Thursday, June 30, 2011
Asinine Euphemisms (3) Bailouts and Austerity Programs.
Gold-stater Asinine Euphemisms part 3: Bailouts and Austerity Programs.
There's two you hear together a lot these days. But what do they mean? Are they just two phrases for exactly the same thing, or do they have separate meanings?
"Bailouts:" is a term that we use for giving everybody's money to the Banks, to keep them from going bankrupt. We don't bail out drug store chains. We don't bail out computer companies. We only bail out banks. Of course, you hear a lot about bailing out Governments, but what this always means is bailing out the government's banking system. When we say we're bailing out Greece, for example, we mean we're bailing out Greek Banks and German Banks and French Banks and US Banks that lent money to the Greek Banks.
But wait, I thought the banks were still bankrupt after the bailouts!
Yes, they are, but if we "kick the can down the road long enough maybe they'll recapitalize." (See euphemism number 2)
There are lots of ways to give our money to the banks. We can just donate huge amounts of taxpayer money. The Fed can "Lend" untold amounts of taxpayer money at ZERO percent interest, that the banks never have to give back. Or the Fed can take Bad Debt off the Banks balance sheet and charge it later to the taxpayers. Clever one, Tricky Fed!
Everybody Hates Bailouts, except the Bankers, who love Bailouts because they mean they can keep paying themselves about 270 times what everybody else gets paid in the economy. But they deserve it because they're so smart nobody else could possibly do their job of bankrupting their own businesses and entire economies.
But what about "Austerity Programs?" Everybody Loves Austerity Programs, right, because they are Responsible. And they will get the Economy Moving, right? But what are they?
Austerity programs are what the Bankers (and politicians owned by the bankers) say the taxpayers must do if they want the privilege of donating their tax money to Bail out the Banks.
You see, if we want to give our money to the Bankers we all have to tighten our belts in other areas. Makes sense, right? Austerity programs are made up of: A) Massive cutbacks of services and layoffs of public servants like Teachers, Police, Firemen, Garbage Men etc. And B) Higher taxes for everybody.
Theoretically Austerity Programs should involve cutting all wasteful areas of government: in other words, policing the corruption in Government. But asking corrupt politicians to police political corruption doesn't always work well. So, all that gets cut are services to poor people and the middle class. Because they're too weak and dumb to complain. And if they do, who cares?
Wait, you say the middle class can vote out the corrupt politicians? Yes, but they always replace them with other corrupt politicians who are also owned by the banks even if they pretend not to be. That's why Barack Obama's economic team is dominated by Goldman Sachs lackeys, just like George Bush's economic team. Those guys sure sound different when they talk - but their policies are identical. Maybe next year we'll re- elect a new George Bush just to shake things up!
Of course, Austerity also involves higher taxes. Though you can raise taxes all you want, but those who can afford expensive lawyers still won't have to pay any taxes. So basically you raise taxes on the poor and middle class.
But wait, don't politicians talk about raising taxes on the wealthy?
They sure do. That's called class warfare (another great euphemism!). That makes the wealthy take all their money and put in into tax shelters outside the United States. So really, it doesn't raise much money for the US banks, so what good does that do?
No, no best to leave the rich alone. If we want to keep bailing out the banks we really need to implement some effective Austerity programs.