Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Kucinich: Taxation without Representation

Apparently I am not the only voter now disenfranchised by Obama after this epic 'giveaway' to Wall Street. I am also not the only one who has noticed that the Democrats are now marching in closer lockstep to Bush than many Republicans. We live in interesting times.

In an excellent essay, Chris Hedges takes Obama to task for pushing the bailout bill and offering no alternatives - after promoting himself as a candidate who will not bow to lobbyist demands. Given the choices - Obama or McCain - many of us feel we will have to choose the lesser risk (Obama,) but he has greatly hurt his credibility with this promotion of bankers over home owners.

That said, the best quotes in this essay were from Kucinich:

"This was the largest single act of class warfare in the modern history of this country," Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, who led the fight in the House against the bailout, told me by phone from Cleveland. "It is a direct attack on the American people's ability to be able to stabilize their homes and their neighborhoods. This single vote will define the careers of everyone. We are back to taxation without representation, to markets that are openly rigged."

"We buried the New Deal," he said of the vote. "Instead of Democrats going back to classic New Deal economics where we prime the pump of the economy and start money circulating among the population through saving homes, creating jobs and building a new infrastructure, our leaders chose to accelerate the wealth of the nation upwards. They did so in a way that was destructive of free-market principles. They ripped away all the familiar moorings. We are in an uncharted sea where the traditional roles of the political parties are being switched. The Democrats have unfortunately become so enamored and beholden to Wall Street that we are not functioning to defend the economic interest of the broad base of the American people. It was up to the Republicans to protect not just a so-called free market but the American taxpayer and attempt to block this. This is an outrage. This was democracy's Black Friday."

In his phone interview with Hedges, Kucinich went on to say:

"Some of the most powerful speeches against this were given by members of the Republican Party who are on the political right," Kucinich said. "They did a superb job in poking holes in the underlying assumptions of the bailout. They say what they believe. Give me somebody who says what they believe and I can figure out how to get them to a new place. When people say one thing and do another it is very hard to be able to move a debate."

"We had two take-it-or-leave-it propositions and the second one was worse than the first," Kucinich said, referring to the plan that came loaded with pages of tax cuts. "Tax cuts are antithetical to a bailout. We never solved the problem. There were never any hearings on the bill. This premise, that we could prop up the stock market with a $700-billion investment and create some liquidity, was flawed. The problem is that banks do not want to loan to each other. It is not a liquidity problem. Banks are afraid they are going to collapse in short selling. There is a war going on between security firms and banks. Banks are under assault. They are not loaning. The dynamic is driven by the Accounting Standards Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Fed."

"We face a perfect financial storm," Kucinich warned. "The elements are the deficit spending for the war of 3 to 4 trillion dollars, the trillion and more tax cuts, the war itself and the lack of serious investment in the country. We are being hollowed out. We are going to see more unemployment and more people losing their homes. With $700 billion we could have made a real investment in the country, in jobs, in infrastructure and in homes. Instead, we got robbed."

Yes, definitely.

And this obviously has done nothing to calm the growing economic storm. We may as well all step out of our houses (those of us who still have houses,) and toss our life savings into the wind, as to throw $700 billion of borrowed money at Wall Street hoping that the hurricane will move back out to sea.

This bill was all about bailing out corporate donors. You know it. I know it. Many in congress know it. And yet so many voted for it anyway. Black Friday indeed.

It is our job as voters to pay attention to which members fought it - fought for us - and to vote for them. The rest should be tossed out of government forever. I'm sure their Wall Street buddies will be happy to take them in.

As for Obama... he is obviously less economically clueless than McCain. But I have lost my faith that he is the solution, the leader we need in this time of economic calamity. He has shown that he is no Roosevelt; he has shown that he doesn't vote the talk of helping the average American.

Obama has quite a bit of answering to do for his part in epic fleecing of the American people. If elected president, I can only assume that one day he will realize the consequences of his actions. Hopefully he will one day learn to be a real Democrat, or at least a real leader of the people.

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