One of the perils of being a populist, as John McCain is finding out, is that the public is allowed to change its mind, but politicians who attempt to follow them end up looking bad.
the four-term senator says he was misled by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. McCain said the pair assured him that the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program would focus on what was seen as the cause of the financial crisis, the housing meltdown.
"Obviously, that didn't happen," McCain said in a meeting Thursday with The [Arizona] Republic's Editorial Board, recounting his decision-making during the critical initial days of the fiscal crisis. "They decided to stabilize the Wall Street institutions, bail out (insurance giant) AIG, bail out Chrysler, bail out General Motors.... What they figured was that if they stabilized Wall Street - I guess it was trickle-down economics - that therefore Main Street would be fine."
I am not sure this is much of a defense. Even without McCain's access to such financial luminaries, I and many others predicted at the time the $700 billion slush fund would be used as, well, as slush fund to bail out the politically well-connected. I must admit I didn't see the GM/UAW bailout coming, but its not wildly surprising in retrospect.
Unfortunately for all of us, McCain's competition in the next election, JD Hayworth, is even less appealing.
I said it a couple of weeks ago:
Economists will be poking through this situation years from now, and may well find the bunkers
empty of WMD's. Another trillion dollar commitment and unprecedented
expansion of executive power ramrodded on the back of fear mongering
and chicken-little crisis declaration.
And even before that on October 1
Well, they're picking through the bunkers now, and its not at all clear the threat was what it was portrayed to be. The Fed of Minneapolis debunks four myths (pdf)
Myth 1. Bank lending to non…nancial corporations and individuals has declined sharply.
Myth 2. Interbank lending is essentially nonexistent.
Myth 3. Commercial paper issuance by non…nancial corporations has declined sharply and rates have risen to unprecedented levels.
Myth 4. Banks play a large role in channeling funds from savers to borrowers.
Apparently, others are starting to make the WMD comparison.
A couple of examples below. First, sure looks like all the inter-bank lending has dried up:
Yep, and no one is lending to Main Street businesses either, so we better do something!
Just to avoid confusion, that upward spike began in September, well before the Lehman bankruptcy. Similar stories in commercial paper, consumer lending, leases, etc. See the whole thing.
Our execrable sheriff Joe Arpaio conducted another of his famous roundups of people with brown skin. This time descending on an area landscaping company, our brave deputies zip-tied anyone who did not look Anglo-Saxon. To have their handcuffs removed, workers of Latin descent had to first provide proof that they were in the country legally. Note that there is no legal requirement that I know of that workers in this country carry proof of citizenship at all times, on the off-chance the local Gestapo will descend on them and demand to see their papers.
Deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office raided a Mesa
landscaping company early Wednesday morning, arresting nearly three
dozen people suspected of being in the country illegally.
The raid on offices of Artistic Land Management, on Main Street just
west of Dobson Road, happened about 4:30 a.m., according to one worker
who was handcuffed and detained before being released when he produced
documentation that he was in the country legally....
Juarez estimated about 35 workers were handcuffed with plastic zip-ties
while deputies checked for documents. Those who could provide proof
they were in the country legally were released, while others were put
on buses and taken away.