Different president, same results
June 29, 2011
I was intrigued by Scott Miller’s letter to the editor in reference to Melanie Sturm’s recent “Think Again” column (“Easy for Sturm to say,” letters, June 27, 2011, The Aspen Times). Mr. Miller seems to believe that Ms. Sturm’s articulate, thoughtful opinions about capitalism and our Constitution should carry less weight because she has wealthy parents. I have no idea of Mr. Miller’s upbringing, but I would think his ideas should stand on their own merit, without regard to the status of his parents. Isn’t that what America is supposed to be about?
Mr. Miller is quite pleased that our government has stepped in with bailout money to rescue companies where his relatives work, so they could “continue to pay their mortgages and live the American Dream.” This is understandable. However, he fails to acknowledge that the American Dream was created by allocating capital to the most well-run, successful companies, not the poorly managed, failing ones. By giving money to save poorly managed entities, we were in essence taking away capital from the plethora of well-run businesses or potential new companies that might have created many more jobs than the ones that were saved.
Mr. Miller is correct to criticize President Bush’s profligate spending. Under both President Bush and President Obama, our country pursued a course of “too big to fail,” as we bailed out the big banks, insurance companies and automakers. At the same time, we also had a policy of “small enough to get screwed,” as we let millions of hard-working Americans lose their homes due to predatory lending, while the Wall Street bankers continued to take millions in bonuses. The Wall Street types whined they needed to offer “retention bonuses.” Barney Frank, the colorful Massachusetts congressman, had it right when he joked that the bankers needed “detention, not retention.”
The biggest lie in American politics is that the Republicans represent big business and oil companies, while the Democrats look out for the “little guy.” More realistically, the Democrats just have a different group of paid lobbyists, representing trial lawyers and unions.
Sadly, both parties pander to Wall Street, where millions of dollars in campaign contributions originate. Where is Mr. Miller’s outrage that, despite bringing the world to the edge of collapse, the Obama administration has not prosecuted even one executive from a major financial institution, bank or insurance company? Moreover, President Obama promised us that, if he were elected, he would ban lobbyists from the White House. Disappointingly, nothing has changed in our Capitol, and Washington remains as slimy as ever.
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It’s a sad state of affairs, but the only thing we can accurately say about America, is that “we have the best politicians money can buy!”