By Ben Cohen
Words cannot describe how irritated I get with the new conservative line that 'government social spending is responsible for the economic meltdown' and 'Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac are to blame for lending money to poor people'.
Their economic ideology of massive tax cuts for rich people and huge deregulation of the financial sector has been an utter and complete failure - yet they shift the blame to big spending liberals and poor people in the hope that the public will forget their culpability.
Matt Taibbi, a favorite at The Daily Banter, is about as dangerous a liberal as you can get. Not only is he bloody funny, but he knows what he is talking about, and can call conservatives on their bullshit. In a hilarious instant messenger debate with Byron York of the National Review (a right wing magazine), Taibbi takes apart the notion that poor black people are responsible for the economic meltdown (as York suggests), and lays the blame squarely where it belongs. Here's an excerpt:
B.Y.: I think that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were also major factors. And I
believe that many of the problems in the mortgage area can be
attributed to the confluence of Democratic and Republican priorities:
the Democrats' desire to give mortgages to people, particularly
minorities, who could not afford them, and the Republicans' desire to
achieve an "ownership society," in part by giving mortgages to people
who could not afford them. Again, I believe that if you are suggesting
that the financial crisis is a Republican creation, or even more
specifically a McCain creation, I think you're on pretty shaky ground.
Oh, come on. Tell me you're not ashamed to put this gigantic
international financial Krakatoa at the feet of a bunch of poor black
people who missed their mortgage payments. The CDS market, this market
for credit default swaps that was created in 2000 by Phil Gramm's
Commodities Future Modernization Act, this is now a $62 trillion
market, up from $900 billion in 2000. That's like five times the size
of the holdings in the NYSE. And it's all speculation by Wall Street
traders. It's a classic bubble/Ponzi scheme. The effort of people like
you to pin this whole thing on minorities, when in fact this whole
thing has been caused by greedy traders dealing in unregulated markets,
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