Obama's Thatcherite Gift to the BanksDisclosure: I voted for Obama and deeply, deeply regret it (even though having Palin one heartbeat away from being the POTUS seemed far worse at the time, she would have been far less effective at being ineffective, and far more ineffective at being effective).
By MICHAEL HUDSON
I can smell the newest giveaway looming a mile off. The Wall Street bailout, health-insurance giveaway and support of real estate prices rather than mortgage-debt write-downs were bad enough, not to mention the Oil War’s Afghan extension. But now comes a topper: the $50 billion transportation infrastructure plan that Obama proposed in Milwaukee – cynically enough, on Labor Day. It looks like the Thatcherite Public-Private Partnership, Britain’s notorious giveaway to the City of London underwriters. The financial giveaway had the effect of increasing prices for basic infrastructure services by building in heavy financial fees – guaranteed for the banks, who lent the money that banks and property owners used to pay in taxes in more progressive times.
The Obama transport plan is like a Fannie Mae for bankers, based on the President’s guiding mantra: “Let’s help Wall Street put Americans back to work.” The theory is that giving public guarantees and bailouts will enable financial managers to use some of the money to fund some projects that employ people – with newly created, non-unionized companies, presumably.
Here’s the problem. Transportation projects will make real estate speculators, the construction industry and their bankers very rich unless the government recovers its public spending through windfall site-value gains on property along the right-of-way.
What’s the point of a party having a constituency, after all, if not to sell it out? Is not the Democratic Party’s role to deliver labor, the minorities and the large cities hog-tied to Wall Street?
Monday, September 13, 2010
Thus Spoke Michael Hudson: Obama's Thatcherite Gift to the Banks
Original, full article here: