In 8 years in office, Bill Clinton, in addition to creating 22 million jobs, left office having lifted 5 million people out of poverty. When George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (who have somehow avoided prosecution for war crimes) left office there were about 12 million unemployed and only 3 million jobs had been created during his entire tenure.
Eventually they would leave behind 15 million unemployed. It took several months of the Obama stimulus plan just to stop the rate of hundreds of thousands of job losses every month. The number of people going to food banks tripled. Needless to say, Bush and Cheney didn’t lift people out of poverty; they created poverty.
How did George W. Bush accomplish this dramatic turnaround? How did he accomplish the feat of destroying the economy and destroying the middle class work ethic and destroying the lives of about 20 million people, a large number of which have lost or will still lose their family homes?
Well, trust us, George W. Bush was not skilled enough to do this on his own. He had a lot of help.
First came the bankers and the loan sharks. They suddenly had no where to go with their money because Alan Greenspan, to help George W. Bush and Dick Cheney’s economy look good….kept interest rates low. Now, of course, Greenspan had a longer view of history than the 30-second-beer-commercial attention span of Bush and the total disinterest of Dick Cheney in anything that is not enriching him at the moment.
Greenspan saw the future after the Bush Stock Market Disaster. He thought back to Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI and decided that he was “wrong” about the economy, wrong about monetary policy, wrong about anything that he had done that might cause people to say “off with his head.” People were losing their homes and jobs and
But the hard fact is that the hands-off policies of Greenspan and the other Neocons led the bankers into a new business—ripping off the poor. The payday lenders, the check cashers, the rent-to-own furniture stores, as well as the mortgage companies and the credit card companies had a field day. They had all been growing, payday loans and the others. But they had been regulated and people who were supposed to be watching them were not yet the people who lobbied for them. Bush started that.
Something called the “yield spread premium” became a popular item. That was what loan originators were paid…a premium price for bringing loans that were poor performing. What? Yes. The idea was that these loans brought late fees and restructuring with more fees, which became a whole new business the non-regulating Bush years.
It is even more revealing of the mind set of these crooks that the Wall Street Journal reported in 2005 that 55% of sub-prime mortgages–in the midst of this loan-shark feeding frenzy—actually qualified for the less expensive prime-rate loans. In 2006, a mortgage industry research firm found that 61% were qualified for prime rate loans.
It gets worse. During this same period the payday loan roaches were coming out of the woodwork. They were getting away with 300% interest. They were making so much money that they were actually offering $20 bonuses to poor people who would bring in other poor people for the privilege of paying 25% interest per month. But wait. Before you condemn the payday loan people…take a look at the interest rate on your credit card and take it times 12. That is the interest rate you are paying. Now the people who use payday loans don’t seem so far removed from you situation do they?
Of course now that President Obama, Majority Leader Reid, Senator Dodd, Speaker Pelosi, and Elizabeth Warren have shot down all these people and made them toe the mark, the Wall Street propaganda machine is attacking the President non-stop.
They have pushed up the campaign first to use racist rhetoric to attack a black woman by lying about a speech she made so that the Administration would fire her. It was a racist trap sprung on the Administration by Karl Rove and his collaborators at Fox News. They naturally said that, even though the Secretary of Agriculture fired her for something that would have been admirable had it been true…that Obama is somehow courting racist incidents.
Of course it is bizarre and a total lie, but that is what they do every day. It is what all the people at Fox News are paid to do. Think about it. Sensible people do not watch Fox News for the news. When an earthquake happens in Haiti, you immediately switch, let’s be honest, to CNN. Most Democrats favor MSNBC for the same reason that Neocons watch Glenn Beck, except that Glenn Beck is crazy.
But both sides—everybody– switches to CNN for hard news. Definitely not Fox. First of all, you know they are liars going in, so if you want to know what really happened, you need CNN, to be positively certain you are just getting the facts.
Here’s one reason. Glenn Beck is now saying, as one would expect from the $30-million-dollar man, bought and paid for by big industry to fool the hicks, that the consumer financial reforms in the new bill are the beginning of the end for this country. To be candid, this is about the fifth or sixth “beginning of the end” that Looney Tunes has predicted, but still…
Beck says that the provisions say that anyone can be picked up and slapped into jail, blah, blah, just as he did, almost the same thing, word for word in the health care reform bill. Now he points out, as does the wife of Supreme Court Justice Thomas, that we are facing “tyranny.” Tyranny because if someone charges some little old lady 300% interest or cheats her out of her mortgage, they will face severe penalties? How should we do it, Glenn, withhold their after dinner fruit cup?
Glenn Beck is happy that his backers made millions so they can pay him millions. He is happy even that we mention his name because he uses any kind of publicity to show how popular he is, even though he is despised or pitied by most people who know his name.
Glenn Beck is one of those people, the Wiki-Generation, who can go out and do the research…with a staff of dozens of able bodied researchers…and then put on a dog and pony show of very little fact to his viewers and listeners who know far less than he does, if that is possible, and will swallow anything by anyone who talks in racist code words.
But back to the poor, the destitute, the bankrupt, the unemployed, and the foreclosed. Once they are in trouble, guess what? There is an industry out there ready to get even more out of them. Here’s how it works.
Yes, in the last ten years (remind me: who was President during that time?) over 2,000 so called “debt settlement” companies have grown up from no more than a handful. Why would that be, one may wonder. Could it be true as the Liberal talk show hosts, the Democratic Congress, the Better Business Bureaus and many economists were saying long before the crash…people like Elizabeth Warren…that Bush economic policies were driving the middle class into deep debt?
If that is and was not so, then how is it that
There are about half a million Americans who are their customers. They advertise on the radio that they can solve you problems and get you off the hook with the credit card companies. Well, maybe they can and maybe they can’t. But they can and do charge you their fees up front.
The Better Business Bureaus are not fans of these people. But people desperate to save their homes, cars and possessions will take a chance. But what happens is that many end up much worse off than before, and end up in bankruptcy anyway, only several thousand dollars lighter in the pocketbook than before.
In 2005, there were 1.46 million personal bankruptcies in the U.S., over half caused by bad government practices causing the loss of thousands of jobs and lax oversight in mortgages and lax oversight in the Stock Market and predatory lending practices in the consumer market, like credit card fees and rates. That was in a pretty good economy.
Last year, 2009, there were 1.41 million, still the same problem with health care causing about half of all those plus the same sheep shearing by the consumer financial companies.
Now there is a law, no thanks to Republicans, Neocons, who all voted against it, to keep the wolves at bay. But it still doesn’t solve the current problem, worse than in 2005, that there are another 8 million people without jobs.
These credit card fixers are overwhelmingly charlatans. A sting operation by the GAO discovered that most of them simply told their clients to stop paying their credit cards, resulting in default, lawsuits and ruined credit ratings. According to some Attorneys General, these companies are all by and large fraudulent.
Current and pending legislation will do away with them, according to certain Washington attorneys involved in the issue.
To make matters worse, some of the debt settlement companies are former sub-prime mortgage brokers, the very people who put some of these suffering Americans into bankruptcy in the first place.
Was George W. Bush’s America a great place or what?