In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Democrats Finally Waking Up to the Ongoing Looting of the Economy

Posted by smeddum on March 18, 2009




Just as a certain percentage of republicans refused to admit that rotten things were happening under the Bush administration, many democrats have fought to defend the Obama administration against charges of mishandling the response to the economic crisis.

But now, as ABC news notes:


President Obama is facing growing liberal anger over his handling of the economy, with prominent voices on the left voicing concerns that taxpayer-funded bailouts are enriching corporate America while doing little to right the nation’s economic ship….
Several prominent Democrats are pointing out that Obama aides were more than willing to press auto workers to renegotiate contracts as a condition of bailouts for car companies — but are now citing the sanctity of contracts in AIG bonuses, saying they can’t be canceled.

“People have no confidence in what’s happening right now,” Jane Hamsher, the founder of the liberal blog FireDogLake, said Monday on ABC NewsNOW’s “Politics Live.”

“People on the right and the left are looking at all this money being shoveled to banks [by] friends of Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers … and they’re not seeing any accountability,” she added. “They don’t know where the money’s going, they don’t know how much is gone, and it’s all nontransparent and extremely suspicious.”…

“He’s walking down a very, very dangerous path right now,” liberal activist and author David Sirota told “It betrays the exact problem that people are angry at — that there’s one set of rules for Wall Street and Washington and another set of rules for everybody else.”

“It’s becoming real, what the difference is between Obama’s rhetoric about power coming from outside of Washington, and the reality of an administration filled with Washington and Wall Street insiders,” Sirota said….

Robert Reich, who was former President Clinton’s labor secretary, called it a “scandal” that “Americans still have so little say over what is happening with our money.”

“When our very own secretary of the Treasury cannot make stick his decision that AIG’s bonuses should not be paid, only one conclusion can be drawn: AIG is accountable to no one. Our democracy is seriously broken,” Reich wrote in a Huffington Post op-ed.

Democratic lawmakers joined Republicans in expressing outrage. They called on the president to do more to protect taxpayer dollars.

“The American people are being played for fools by AIG,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said today on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Talk, of course, is cheap.

Unless and until the democrats demand that Summers, Geithner and Bernanke be fired and replaced with people with a demonstrated commitment to the public interest, things will just get worse and – despite the faux populism of both the democrats and republicans in congress – the people will just get angrier and angrier.

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