Friday, December 04, 2009

Ben Bernanke is an ASS

See title.

Sure, he's an ass with big brass balls attached to it. (Somehow). You have to have big brass balls to follow up a massive bailout of the wealthiest with calls for medicare and social security cuts. You have to have GIGANTIC stones to do so when the unemployment/underemployment rate is north of 17%. But, well, according to him "that's where the money is".

No, really. Read for yourself.

In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee today, where he's seeking re-appointment as the Fed's chairman, Bernanke called for cutbacks in Medicare and Social Security even as unemployment rises and the middle class is endangered.

Citing legendary bank robber Willie Sutton, Bernanke said of the retirement and health care funds that are the legacy of the New Deal: "That's where the money is."

I'm not even angry. This defies anger. It's so horribly brazen that it's almost impressive. It's useful, too: this bastard and his ilk stand tall as absolutely everything that is wrong with the United States of America, if not the entire First World. It is the Robber Baron mentality of the people that OWN YOU given life, and form, and sent out squalling into the world to make said world even more of a disaster.

But, hey, let's let him elaborate:
"I think you can't tackle the problem in the medium term without doing something about getting entitlements under control and reducing the costs, particularly of health care."

Bernanke reminded Congress that it has the power to repeal Social Security and Medicare.

"It's only mandatory until Congress says it's not mandatory. And we have no option but to address those costs at some point or else we will have an unsustainable situation," said Bernanke.

Story continues below

But there are several other obvious options that could make the situation sustainable -- including a transaction tax on Wall Street speculation or a slight tax hike on the wealthiest Americans.

Bernanke talks as if increasing taxes on the wealthy simply isn't an option.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) followed Bennett and pointed out that "there's only really two ways you can deflect this deficit, and that's either by cutting expenditures or raising income taxes or other forms of taxes."

Reed asked him if he could think of other ways, but Bernanke returned to entitlement money as the way to balance the budget.

"Willie Sutton robbed banks because that's where the money is, as he put it," Bernanke said. "The money in this case is in entitlements."

There's also money at the very top of the income ladder. Reed asked if Congress would be wise to tax some of it. Full of suggestions when it came to cutting entitlements, Bernanke was suddenly overtaken by a bout of policy modesty.

"Would you take taxes off the table?" Reed asked.

"Those decisions are up to Congress," Bernanke said.

"Well, your predecessor signaled very strongly that the tax cuts in 2000 were appropriate," Reed reminded him.

"I have not done that. I've done my best to leave that authority where it belongs, with the Congress," Bernanke said, just moments after telling Congress to cut entitlement spending.

Incredible. They're going to use the crisis that their buddies created and profited from, the buddies that are paying asshats like Beck and Limbaugh to distract you, to make your life even worse.

They know that if you cut away the safety nets that help protect people their employers can squeeze you even harder, with the knowledge that the only option is starvation, homelessness, sickness and death. Lower labor costs, higher prices, fatter margins, bigger bonuses.

Yep, it takes big brass balls to say shit like this. I guess Bernanke and Co. just figure the reward is worth it.

Edit: Just in case it wasn't clear, Bernanke needs to be shown the door. Sanders' hold shows that it's certainly possible, and any Dem decision to ignore Sanders' lead and confirm Bernanke will end up blowing up in their faces.

Let me be perfectly clear: if things do not improve, the Democrats will be facing a popular revolt by election day next year. If they STILL don't improve, that revolt could turn nasty, and possiby become a threat to national stability and security. Whinging about the deficit is ludicrous when stacked up against that threat.

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