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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Economic fundamentals

Here's the fundamental economics lesson to be drawn from the past week: when homeowners get in trouble, the government doesn't care. When the financial institutions who got them into that trouble need life support, the federal government is there in a heart beat.

Take $500 billion to bailout out AIG, Fannie and Freddie and who know else, add in another $600 billion for Iraq and what's left for the rest of us? (oops, make that $700 billion!)

John McCain has been scrambling all week to explain away his repeated insistence that the economic fundamentals are fine -- it's just the greed heads. Well, those greed heads are getting bailed out and the working men and women he then scrambles to define as the fundamentals are going to pay the tab.

That's fundamentally unfair.

Let's face it. There is little alternative but to go forward with the half-trillion bailout for the investment banks and insurance companies that foisted this latest scam on us.

But we've been brainwashed to believe government support for taxpayers is welfare -- unless it is for corporations. And we've been told that government control of industry is socialism -- unless it is to prevent a fiscal collapse caused by unregulated and uncontrolled speculation.

So why is this different? Because John McCain and his army of campaign adviser/lobbyists say so?

Those are fundamentals all right -- fundamentals of the Republican Party. Regulation is bad. The free market is good. Until it gets us into trouble. Then it's not so good and the government needs to step in.

And leave the taxpayers with the bill.

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