Republican hypocrisy about debt

It's a popular misconception that Republicans are concerned about our nation's debt problem. It's maybe less inaccurate to say they're concerned about government debt, but that's not really their root concern either, is it? In reality, it's the collective management of our resources they are opposed to, because this puts power in the hands of the people, not (business) corporations.

How have I arrived at this conclusion, you may ask? Because of the way they approach individual (personal) debt. Not only is that kind of debt "okay", Republicans go out of their way protecting their corporate masters' freedom to enslave us with usurial and wealth-destroying practices.

Before I go on, let's take a look at just where we stand financially. Forgive the age of this article (6 years old) and the source (dang Socialists):

US consumer debt has reached staggering levels after more than doubling over the past 10 years. According to the most recent figures from the Federal Reserve Board, consumer debt hit $1.98 trillion in October 2003, up from $1.5 trillion three years ago. This figure, representing credit card and car loan debt, but excluding mortgages, translates into approximately $18,700 per US household.

Outstanding consumer credit, including mortgage and other debt, reached $9.3 trillion in April 2003, representing an increase from $7 trillion in January 2000. The total credit card debt alone stands at $735 billion, with the household card debt of those who carry balances estimated to average $12,000.

I'm sure this comes as no surprise to most of you reading this. Nothing is more depressing than trying to add a few more dollars over the minimum payment on your credit card, just so you can pay it off a year or two before you move into an assisted living facility.

“But with debt levels substantially higher now than they were 20 years earlier, the household sector is more vulnerable now than in the past to rising interest rates,” according to the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal Washington, D.C., think tank. Americans currently spend a near-record 18.1 percent of their after-tax income to cover all debts, with debt service taking the biggest share of income from the lowest-income families.

“We’ve never had so many who owed so much,” said David Wyss, chief economist with Standard & Poor’s.

So yeah, it's a problem. A huge problem actually, and one that adversely impacts the lives of thousands on a daily basis. But instead of working towards solutions for this problem, such as curbing the out-of-control interest rates of predatory lenders, Republicans stubbornly oppose such interventions, and actually try to reshape the issue into either the "freedoms" mantra or one of economic growth:

All the fresh publicity about alleged dirty doings by Goldman Sachs, etc., is beside the point: Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) has produced a bill that skips over the real issues to focus on a Democratic bugaboo — supposedly abusive lending.

Thus, Dodd's bill fails to end bailouts, as many have noted. Instead, it adds new restrictions on credit — which are likely to cost our economy tens of thousands of jobs a year.

Reductions in credit directly result in declines in job creation. We know, for instance, that the two most common sources of funds for starting businesses are home-equity and credit-card debt. The bursting of the housing bubble largely eliminated the first option; now Washington is trying its best to kill the second.

Make no mistake: the pundits, think-tankers and Republican candidates for office know that personal debt is actually the real threat to our freedoms and prosperity, they just don't give a shit. And if you study connections like these, you'll understand why:

Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA): Established in 1999 to ensure consumer confidence in, and long-term success of, the payday advance industry. CFSA spent $2.5 million in lobbying in 2009.

Consumer Rights League: Founded in 2007 by Michael Flynn and Terry Kibbe. Last fall filed federal complaints against Center for Responsible Lending alleging lobbying violations, which have not been proven.

Defend America PAC: Led by U.S. Rep. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking member on the House banking committee, this PAC from 2006-2010 has given $797,000 to Republican lawmakers, including $10,000 this election cycle to North Carolina Senator Richard Burr. Koch Industries has kicked in $5,000 to the PAC this year.

Michael Flynn: Editor of BigGovernment.com and co-founder of Consumer Rights League. Formerly worked for the Reason Foundation and Richard Berman's lobbying firm. Nicknamed "Dr. Evil," Berman has created dozens of pro-business front groups and websites including ActivistCash.com, which has attacked the Center for Responsible Lending, and Econ4U.org, which offers guidance on credit and payday loans.

This ain't rocket science folks, it's simple follow-the-money, conflict-of-interest, bought-and-paid-for corporate advocacy with ideological trappings. And if we're not careful, these snake-oil salesmen are going to sweep our democracy under the rug come November.

Run-of-the-mill Democratic voters out there might be struck with apathy this election season, but those of us who consider ourselves "informed activists" don't have that luxury. If you've read this far, that means you. Can I guarantee that your efforts will make a difference? Maybe not, but I can guarantee that your complacency will have terrible results.

I'll leave you with this:

Comments

I will be enjoying beer watching those pretzel shaped

Republican arguments about taxes and debt this Fall. It's almost like watching a circular firing squad.

Also enjoying the strict constitutionalists arguing for repeal of portions thereof. Skoal!

Progressives are the true conservatives.

That tan is distracting

Boner must have attended the George Hamilton school of sun-roasted public figures. Soon to be touring on the melanoma circuit...

Reserved Agreement

I mostly agree with the sentiment of your post, scharrison. I think that astronomical consumer debt is a huge problem, if not the foremost problem, in our country right now. And unfortunately, I don't think it's a problem that's being properly addressed, or even acknowledged. Kudos for drawing attention to it.

With that said, I think your conclusions regarding the Republicans may be a bit too broad.

