October 13, 2008: Remember “change we can believe in”? How about “the straight talk express”? The first is the mantra of believers in Barack Obama, the second was John McCain's war wagon during his 2000 primary fight for the Republican nomination. Though Dubya ultimately prevailed, McCain's image as political brave heart got a righteous polishing. Even after he became Dubya's liege the image didn't completely lose its luster. As for Obama, his jousts with Bill and Hill of The Infernal Machine won huzzahs in independent circles. But those were the days of yore-- this is now.
Evil omens re the economy hath melded Obama and McCain into one man, living in the cramped quarters of one craven political soul. Something/someone has to give. President-wannabe Obama McCain steps forth to issue a decree. Let the bailouts begin! Up the oligarchy! State capitalism we are here!
Here's another kicker for the serfs. There aren't any third party candidates with enough traction to act as vehicle for a meaningful protest vote. Obama has sucked the air out of the progressive room and Ron Paul's eclectic libertarian revolution didn't find credible expression in plodding Bob Barr. Traditional conservatives console themselves with Sarah Palin. But incendiary Sarah is a loyal second banana. Her banner may lead in the future but that will be then-- this is now. The now of a massive expansion and realignment of government and equally massive new tax burdens for “Average Americans”. The “folks” Obama McCain invokes when denouncing the greedy lenders and Wall Street gamblers he rewarded by supporting-- nay pushing-- Dubya's Big Bailout. This is also the now of Lord Henry Paulson and his mini-me Neel Kashkari. Goldman Sachs-R-Us! The now of a Democrat controlled Congress that hasn't yet held a single hearing on Kashkari's qualifications to be Bailout Czar and that folded like a poop suit when threatened by a failed Republican president and his discredited financial clackers.
But hey-- there will be no exiles on Main Street. Obama McCain (aka OM) plans to rescue Average Americans too. Inside OM's crowded skull the formerly separate candidates disagree re the details of the rescue. This makes for the kind of schizo public monologues most often heard on park benches and street corners. Though both halves of OM agree government (taxpayers) will foot the bill, they clash over how the cash will be culled and dispersed. Each side accuses the other of wanting to screw Average Americans. (Even though both of OM's wives are lookers.) Sometimes OM seems ready to strangle himself. No doubt one half of OM, like Psycho's Mom, will finally prevail.
The succor of Average Americans, under one persona or the other of President OM, will focus on Keeping Americans In Their Homes, Saving The Housing Market, and Supporting Business on Main Street. Possible scenarios include:
A) You give government most of your income. Government gives you back your 40 acres (metaphorically speaking) with a cut rate FHA-backed mortgage, plus the aging mule that your bank, thanks to a wad from Hank Paulson, has agreed not to repo. Your ownership of the 40 acres is administered by a new organ o' HUD, with assistance from local non-profits with social justice missions. Helping you vote is one of the missions. Financial benefits from improvements in your property or from its resale go back to the government. If you don't move for a decade or so (remember the importance of Keeping Americans In Their Homes) you get a cut. If the mule dies, recycled bikes will be available. As will vouchers for the vastly improved mass transit system due to be built any day now.
B) The Wal-Mart and McDonalds that got tax breaks to hang on Main Street need another stimulus injection. The government returns a tiny part of your income. You spend it on Wally & Mick. The nationalized stock market “soars” for 15 minutes and President OM gets a bump in his poll numbers. This helps him sell Congress on his plan to rescue the American Dream of Unaffordable Home Ownership.
C) In order to put a floor under housing prices and keep homebuyers dependent on government assistance and HUD oversight, and in response to pressure by the Nationalized Association of Realtors (NAR), President OM launches the American Dream Rescue Initiative. Comprehensive immigration reform is in the plan (the NAR coins the slogan Open Borders Mean No Open Houses) as is a more controversial proposal for controlled burns of large swaths of existing homes. Concern in Congress that Average Americans might be barbecued by accident is assuaged when President OM adds a proviso for the creation of a new Homeland Security organ that will “keep Americans safe from any wild-fires resulting from controlled burns of excess housing inventory”. Reps immediately start jockeying for the Homeland Security pork, claiming their districts are chock-a-bloc with too many homes. However, the US Conference of Mayors urges the burns be confined to suburbs, in order to encourage urban revitalization.
D) The American Dream Rescue also contains a declaration that renters who have no interest in owning property are Enemies Of The State. Re-education camps to be established under the aegis of Homeland Security, HUD, and the NAR.
Ha ha very funny sez you. But until recently the idea that taxpayers would be tapped to back trillions in various forms of privately incurred debt, on which the level of rottenness is yet to be established, and that Congress, after a few days of panicked palaver, would do a cob job renovation of our financial and political system, would have seemed zany too. As would have the thought that the presidential candidates representing our two major parties would be of one mind and hop on the haywain post-haste.
Tis a mad mad mad new world. And Obama McCain is the man of our hour.
Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff
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