Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Socialism for the rich -- better known as "looting"

Four months ago I expressed surprise that the bailout of Wall Street bankers was not getting the attention it deserved, and described the Bear Stearns bailout as GOP-style socialism. Well, it seems that finally the GOP itself is coming around to that realization, and some people in the party don't like it. Here's Jim Bunning (R-KY), delivering a nasty slider:
[T]he administration is absolutely wrong in bailing out Bear Stearns and/or Freddie and Fannie. And the Secretary of the Treasury and the complicity of the Fed Chairman [Ben Bernanke] to these two things – you’re absolutely right, we have socialism in the Republican Party and this administration.... [W]hen I picked up my newspaper yesterday, I thought I woke up in France. But no, it turned out it was socialism here in the United States of America and very well, going well. The Treasury secretary is now asking for a blank check to buy as much Fannie and Freddie debt or equity as he wants. The Fed purchase of Bear Stearns assets was amateur socialism compared to this.
The comparison to France was not meant as a compliment, I gather.

In the developing world, when the government colludes in this manner to bail out rich businessmen, it's called looting. And that's what we ought to call it here.

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