Make no mistake: the pundits, think-tankers and Republican candidates for office know that personal debt is actually the real threat to our freedoms and prosperity, they just don't give a shit.

I'm relying on the article you cite to support this quote. And from what I read, the article simply takes a stand against Dodd's proposed bill, on the grounds that it restricts the availability of credit. I don't see how that necessarily leads one to the conclusion that they all just don't give a shit. Is it not possible that they may give a shit, but would just prefer not to grant more power to the government to restrict credit availability? Which leads me to your opening thesis:

In reality, it's the collective management of our resources they are opposed to, because this puts power in the hands of the people, not (business) corporations.

I agree with the first part, not the with second. From what I've seen Republicans are against collective management of resources. But I don't think some dark desire to make corporations almighty fuels this aversion to centralized control on the part of most Republicans. It is possible that they would rather see individuals assert more responsibility over their own borrowing practices, than grant a central authority increased control over those practices. And in all honesty, this seems like that would be the most direct way of putting power in the hands of the people. Collective control is, by practice if not by definition, the control of a few individuals over many.

Of course, my conclusions may also be overly broad. If you're just talking about Republican politicians and the pundits or think-tank employees who report to them (more or less), then I again agree with you. I am a firm believer that uncorrupted politicians are few and very far between.

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

You mean Republocrat hypocrisy don't you?

Actually, if one decides to push away the pitcher of Replocratic Kool-Aid, one finds out that it is hypocrisy for any professional politician to claim that they are concerned about the People's debt. After all, it is their sole purpose in life to steal money from whomever they can get by with in order to give to someone else for their own political expediency and self-importance. The reason why so many so-called self proclaimed "progressive liberals" favor this is because in actuality they are neither "progressive" nor "liberal" but actually a hybrid form of National Socialist/Communist. Let's not forget the mantra, "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need", which generally means distribution of wealth from those that produce to those that consume in favor of the all important "vote" that the professional politician must have. This ideology is foreign to the vast majority of Americans since it is simply not "American" and is why one sees the grass-roots uproar taking place among so many of the People. The two party system is completely broke and corrupt beyond repair and the People have no way of repaying the massive debt that we've demanded from our politicians by our never-ending whining for more, more, and more. Our society has entered deep into the complacency phase, as each and every empire before her. One only ought to prepare themselves and their families for the inevitable collapse. It could be years at worst or decades at best, but collapse is inevitable since society lacks the will to correct its present course.

Hypocrisy among politicians

If hypocrisy among politicians in Washington were currency, the national debt wouldn't be a problem.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

The reason why so many

The reason why so many so-called self proclaimed "progressive liberals" favor this is because in actuality they are neither "progressive" nor "liberal" but actually a hybrid form of National Socialist/Communis

This is the most ignorant thing I've read on this board in months. Congrats on your new low.

Syd

Read more, drink less.

This is the most ignorant thing I've read on this board in months.

One obviously hasn't been reading enough!

Let's not forget the mantra,

Let's not forget the mantra, "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need...This ideology is foreign to the vast majority of Americans"

All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. -- Acts 2: 44-45

That ideology is not at all foreign to the vast majority of Americans, as you claim. But it is ignored by the vast majority of so-called "conservative Christians."

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Quoting bible is best example of hypocrisy!

All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. -- Acts 2: 44-45

Comparing a story in Acts dealing with Jews that believed in Yahweh and His Messiah to National Socialism/Communism is absurd! Comparing Americans to those very same sect of Jews is even more absurd! Those people you are referencing in the book of Acts believed whole heartedly in Torah, kept sabbath, ate kosher, assembled seven times annually on the High Holy Days, etc. etc.. One couldn't find enough Americans to fill a single room today that matched the description of those described in Acts. To compare this sect of Jews to National Socialists/Communists is pure intellectual sissyism. What's even more hilarious is a so-called progressive liberal attempting to utilize the bible to support a National Socialist/Communist agenda, especially considering that most have little to no clue as to what the bible says and even less understanding of it after they've read it, is probably the best example yet of true hypocrisy!

You know, you go off

on some of the most unrealistic and sometimes downright ludicrous tangents, then you turn around and classify other people's opinions as "intellectual sissyism".

What the fuck does that mean, anyway? Is it a condemnation of philosophical pursuits as opposed to more masculine endeavors? Let me guess, that second question is also an example of intellectual sissyism.

You know what I think, thinker? I think your oft-repeated reference to intellectual sissyism reflects either a) a jealousy of those other people who wield a greater-than-70-IQ, or b) an unconscious effort on your part to stifle the drums of your own latent homosexual desires. Or both.

Just speculating, mind you.

now homosexuality is a bad thing???

...to stifle the drums of your own latent homosexual desires.

Now, now, now, let's not use the word "homosexual" as a disparaging remark. Even if I were a homosexual, it wouldn't be a bad thing as long as it didn't effect your liberty, my friend.

Affect

Not effect.

J

PS Steve's just having fun dabbling in your bizarre parallel universe.

Wrong again

No one but you used the term in a pejorative way, nct. Just because someone suggested you might have latent tendencies doesn't mean that person implied that homosexuality is a shame. It's just a shame when someone who is a homosexual feels he or she must repress it. Again, you are calling yourself out by assuming more than is warranted.