Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Bush legacy

Last year George W. Bush vetoed a bill increasing spending on health care for the poor by $7 billion because, according to W, we couldn't afford it.

But this year, within the past month, Bush is looking at spending $85 billion to bail out AIG, at least $200 billion to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, $29 billion to bail out Bear Stearns and upwards of $700 billion for a bailout of securities backed by bad debt.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who two weeks ago stated that the economic crisis was under control, is asking Congress to appropriate the money immediately rather than debate the merits of the plan.  Under his watch the crisis boiled over into a complete meltdown, yet he wants to exercise complete control over the kitty.

The mortgage industry sold the public on adjustable rate teaser mortgages, interest-only mortgages, second mortgages to pay the down payment and home-equity lines of credit. Investors bought bonds secured by these debts -- fully aware of the risks involved.  And now the Bush administration is coming to their aid -- while it has ignored calls from the working poor to raise the minimum wage, make health insurance affordable, improve our schools and make the dream of home ownership a reality for more Americans.

We are witnessing the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the wealthy that has ever been seen in the history of the world.  That's what compassionate conservatism is all about -- bailing out your campaign contributors and country club friends.

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