Rev Irene Monroe

A failed economy hurts us more

Filed By Rev Irene Monroe | September 30, 2008 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, economic bailout, HIV/AIDS, John McCain, LGBT community, McCain/Palin, Palin/McCain, social services, Wall Street, Wall Street bailout

In the face of a financial Armageddon, the economy has become the center of the campaign, where it should have been all along. But the moment all Americans have been waiting for - the McCain-Obama debate - was a yawn.

The melodrama and histrionics of whether the debate would happen titillated anxious taxpayers hopes about a recovery and taunted our worse fears about the $700 million bailout rescue package for Wall Street potentially drowning those of us residing on Main Street. But for those looking for a clash of the Titans on this issue we got instead a clash of ideologies and temperaments, along with a visual clash - a young African American outsider challenging and old white-haired fixture of government.

Neither candidate addressed how a failing economy hurts the LGBTQ community. And sadly no one was expecting it, including our community.

But neither had a taxpayer-friendly solution to Wall Street's mess. Instead each exchanged sharp criticism of the other's record on economic plans for the country.

So let's take a look:

Obama emphatically states that working Americans need help in this economy and if in office his administration will develop an "a more stable and permanent solution" to the financial crisis.

"What we're looking at right now is to provide the Treasury and the Federal Reserve with as broad authority as necessary to stabilize markets and maintain credit," Obama told the Associate Press.

"We need a more institutional response to create a system that can manage some of the underlying problems with bad mortgages, help homeowners stay in their homes, protect the retirement and savings of working Americans."

But when asked to present a detailed economic plan Obama said he would not present his plan until the Treasury and Federal Reserve have presented theirs.

Why?

"It is critical at this point that the markets and the public have confidence that their work will be unimpeded by partisan wrangling, and that leaders in both parties work in concert to solve the problem at hand."

Whereas Obama has a "Not-telling-you-yet" rescue package for the economy McCain has a "Blame Obama" package.

McCain blames Obama, via blaming the Democrats too, for not taking immediate action to stop the current financial meltdown.

"The crisis on Wall Street started in the Washington culture of lobbying and influence peddling, and he was square in the middle of it," McCain said of Obama.

McCain criticizes Obama for his ties to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, for taking large campaign contributions from both, collecting a sizable sum $126,349 from those sources, which is only second to his buddy Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, who has received $165,40, and for the former head of Obama's vice presidential search team, Jim Johnson, receiving a multimillion-dollar severance deal after stepping down as Fannie Mae CEO.

"Maybe just this once he could spare us the lectures, and admit to his own poor judgment in contributing to these problems," McCain said.

But Obama is for advocating tax increases on people making over $250,000 a year and cutting taxes on the middle class.

During the debate McCain tried to show the American electorate that Obama is just not ready for the job. And he drilled in his point with constant refrains, like, "I'm afraid Senator Obama doesn't understand" and "What Senator Obama doesn't seem to understand" and "Senator Obama still doesn't understand."

However, when asked two days after his debate with Obama if he would support a $700 billion Wall Street bailout package that has been brokered by the Bush administration and Congress, McCain said on Sunday's ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos, "Hopefully yes. This is something that all of us will swallow hard and go forward with. The option of doing nothing is simply not an acceptable option."

But truth be told neither candidate, in my opinion, knows how to patch up Wall Street's mess. And us Main Street residents have cause to fret about failing banks jeopardizing social security, Medicare, and the few dollars and cents that trickle down to our social programs.

For example, aside from HIV/AIDS prevention programs that will be slashed if not all together gone, our Medicare and social security benefits will be slashed disproportionately more than the rest of the population, if we are partnered/ married, simply because we are LGBTQ taxpayers. Why? With only two states recognizing same-sex marriage we not only are forced to file separate income tax forms but we also as its consequence are thrown into a higher tax brackets. And to add insult to injury our social security benefit packages won't benefit our partners like those of heterosexuals.

All of us hope for a speedy solution to our country's financial crisis. But one, I say, that takes into account the way all its taxpayers share households, including its LGBTQ partnered and married citizens.


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"But when asked to present a detailed economic plan Obama said he would not present his plan until the Treasury and Federal Reserve have presented theirs."
Because he doesn't have one, and he's stalling until somebody comes up with one he can latch onto.
I know many LGBTQ people are putting all their chips on Obama, but I see no evidence that anyone running for the White House is qualified to confront this crisis.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 1, 2008 9:24 AM

Although polls continue to show a modest, even reversible lead for the Democrats, it’s going to be a landslide. The very high and richly deserved bitterness to the Republicans is going to bury them, in the absence of a sensational October Surprise.

Then the Democrats inherit a rock and a hard place, and the political bone crushing begins.

The rock is an unwinnable war that Obama’s promised to win in Iraq. He refuses to withdraw. Surrounded by Clinton’s warhawk advisors, Obama promises to go on the offensive in Pakistan and Afghanistan, like Nixon did in Cambodia and Laos, and with the same disastrous but easily predictable results. A combination of escalation in Afghanistan, where the Karzai collaborationist regime is about to fall and continued US military incursions into Pakistan will fail without question.

