The Loaves And Fishes Election? genre: Econ-Recon & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak
If this election turns out to be about religious ideology...while ignoring the real implications of electing a candidate who supports the same policies of the president who created the troubled economy we're now enduring...it may well be appropriate to call this "The Loaves and Fishes Election"...although I doubt either will be abundant...and they most certainly wont be free.
Troubling as it is, a number of voters seem poised to place matters of morality in front of their own economic self-interest. What remains to be seen is the depths to which voters are willing to sacrifice their pocket books in deference to the religious rhetoric being bantered about by the GOP.
Perhaps the news of the decision by the government to take over the troubled mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will provide the impetus for voters to think twice before granting the GOP another four year...on top of the eight during which the national debt nearly doubled and personal income failed to advance.
Let me attempt to make this simple. Under the Bush administration, huge tax cuts were enacted...primarily for the wealthiest of Americans. At the same time, mortgage interest rates were kept artificially low. That allowed for a housing bubble which enabled millions of Americans to borrow and spend newfound equity. It also allowed for those with capital (think those who received the tax cuts) to invest in and profit from the financial market.
Jump forward to the end of 2008. The Bush administration and John McCain favor extending the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans...arguing that we can't raise taxes in a down economy. The problem with that logic is that the tax cuts helped facilitate the shoddy economy we have. It also allowed the rich to get richer and it allowed millions of Americans to borrow what they thought was an expanading equity in their homes. That ability to access equity served as the candy coating on an otherwise unsound economy.
However, as they say, it's now time to pay the piper. So what does this mean for the average American? Well, it means that millions of Americans will see their home values decline, their debt increase, their access to better jobs diminish, and ownership of an expanding national debt that will have to be addressed.
And what does this mean for the wealthiest Americans under John McCain's more of the same administration? It means that they will have benefited from years of a reduced tax burden. It means they were able to invest this and other money in a finance industry that was fueled by artificially low interest rates...which means that they pocketed billions of dollars.
At the same time, the government has now stepped in to salvage the insolvency of the two largest mortgage providers in the United States...shifting their debt to the government and therefore to the taxpayer...in what will likely be the largest bail out in U.S. history...a bail out that will exceed the last one that allowed the wealthy to scam the public, the Savings and Loan scandal.
What this means is the government provided the manipulated means for the wealthy to profit...and profit they did...and then when this pyramid imploded under the lack of government oversight...the government, in typical form, concluded it would have to step in to stabilize the financial markets...and that, of course, will mean it's time to divide the losses amongst the remainder of the taxpayers. Enter John McCain...who argues we simply can't increase taxes (code language for rolling back the tax cuts) on the wealthy because it will hurt the troubled economy.
Look, this scenario isn't remotely the equivalent of the Loaves and Fishes story. In fact, it's actually the opposite. Instead, the average American will have provided the wealthiest amongst us with an abundance of enrichment...via tax cuts and government policy...which in turn damaged the economy...which "forced" the government to step in...to now bill that very enrichment...to none other than the average American.
Now the McCain campaign will tell us that the Democrats will tax and spend Americans into oblivion...citing the Democrats desire to give middle class Americans a tax break as well as plans to provide health care to all Americans as examples of their ill-advised fiscal oversight. The GOP will do so while attempting to bury billions of dollars in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt...debt that originated under the misguided management of the GOP...all the while asserting their own fiscal bona fides...and never once admitting that these same billions of dollars would allow us to fund a tax cut as well as initiate an equitable and accessible health care system.
My friends, John McCain and the GOP are burning the candle at both ends and the middle class is the quickly disappearing wax in between. Look, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hold six trillion dollars of mortgage debt...and taxpayers will have to pay the portion of that debt that will be unrecoverable. They'll do so while watching their own wealth decline.
If all of this tangible sacrifice and suffering warrants the election of a party that gives lip service to social issues, then perhaps faith is far more powerful than I imagined. Notwithstanding, the last time I checked, faith, placed in false Gods, isn't faith at all; it's folly.
I suspect if the one called Jesus were still walking this earth, he'd be leading the effort to toss the tax collectors out of the temple. The man who bonded with the dregs of society...the likes of Mary Magdalen...would be able to discern deceit from devotion. He'd be telling the flock that faith is not a blind endeavor and our acts of affirmation must translate into more than tangential testimonies meant to massage the angst that accompanies our own divergence from living doctrine as opposed to wearing it as a label on one's lapel.
The corruption of Christian values for political expediency can be traced to those whose ambitions exceed their inclinations towards maintaining morality. Morality is more than a catch phrase coined by partisans for political gain. Those who enable these interlopers may take solace in surrendering their own responsibility to the ruse of rhetoric...under the guise of genuflection...but should there actually be the defined deity who drives their dogma...I suspect the line he's labeled "sinners" has continued its exponential expansion.
John McCain and the GOP may succeed in November...but it won't result in the feeding of the massed and it certainly won't be viewed as a miracle. Given that magic is equated with a sleight of hand, I suspect history would record his election as the efficient execution of one exceedingly cynical, but equally slick, illusion.