This chart comes to us from TPM
by way of BradBlog
. Pretty powerful stuff, if you ask me.
Circa 1980, I had many arguments with Reaganites who insisted that LBJ's Great Society programs had bankrupted the country. And what
(I asked) about a little thing called Vietnam? Didn't that cost money too?
If the Iraq and Afghan wars had never occurred, our debt would be manageable -- even with the recession. Let us never forget that the financial disaster of 2008 can also
be blamed on Dubya's libertarian or neo-liberal deregulatory policies.
On a related note: Economists Gretchen Morgenson and Josh Rosner are warning of an even greater Wall Street disaster
in the near future.
"The risks are enormous" because there's even more concentration of assets among the biggest banks, which are "too big to analyze and manage," he says.
If the financial system was a "house of cards" before the crisis, the situation is worse today because back then investors had "some sense the numbers being given in annual reports and quarterly filings were accurate," Rosner says. "Now we know the government seems to be [complicit] in allowing them to fudge those numbers."
I'm not sure what to make of this prediction; feedback would be welcome. Roshner and Morgenson tend to blame Fannie and Freddie for the near-collapse of Wall Street, even though they were not
to blame. They were hardly innocent, but they were not the cause. Morgenson has been associated with Steven Forbes, who is getting more Tea Party-ish by the day.
(Don't be surprised to see Forbes jump into the race, perhaps after the earliest primaries.)On a related note:
Why is that so many liberals (wrongly) blame Bill Clinton for ending Glass-Steagall? The true author of repeal was Texas Republican Phil Gramm
, who probably did more than any other individual in Congress to destroy the American economy. Yet Gramm seems to be getting history's get-out-of-jail free card.On a linguistic note:
I've been using the term "Libertarian" as a catch-all term for the extreme laissez-faire policies that have destroyed our economy. This term is hardly ideal. For one thing, there are sectarian squabbles between the Randroids, the Friedmanites, the Libertarian party and the (growing) libertarian wing of the Republican party.
I'm also bothered because "Libertarian" derives from "liberty." In fact, Libertarianism has an undeniable historical tendency toward enslavement. Was not the antebellum South a more-or-less libertarian society? Can we not say the same thing about modern slave states, such as Dubai?
To be frank, I'm never quite sure when the word "Libertarian" should be capitalized.
"Neo-liberal" is an even worse phrase, since the uneducated might confuse it with JFK-style liberalism.
We need a better label for our enemy. Something kind of icky. Something that will piss them off