Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Volcker: "If you want to gamble in derivatives, surrender your banking license"

Former Treasury Secretary Paul Volcker on JP Morgan/Chase:

A battle looms over "Simpson-Bowles" - among Democrats

Simpson: "Veterans...are not helping the country in this fiscal mess."
Richard Eskow of Campaign for America's Future files this harsh, utterly depressing report from the "Deficit Summit." Unfortunately, it rings true. The 2012 election is going to take most liberal folks' eyes off of this ball, but a major fight is looming - and within Democratic circles - over the Simpson-Bowles "bi-partisan" plan to gut government programs and shift wealth even more toward the 1% than it already has.

Establishment Democrats are embracing an approach to "deficit reduction" that privileges the 1% and ignores the centrality of unemployment as the nation's #1 problem.  And they ignore the fact that worrisome long-term deficit projections are - above all else - rooted in the need to reform our health care delivery system.  Medicare has nothing to do with that problem - other than providing the most cost-effective approach to health insurance that exists currently in the US.  Medicare doesn't drive the problem of health care costs as % of GDP - it lessens them. Address the larger issue and long-term federal deficits are easily managed.

Be prepared for the looming deficit battle - because these "rich white guys" clearly are. And be prepared to draw lines in the sand against a significant cohort of establishment  Democrats and administration insiders.

Today a bunch of rich white guys held a "Fiscal Summit" and agreed that:

1. Despite the fact that unemployment is causing untold suffering for millions of people, it's not very important.

2. Despite the fact that wage stagnation is destroying the middle class, that's not important either.

3. Despite the fact that we need the social safety net more than ever after what they've done to the economy, it's expendable.

4. Despite the fact that our government can borrow money at record low rates and use it to put people to work, thereby ending the recession and jumpstarting the economy, that option's not even worth discussing.

5. Despite the fact that these men all possess great power, wealth, and/or influence, everything that's wrong with the economy is your fault.

6. Since it's all your fault, you better get ready to pay up.

Oh, and one other thing:

7. They're all very smart and very brave. It's too bad the rest of you people are such jerks.