s bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters.”

That describes the current bailout package to a T. And we’re being told it’s unavoidable.

The claim that the market caused all this is so staggeringly foolish that only politicians and the media could pretend to believe it. But that has become the conventional wisdom, with the desired result that those responsible for the credit bubble and its predictable consequences – predictable, that is, to those who understand sound, Austrian economics – are being let off the hook. The Federal Reserve System is actually positioning itself as the savior, rather than the culprit, in this mess!

* The Treasury Secretary is authorized to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets at any one time. That means $700 billion is only the very beginning of what will hit us.

* Financial institutions are “designated as financial agents of the Government.” This is the New Deal to end all New Deals.

* Then there’s this: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.” Translation: the Secretary can buy up whatever junk debt he wants to, burden the American people with it, and be subject to no one in the process.

There goes your country.

Even some so-called free-market economists are calling all this “sadly necessary.” Sad, yes. Necessary? Don’t make me laugh.

Our one-party system is complicit in yet another crime against the American people. The two major party candidates for president themselves initially indicated their strong support for bailouts of this kind – another example of the big choice we’re supposedly presented with this November: yes or yes. Now, with a backlash brewing, they’re not quite sure what their views are. A sad display, really.

Although the present bailout package is almost certainly not the end of the political atrocities we’ll witness in connection with the crisis, time is short. Congress may vote as soon as tomorrow. With a Rasmussen poll finding support for the bailout at an anemic seven percent, some members of Congress are afraid to vote for it. Call them! Let them hear from you! Tell them you will never vote for anyone who supports this atrocity.

The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are about to be looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care?

When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media?

Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.

Say “Hell No” To ANY Bail-Out Of Wall Street

The attack dogs are out in force. My Scar Watch (Joe Scarborough) this morning had Joe, Mika and guests all up in arms about how the Dems (Pelosi) made this a political issue and that is why it didn’t pass. To these asswipes, it is all about political posturing, then turn the fear factor on to scare the American people into thinking that they are about to lose their jobs, pensions, 401K’s, etc, etc, etc.

But let me tell you what the latest bail-out proposal did to protect these issues that concern them so much…

_______________________

Yep. Nothing.

There is not a single thing in the proposal that holds these very same criminals who did this accountable for their actions that got us into this mess, nor anything that holds them accountable for future rip-offs. It is simply giving them money to do it again, if they so desire. So, fuck them.

It does nothing to help protect your mortgage or to refinance your high interest rates. There is NOTHING in it to protect the American citizen from an even bigger loss. But they are protected from their previous loss and future losses because this does not change the system in any real way. Fuck them.

There is nothing in it that makes them do anything different than what they did to create this. And we are supposed to be worried and scared when they won’t be held accountable. Fuck them.

There is nothing in the bill that forces that the 700 Billion be paid back, except by the suggestion of the president. Sorry. Fuck them.

The fact is that if they were to bail these criminals out, we are simply rewarding them for their thievery.

Do not let the MSM scare you. Don’t let the imbecile “W” scare you (again).

Say no. Keep calling your congressmen and Senators and tell them “NO”.

Fuck them.

Empire Spending

On Wednesday, the House passed a mammoth defense bill by a 392-39 vote. It’s expected to clear the Senate with little difficulty next week.

It was part of a trillion-dollar stop-gap measure to keep programs running through next March, allowing lawmakers to skip town without passing a final budget. The Associated Press reports, “The legislation came together in a remarkably secret process that concentrated decision-making power in the hands of a few lawmakers.”

In keeping with the tradition of recent years, Bush held a gun to his own head and threatened to pull the trigger if his demands weren’t met. According to the AP, “To earn President Bush’s signature rather than a veto, House and Senate negotiators dropped several provisions he opposed. They include a ban on private interrogators in U.S. military detention facilities and what would have amounted to congressional veto power over a security pact with Iraq.”

In other words, Congress also maintained recent tradition, swearing not to give Bush a blank check and then whipping out their pens and signing a blank check.

The number that the House sent to the Senate for “defense” — $612 billion for the coming year — is eye-popping. Imagine a stack of 612,000 million-dollar bills. Quite a pile.

That number’s a sham, however. The budget calls for $68.6 billion for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009. War costs this year totaled $182 billion, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

The House passed the Brobdingnagian spending measure 11 months after George W. Bush vetoed a bill — one passed with a lot of bipartisan support — that would have added $7 billion measly dollars per year to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, covering 4 million more uninsured children. You’d be hard-pressed to find a clearer sign of national psychosis.

Throw in a bit more than $50 billion for Homeland Security, around $20 billion for the nuclear arsenal in the Department of Energy’s budget, about $10 billion for the Coast Guard, a similar number for foreign “security assistance” and maybe another $125 billion — according to one estimate — in other defense-related programs scattered throughout the federal budget.

Bush also requested $91 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2009, up from $72 billion just three years ago. A generation of damaged young men and women are going to cost more and more as the years go by — many post-traumatic injuries, for example, don’t manifest themselves for 10 or more years after people get out of combat. In 2000, nine years after the first Gulf War, 56 percent of those who had served in that conflict were receiving disability payments.

But wait, as they say on late-night infomercials, there’s more!

All of this only finances our current military adventures. We’re still paying for Korea and Vietnam and Grenada and Panama and the first Gulf War and Somalia and the Balkans and on and on. Estimates of just how much of our national debt payments are from past military spending vary wildly. Economist Robert Higgs calculated it like this:

I added up all past deficits (minus surpluses) since 1916 (when the debt was nearly zero), prorated according to each year’s ratio of narrowly defined national security spending–military, veterans, and international affairs–to total federal spending, expressing everything in dollars of constant purchasing power. This sum is equal to 91.2 percent of the value of the national debt held by the public at the end of 2006. Therefore, I attribute that same percentage of the government’s net interest outlays in that year to past debt-financed defense spending.

In 2006, he came up with a figure of $206.7 billion for interest payments on past militarism. Add it all up, and we’re talking about at least a trillion dollars in military and homeland security spending. If there were a million-dollar bill, you’d have to stack a million of them to reach a trillion dollars.

Of course, very little of this is “defense.” This is empire spending, pure and simple …

What’s that? You want health care, education, affordable housing, 21st-century infrastructure?

Sorry, we’ve got other priorities.