Wednesday, May 26, 2010

NV-Sen: Club for Growth Going to Bat for Angle (& Hitting Back at Lowdown)

Uh, oh. Suzy Lowdown's in BIG trouble! She tried to take down Sharron "Obtuse Angle" (Thanks, Scorpiogal!), but it looks like her attempted smackdown is backfiring on her. Obtuse Angle's corporate funded astroturf buddies at Club for Growth are hitting back!

Oh yes, Ms. Obtuse Angle is being embraced by the same folks that even top Republicans had called too extremist!

Oh yes, and remember what just happened next door? They were a part of that, too!

And now, it looks like Suzy Lowdown has unleashed their wrath upon her. She thought she could use all her big, bad Archon bucks to slam Obtuse Angle...

But now, she's getting a taste of her own medicine... And getting it from expert "political hit men" who've made a record of promoting only the wingnuttiest of wingnutty Rethuglicans. But wait, why would they attack Ms. Suzy? After all, she's worked hard to veer as far to the radical right as humanly possible. Well, Batsh*t Crazy Sharron Angle still has her beat on that. Take it away, Desert Beacon!

The Las Vegas Sun reports, "Angle wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare. She doesn’t believe Wall Street is in need of reform and would vote to abolish the U.S. Education Department." While these sentiments may endear her to the hard right of the GOP, they aren't especially resonant with those currently receiving Social Security benefits, nor are they likely to find a favorable ear with those enjoying the affordable premium and health care costs of the Medicare program. That would be approximately 11.2% of Nevada's population.

For the sake of analysis, all the propositions set forth in Angle's position statements (privatize Social Security, Medicare; deregulate Wall Street; and, abolish the Dept. of Education) appear to stem from her inclination to favor Wall Street over Main Street.

The privatization of Social Security has been a mainstay of the investment interests since retirement accounts of various forms have become the next large target for Wall Street. The amount of money available for Wall Street investment houses has surged at various points in time and the Streeters are looking for the next pot of gold. They once looked to the creation of money market accounts as a profitable revenue stream, and those were - and still are - profitable, but they don't represent a source of "new money."

Innovations in retirement accounts was once a source of "new money" as more individuals put funds into IRAs and 401(k)s. This, too, still represents a profitable source of funding for the investment institutions, but again, it's not "new money." In order to maintain high levels of profitability, and those fat bonus checks, it's periodically necessary for Wall Street to find new income streams.

So, what's left? Everyone's retirement account. Forcing all Americans at some point in time to invest in Wall Street financial institutions would represent the next great Golden Egg for the investment firms. Issues regarding the solvency of Social Security are fodder for another post at another time, but suffice it to say that (1) the system is NOT bankrupt, nor is it getting that way; [SocSec Report May 2009 pdf] and, (2) the Social Security system was never meant to be a total retirement plan, it was (and is) a safety net program guaranteeing minimal income to as many people as possible. There is absolutely nothing preventing anyone in the country from investing as much as any individual may see fit in an individual retirement account; the essential question is: Do we want to put the fabric of a safety net program in the hands of Wall Street traders?

Wall Street lost the battle to gain more control over student loans when the parasitical relationship between private lenders who received the benefit of privatized profits and socialized losses was reformed to reduce the role of private lending by cutting off the taxpayers' subsidization to private banks. The Department of Education, which oversees the Direct Student Loan Program estimates the savings (the part Wall St. isn't getting) as $45.6 billion through FY 2020. [EdBudgetSum] Dispensing with the Department of Education would put all student loans back into the hands of Wall Street bankers, and eliminate grants for low income students -- who presumably would have to take out more student loans as well. Remember, please, the precept that one man's liability is another's asset, and recall that student loans are similar to mortgages in that they can be securitized, tranched, "waterfalled," and sold off to hedge funds and institutional investors. If ALL student financing could be privatized and made available to the Wall Street investment trading desks, then the traders would be happy indeed.

And this is why Club for Growth is going all out for Angle. Like the Club, she believes in letting the corporate fat cats do whatever they please while we suffer (and ultimately pay the tab for their misdeeds with government bailouts!). Again, even Republicans like Mike Huckabee and Bob Bennett have denounced the "Club for Greed" as extreme. I just wonder if Suzy Lowdown could ever do the same. She tried to sew up the nomination by making the teabaggers (and their corporate backers) her new BFFs. I doubt she'd ever muster the intestinal fortitude to call them out for what they're now doing to her.

And slowly but surely, the Nevada GOoPers and their big, flashy corporate right friends (like Club for Growth) are being exposed for what they really stand for...

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