Pakistan is a very unfriendly and unwilling ‘ally’ of the US and a fully operational nuclear power. They had no qualms about selling nuclear technology to Iran and Korea. Pakistan’s government, like Karzai’s, is in deep crisis. The Pakistani military are humiliated by their government’s abject cowardice in the face of US strong arm tactics and their refusal to defend their citizens from US airborne murder squads. That won’t last too much longer. A further escalation in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which Obama promises, is an invitation to nuclear disaster.

http://www.counterpunch.com/tripathi09302008.html A Bitter Harvest in Afghanistan By Deepak Tripathi

http://www.counterpunch.com/dimaggio09272008.html Pakistan, the Media and the Politics of Nuclear Weapons – The unspoken War by Anthony DiMaggio

Then there’s that hard place, an economy in deep failure mode. The only debate is whether we’ll descend into depression or be in for decades of enforced austerity and increasing authoritarianism as the coprortate rich and their political toadies in both parties shift the weight of the economic crisis onto our backs. By the end of this year the national debt, not counting losses from the various bailouts will total somewhere between $12.5 trillion and $15 trillion dollars.

The weight of that burden will end social programs for decades, leave us floundering as the environmental crisis escalates in scary new territory and depress our standard of living even more. It will inevitably lead to more authoritarianism, more FISAs, more Paytriot acts. If the bailoout passes we'll all be living in St. Paul/Denver.

http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/99812/financial_weapons_of_mass_destruction/

http://www.alternet.org/workplace/100689/will_wall_street%27s_meltdown_turn_america_into_a_police_state/

The Democrats and Republicans are the Parties that will be identified with the rocks and the hard places. The left will make sure of that. They’re already extinct. They’re dinosaurs, proud rulers of all they see, bellowing as they look up at the new star, slowing growing in brightness in the night sky …

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 1, 2008 10:40 AM

Loved the bit of poetry at the end. Nice to know you can still dream.

Hardly anyone understands world economics, as most have been educated in sales, whether it is selling yourself as a politician or selling stocks on Wall Street. They don't understand the fundamentals of why we got in this economic mess or how to fix it. Politicians have blinders on as to corporate financial greed and fraud in both Freddie and Fannie.
As much as I admire Barney Frank on everything but the T issue, he ain't no financial genius.

Q & A to Barney Frank from Beth Healy Boston Globe. He didn't see the crisis coming. Greenspan finally spilled the beans about the economy the worst in his lifetime. They all have blinders on and full of political speak rather than acting.

Q.You play a key role as head of the Financial Services Committee. Do you feel that you and your colleagues understood the depth of this crisis as it was coming?
A. Not as it was coming. I don't think anybody really thought that this subprime thing would reverberate as much as it did. I don't think we realized how leveraged things were.

Q.Now there are concerns about money markets failing. Should the government insure them?
A. If people want insurance, they go to banks. There's a trade-off between return and risk. You can't have the maximum return and no risk. The way we help the money markets and the people is to stop the entities from getting into the kind of trouble that leads them to break the buck. Stop them from making bad investments and reduce the leverage.

Q.What would you say to the average investor today? Should they be worried?
A. I'd tell them don't listen to a politician because it has to do with your individual circumstance. Don't listen to anybody who is not looking at your portfolio and your needs and your future.

Back in February, this page http://www.newropeans-magazine.org/content/view/7645/87/ predicted the collapse of the US economy "at the end of the third quarter of 2008" (i.e., September, i.e, right now). Apparently, European analysts saw it coming and called it on the dot. But Barney Frank, who should have made such information his top priority, didn't have a clue it was coming? I guess he was too busy screwing transgendered people out of his doomed-to-fail-anyway ENDA bill to notice the runaway freight train bearing down on him and us.

Neither candidate addressed how a failing economy hurts the LGBTQ community. And sadly no one was expecting it, including our community.

Hell no, they didn't address how the LGBT community would be challenged - and I wouldn't want them to! The economic crisis has middle America by the throat - all of America and not just the queers.

Neither candidate addressed how the economy would affect the African-American community, Hispanics, women, people with disabilities, Catholics, queers, or middle aged men with small dicks and a Corvette to compensate.

They both needed to speak to a united America instead of a divided one. They did so.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | October 1, 2008 9:29 AM

Maybe is a Corvette in the East, Bil, but out here it's a two story SUV with 737 tires and bullhorns on the hood, aka, a PEV, or Penile Enhancement Vehicle.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 1, 2008 11:26 AM

A failed American Economy hurts hurts us least. The 25% of the people in the world at the bottom, one billion of them, are depending on us. if you do not care about them your problems are not worth being solved. If you missed it, feel free to read my posting of Last Saturday. The comments ultimately took it away from it's point so reread Rev Iene's point as well.

Which candidate will leave you better off?