Oct 19, 2008

Neither

In Philip R. Klein's latest article on the Southeast Texas Political Review, he tries hard to rationalize why he won't vote in the Presidential Election.   In reality, Mr. No-Credibility is simply regurgitating his typical bumper sticker mentality with little understanding of the real issues:

Reason # 1 : Neither candidate is willing to cut down the size of government.

Simply put - both candidates want to increase the size of government.

Philip frequently argues that all government is bad.   If so, then perhaps he'd be happier in another country - the U.S. Federal Government isn't perfect, but it's the best thing out there, in my humble opinion, and I don't think it's inherently bad. 

Simply put: People want effective government for their money, not anarchy with little or no government as Philip apparently advocates.  If we have cops on Main Street, we should have cops on Wall Street, too.

Reason # 2 : Both are part of the problem.

Okay - get this. They pass a billion dollar bailout package - and now the problem is worse. And frankly not getting any better. Why? Because now you have government involved in the private banking business and in private business in holding stock.

Actually, that was a $700 billion bailout package - Philip clearly doesn't even know the real facts. 

Furthermore, he's totally confused  about what this bailout package really means - no one, either the government or the private sector, can fix the current economic problems in a day, a week or a month.    It took several years of wildly speculative lending to get into this position, due primarily to the lack of regulation in the lending markets. 

Philip hysterical statements prove he's completely ignorant of the real dynamics involved in the economic downturn:

Seriously - this is socialism. This is the government take over of private business and our banking industry.

In reality: no private banks have been nationalized and no private businesses have been taken over by the Fed.  In September, the  Federal Housing Finance Agency became the conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac  - as someone  who is quite familiar with bankruptcy, Philip should realize this is not uncommon.

Philip's confusion is further evident in his next statement:

Both supported Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac - that began this crash that we see today.

Actually, the problems began when regulations were loosened and private financial institutions, such as Countrywide, were allowed to make risky loans. These lenders made a tidy profit from the commission on the loans, then sold the risky paper to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who bundled them into securities and sold them to other banks as part of their investment portfolios. When those loans started going south, the banks were left with worthless investments. Hence, the credit meltdown, where banks are now afraid to lend money to each other.

In the emergency relief package that Philip claims is "socialism," the U.S. Federal government has simply agreed to guarantee these risky investments.  This has nothing to do with nationalizing banks or the "take-over" of operations at any private bank, but rather serves as good faith investment in the future of America.  As most financial analysts point out, it's possible, perhaps probable, that the U.S. Taxpayer will actually see a profit.

I'd love to debate these issues with Klein, but his ignorance of the real issues preclude any serious discussion.   This is why he's forced to fall back the "same old think, over and over and over again."

Reason # 3 : Neither Show Bold Leadership.

But only change in your everyday life. Like the government taking more of your money and telling you more of what to and not to do.

Philip's third rationalization reads like something a middle-school student would come up with at the last minute for a homework assignment they forgot to do.

Barack Obama is the first African-American candidate to secure a major party's nomination for the presidency, while accepting NO public funding for his campaign. Not only did he secure the nomination, but he did so against the Clinton machine after pundits and party officials alike said he'd never make it to the finish line. That sounds quite bold to me.

Regarding John McCain's leadership, how about McCain-Fiengold? Gramm-Rudman? The Line Item Veto Act of 1996?  The tobacco industry?  Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee?  Did I mention Viet Nam?

Reason # 4 : Both Candidates want to tax the upper income class and corporations

Philip again proves he's not remotely conversant with real economics - consider this statement:

1) Raise the cost of products to cover the costs of increase taxes (inflation - and you pay)

I've already commented on Philip's erroneous definition of inflation in this article, but reiterating, Philip is describing recessionary pressure, not inflation, which is caused by increases in aggregate demand due to escalating private and government spending, or when the money supply exceeds productivity, leading to a loss of consumer purchasing power.

The rest of his statement is just as addled. For instance:

Any further debt could start a recession.

Send the jobs overseas to a less expensive labor market

Large ticket items that are commonly spent by the upper class will be reduced. Meaning - hard dollars used to create those luxuries and the jobs and services that provide such will leave.

All of this has been happening for several  years, even with the huge corporate and upper class tax cuts from the Bush Administration, but I suppose Philip thinks the upper class is buying Chevrolets and Fords manufactured in the U.S.

Reason # 5 : We want the United States and its citizens to taste socialism

Spoken like a true patriot!  This is the same person that has predicted the death of Jefferson County each year for the past 10 years.

In addition, Philip would also like to know the identity of Sam the Eagle and myself.  Since his crack team of investigators and attorneys haven't been able to figure out who we are, he's now placed a $1,000 dollar bounty on each of us.  To collect, please contact Philip R. Klein, but get the money up front and don't take any wooden nickels or promises of proceeds from an SBA loan.

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