Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shocked, I Tell You, I'm Shocked!

by Dick Mac

There is a scene in Casablanca (which might be the most quotable movie ever made) where the local police chief, Captain Renault played by Claude Rains, stands with a Nazi commander in Rik's American Cafe, announcing that he is surprised to learn that there is gambling inside the establishment, right under his nose.

"Shocked! I'm shocked, I tell you, to learn there is gambling going on here!"

Captain Renault knew perfectly well, of course, that there was gambling going on.

That's how I feel when I hear and read that the inspector general for the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program concludes that billions in bonuses were distributed to the executives who created our economic meltdown because the executives running the Treasury Department didn't do their job. They weren't really paying attention to what the welfare recipients were doing with their rather hefty welfare checks.

Since the Reagan Administration, and more blatantly under reign of Bush II, and continuing with the holy see of Obama, we more and more often put the fox in charge of the hen house.

Timothy Geithner, the current Treasury Secretary, started his career with Kissinger Associates (yes, THAT Kissinger), before embarking on an impressive career in government service. It is easy to focus on Geithner, since we have given away so much money on his watch. More importantly, his predecessor, Henry Paulson, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs.

The bailout started under the Bush II reign, and this culture of corporate welfare, and welfare for the rich, was created by Reagan, in his implementation of trickle-down economic theory. So, Geithner will take the heat, as he should; but we Americans have allowed this culture to continue by our choices of leaders.

Every president since 1980, including St. Obama, has supported the notions of supply-side economic theory: push the money to the top and that will cause the benefits to trickle-down to the rest of us. Cut the taxes of the rich and they will have more money to invest in our great nation, give the remaining tax dollars to private corporations to subsidize the free market, and we will all benefit from more, better jobs, lower prices, more competition, and less regulation.

How's that working for ya?

We've basically set-up socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the rest of us.

So, is it any surprise that the Treasury Secretary, and the Secretary before him, and the Secretary before him, were not paying attention to the money given to the rich?

The horse is out of the barn. We can't really fix this problem of the money being inappropriately used after the welfare queens receive their welfare checks.

But we can start to change our country. We can stop electing people like Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama, and start electing leaders who are interested in restoring America to its place as a world leader with regulated industry that flourishes and a government that serves its people, not just its businesses.

Watchdog Blames Geithner For AIG Bonuses

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