fresh voices from the front lines of change







Wow. Boehner must have had a few too many Merlots before he went on Greta Van Susteran’s show on Wednesday:

VAN SUSTEREN, FOX News: People think of him as hawkish on the budget, on expenses, but he voted for TARP. He voted for the auto bailout, voted for two stimulus in ’08, voted against the ’09 — February ’09 President Obama stimulus. How does — I mean, how does he explain those, or I mean, how does — politically, how does he sell that?

BOEHNER: I mean, I think that he’s a practical conservative. He’s got a very conservative voting record, but he’s not a knuckle-dragger, all right? He understood that TARP, while none of us wanted to do it, if we were going to save — save our economy, save the world economy, it had to happen. I wish we didn’t have to do it, either, but he understood that.

So those who were against the TARP are knuckle-draggers? How interesting. Howie gives us this reminder today:

On September 29, 2008, Boehner, Cantor, Ryan, and the rest of the GOP leadership tried to get their party to back the TARP bailout. Boehner wept in the well of the House about how urgent it was to bailout the banksters. But they lost. 133 Republicans voted NO and the bill failed 205-228. Paulsen and Bush became hysterical and they tasked Boehner, Cantor and Ryan with sweetening the bill with enough pork, reintroducing it and passing it. The other day, we looked at Ryan’s disgraceful role in this episode. He and the other two thugs threatened, blackmailed and bribed enough of their Members to pass it a few days later. On October 3, only 108 Republicans voted NO; they had turned 25 and Bush’s TARP bailout passed 263-171. Ryan, Cantor and Boehner were very well-rewarded by the banksters, who have funneled millions of dollars into their political careers…

In Boehner’s world the “knuckle-draggers” who stood up to Wall Street and Bush were Republicans like Ron Paul (R-TX), Walter Jones (R-NC), Steve Chabot (R-OH), John Mica (R-FL), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Don Manzullo (R-IL), Tim Johnson (R-IL), GOP Senate candidates Dean Heller (R-NV), Todd Akin (R-MO), Denny Rehberg (R-MT), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Connie Mack (R-FL), as well as actual knuckledraggers like Bachmann (R-MN), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Steve King (R-IA), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Paul Broun (R-GA), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Ed Royce (R-CA).

95 knuckle-dragging Democrats voted against it too — until the Presidential nominee Obama put his weight behind it — and the revised version passed with 33 of those 95 votes making the switch. I would imagine he has some insulting descriptions for the 62 who didn’t come over too. But he’s not idiotic enough to say them out loud.

Boehner knows he can count on Ryan to “do what’s necessary” to serve the masters. And the masters absolutely love Paul Ryan, for some obvious reasons:

Wall Street loves Ryan because he’s bringing back an old idea: he wants to privatize Social Security.

In 2005, Ryan proposed the Social Security Personal Savings Guarantee and Prosperity Act. Under the proposal, workers would have been able to funnel at least half of their Social Security deduction into a private account. The account would have been managed by the Social Security Administration and invested in a portfolio made up of anywhere between 50% and 80% stocks. The rest would have been in bonds.

Again, you may agree with this proposal because you believe like Ryan that it will “save” the program for future Americans. Or, you might disagree with it on the grounds that the program will remain “underfunded.”

Regardless of your position, there’s no denying who it would benefit: big brokerages.

That’s because even though SSA would “manage” the program, it would need Wall Street’s help: brokers, market-makers, specialists, you name it. Suddenly the financial industry would be getting up to $340 billion, half of Social Security’s 2011 revenue, for fees, commissions and other value-added services.

One study predicted that by 2050 every stock and bond in the U.S. market would be owned by Social Security.

You can almost hear Wall Street slobbering.

Oh, and if all the money’s going into the market it won’t be available to lend to he government — another happy side effect of privatization. By that time the baby’s pretty much drowned.

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