Tuesday, September 30, 2008

$700 Billion Bailout--Socialism For the Rich

Usually I'm just used to politicians being disingenuous when it comes to morals or military service, so if things weren't so bad it would be funny to see those stalwarts of anti-welfare capitalism pleading for $700 billion of corporate welfare to prop up the economy. Jeez, we've zoomed quickly by "trickle down economics" and are expected to give gifts to the folks who created crappy loans in the hopes of making tons of dough, and always wanted less government regulation which was keeping them back--with no help to the folks that lost their homes or jobs have been swallowed up in merger mania. Meanwhile McCain can "seriously" hammer Obama for his proposed spending programs while he supports the Iraqi caper which runs 8-10 billion a month--that's around $100 billion a year.

Luckily Congress did not blindly follow another scare tactic from the same guy who brought us "weapons of mass destruction"--though I'm sure a welfare package will eventually pass with support from the mainstream Democrats and Big Business Republicans who outnumber the Conservatives and Liberals. They formed a nice alliance not to buy a Wall Street Welfare bailout hook, line and sinker.

Of course if you oppose the bailout you are accused of blocking economic progress. But, what else could we do with $800 billion to get the economy going...

How about a PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAMS!!!!, which no one is talking about as an alternative. It would put money in the economy, put people back to work, fix our crumbling infrastructure and improve our energy independence. My daughter is reading about the New Deal and is amazed to see that the government built stadiums all over the place--mostly to put folks back to work. Well-why isn't this an option today?

How about a water project to bring excess Northwest water down to the Southwest? How about building some solar, wind and nuclear power plants, and then subsidizing rates for consumers? Instead of crying about our dependence on foreign oil and offering driving slower as a solution, how about extending every rail transit line in the largest 20 metropolitan areas by 2-3 stops? How about new light rail lines for the next 30 metropolitan areas and we develop a standard light rail vehicle to be manufactured in the Unites States? How about that bullet train, as an alternative to air flight, between San Diego and Sacramento and other major urban areas?

Picture of Buffalo War Memorial Stadium--Built by the WPA to put folks to work--yep, the feds used to do that. click here for photo/ Stadium information

As one example, in my area we can't get the mass transit system-BART-to run a train line out here--Though taxed for it for 30 years "TO EXPENSIVE!, MONEY IS NOT THERE!", we've been told, over and over. The cost--about 1% of one year of the Iraqi War--which we always have money for.

The most expensive but most convenient addition--a 10 mile extension would cost $1,173,000 (per EBart EIR, 2008.) Supposedly this would lead to 6,600 new riders--most who now drive 80 miles back and forth to San Francisco. So by extending this one line, about 21,000 gallons of gas could be saved daily (w/ 25 mph.)

Estimating from this one project, going into 20 Metropolitan areas and extending 3 lines each would cost-70 Billion--yep, loads of money but 1/10 the proposed bailout that was supposed to be anointed at the drop of a hat. Direct spending on construction and factories, create jobs, reduce energy dependence, reduce highway congestion. And that is just one part of a large public works project.

Another way to go is for the feds to refinance foreclosed loans at a subsidized rate that slowly grow over the years as equity comes back, for owner occupant homes that weren't used as ATM's, for 2nd loans taken to buy Cadillac Escalades. And on eventual sales the feds would share on the capital appreciation. (Oh--you say--the government should not get into the business of loaning money--too late--they just loaned the auto industry 25 billion at under market rates!!)

And if we really want to help millionaires along with the downtrodden--feel free to spend a few dollars of a public works plan to build a retro-WPA stadium for the A's--in Las Vegas.

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