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Vail Daily letter: Conservatives blame wrong president

Sam Sterling
Vail, CO, Colorado

Butch Mazzuca’s commentary published on Jan. 4 is merely the latest in a long line of “conservative” opinion pieces of trash rolled out by the Vail Daily. Rife with absolute statements and outright falsehoods, it panders to the basest emotions of what is “wrong” with our current administration and echoes the rants of Rush, Glen, Hannity, et al. Those clowns make billions stoking the fires of discontent and have no interest in helping the American culture beyond their own fat asses. Here’s a response to Butch’s letter based in fact and focused on the deficit:

1. TARP, $780 billion (rounding all figures from the Congressional Budget Office), started by Hank Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs and member of the Bush administration who got on bended knee before Speaker Pelosi (D) and begged her to pass TARP against her conservative-like impulse to let the bad banks go to hell. Some of it went to GM, which started repayments during Obama’s watch and looks to be on a path to profitability for the first time in decades. But the largest benefactor of TARP was, you guessed it, Goldman Sachs. GS would have gone straight down the toilet without TARP, along with the global economy, but they are making record profits now.

2. Bush’s Medicare prescription drug benefit, now estimated at $720 billion after “cost savings” credits, a boondoggle of fraud and waste that provides billions of dollars of medications to undeserving without any oversight.



3. Iraq war, $3 trillion and counting. For a sobering snapshot of the costs that continue and are yet to be accounted for, see the Sept. 5, 2010, article in the Washington Post.

4. Bush tax cuts, $1.2 trillion. The cuts didn’t significantly help the middle and upper middle classes due to the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax law. People making $600,000 and more benefited the most. In response to a recent Vail Daily article, those wealthy folks sure didn’t spend much of their tax cuts on valley real estate over the past three years.



The nearly complete recovery of investment portfolios for the uber-rich, who should be thanking Obama for his friendly policies towards big business, hasn’t spurred spending, either.

So much for trickle-down economics. Most financial publications deem the tax cuts a complete failure.

These four items add up to $5.7 trillion of our $14 trillion national debt. Gee, and they all happened under W., along with trillions for post 9-11 Homeland Security and the Katrina disaster. Laying blame for the deficit on the Obama administration is beyond ludicrous.



Solutions of slashing entitlements like unemployment insurance (which incidentally has been identified as the most effective stimulus spending of any) doesn’t amount to a drop in the bucket. Cutting spending on education saves little and only relegates the U.S. to permanent Third World status. Fact is, neither Republicans nor Democrats are willing to touch the military or Social Security sacred cows that have the greatest possible budgets to cut the deficit.

Butch’s fondness for quotes is confusing. Is less government really effective? The complete gutting of banking regulations under Chairman Phil Gramm (R) and the subsequent masterminding of complex financial instruments (gambling) by Goldman Sachs were directly responsible for the sub-prime lending fiasco and real estate meltdown.

The truth nobody wants to hear is that the financial and real estate bust will mean relatively higher unemployment for a while longer and there’s not much anyone can do about it until housing demand increases with population in due time.

The truth nobody wants to tell is that the recession is over, businesses are hiring or about to hire, a newer and more stable economy is taking shape, tax revenues will rise with incomes and corporate profits, and the deficit will shrink — amazing good news which doesn’t sell newspapers, defeat election opponents or inspire a tea party.

Sam Sterling

Vail


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