God only knows, if I quote from Matt Stoller's The Progressive Case Against Obama, I am not endorsing The Bane Capitalist. In reading comments on this blog over the years, I have come to believe that all sorts of absurd, nonsensical interpretations of the things I say are possible. I am simply making sure you understand where I'm coming from.
That said, the following paragraphs Stoller's Salon article caught my eye. I split the text up for readability and emphasis.
... This is just not an America that any of us should want to live in. It is a country whose economic basis is oligarchy, whose political system is authoritarianism, and whose political culture is murderous toward the rest of the world and suicidal in our aggressive lack of attention to climate change.
Many will claim that Obama was stymied by a Republican Congress. But the primary policy framework Obama put in place — the bailouts — took place during the transition and the immediate months after the election, when Obama had enormous leverage over the Bush administration and then a dominant Democratic Party in Congress.
In fact, during the transition itself, Bush’s Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson offered a deal to Barney Frank, to force banks to write down mortgages and stem foreclosures if Barney would speed up the release of TARP money. Paulson demanded, as a condition of the deal, that Obama sign off on it. Barney said fine, but to his surprise, the incoming president vetoed the deal.
Yup, you heard that right — the Bush administration was willing to write down mortgages in response to Democratic pressure, but it was Obama who said no, we want a foreclosure crisis. And with Neil Barofsky’s book ”Bailout,” we see why.
Tim Geithner said, in private meetings, that the foreclosure mitigation programs were not meant to mitigate foreclosures, but to spread out pain for the banks, the famous “foam the runway” comment.
This central lie is key to the entire Obama economic strategy. It is not that Obama was stymied by Congress, or was up against a system, or faced a massive crisis, which led to the shape of the economy we see today. Rather, Obama had a handshake deal to help the middle class offered to him by Paulson, and Obama said no. He was not constrained by anything but his own policy instincts. And the reflation of corporate profits and financial assets and death of the middle class were the predictable results.
Note that I did not include a picture of Hopey-Changey to accompany the text. That is Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury, Obama's chief economic adviser, and the administration's point man representing the interests of the Six Big Banks which continue to dominate Finance in the American economy four years after the meltdown.
I should note that when the events Stoller describes took place, Hopey-Changey's top economic adviser was the Prince Of Darkness himself, also known to us as Lawrence "Larry" Summers. Before and during his tenure as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Tim Geithner was a protégé of Summers, Robert Rubin and other agents of Evil.
It is interesting to me that for many months now the name "Tim Geithner" has hardly been spoken in the media or anywhere else for that matter. We are ceaselessly bombarded with Obama vs. Romney propaganda, while the chief architect of American economic policy remains in the shadows. I daresay that is not a coincidence, and since nobody has bothered to point that out, I thought I would.
Yet, this election is allegedly about the American economy. It is supposedly about the resurrection of the middle class. But the administration's economic policy, right from the get-go, was to force a foreclosure crisis and then do everything possible to protect the Big Banks.
We are now less than 72 hours away from the end of this meaningless, disingenuous farce, and for that we can give thanks.