Clearly nothing is going to get done before the election in November. What do you think ought to be high on the agenda of the next president and congress? Well, certainly jobs and making sure that the banks can’t do to us what they did in 2008.
For jobs I think that the way that Franklin Roosevelt went about it during the “Great Depression” was the only thing that we know works. Spend money and create jobs. It worked for Roosevelt and it would probably work for us. We were hemorrhaging jobs when President Obama came to power but the spending seemed to have stopped it. There needs to be more.
For some odd reason, the Republicans seem to feel that spending less money in order to make a smaller government will get us going again. They are clearly confusing ideology (smaller government) with the need to put people back to work. Buy things! Spend money! If the consumer won’t do it then the government must. By the way, Sweden as well as Israel are weathering the depression pretty well and they both have large socialist economies.
So, after getting people back to work it would be nice if our political leaders can show that they have absorbed the lessons of 2008 and will not let the financial institutions do to us again what they did then. The banks need to be tightly regulated and the regulations need to be enforced!. Who can best do that? The top five contributors to the Romney campaign are:
1. Goldman Sachs (a bank)
2. JP Morgan Chase (a bank)
3. Morgan Stanley (a bank)
4. Bank of America (a bank)
5. Credit Suisse (a bank)
Do you think that a President Romney might owe them something?
For President Obama, we have:
1. Microsoft Corp. (not a bank)
2. University of California (not a bank)
3. Dla Piper (international law firm — not a bank)
4. Google, Inc. (not a bank)
5. Harvard University (not a bank)
Understand that the above organizations themselves did not donate. The money came from the organization’s PACS, the individual members or employees or owners.
If we are going to get anything done, it would seem that the better president to have would be one who is not beholding to the banks. One could ask why when President Obama had 4-years he didn’t try to do something. Well, he did! The Wall Street Journal reported on July 21, 2010, that President Obama signed into law the most historic shakeup of the regulation of US banks since the Great Depression.
President Obama was able to do that because, at the time, he had a majority in the House of Representatives as well as the Senate. That law should not have been necessary. We had some tough laws that were passed during the 1932 depression that were well thought out and did the job. The problem came with the Republicans getting more strength in congress, developing their new ideology (smaller government, no regulations, protect the wealthy) and dismantling the depression-era laws one by one. Their new ideology, by the way, was not all that new. It was very common in the 1800s. Finally, the laws were gone by the year 2000 and we had a Republican president — a person who was not likely to do anything until it was much too late. The perfect storm!
By the year 2008 it was MUCH too late. Have we learned anything?