Thieves Like Us

“The biggest robbery in the history of this country is taking place as you read this,” Michael Moore wrote today. “Though no guns are being used, 300 million hostages are being taken. Make no mistake about it: After stealing a half trillion dollars to line the pockets of their war-profiteering backers for the past five years, after lining the pockets of their fellow oilmen to the tune of over a hundred billion dollars in just the last two years, Bush and his cronies — who must soon vacate the White House — are looting the U.S. Treasury of every dollar they can grab. They are swiping as much of the silverware as they can on their way out the door.
“This so-called ‘collapse’ was triggered by the massive defaulting and foreclosures going on with people’s home mortgages. Do you know why so many Americans are losing their homes? To hear the Republicans describe it, it’s because too many working class idiots were given mortgages that they really couldn’t afford. Here’s the truth: The #1 cause of people declaring bankruptcy is because of medical bills. Let me state this simply: If we had had universal health coverage, this mortgage ‘crisis’ may never have happened.”

  • http://www.obsessedwithfilm.com Ray

    Even if you absolutely despise Michael Moore, you must agree with the sentiment behind that statement. However, I disagree with his final conclusion that the blame rests on the lack of universal health care. These unregulated and greedy lending institutions used careless subprime rates to lure unsuspecting homeowners into disaster. Their medical bills – a cost of living that generally goes up but is part of the equation of life – cannot be blamed for the current “crisis.”
    Of course, universal health care is a fairly expensive thing in its own right…
    Ron Paul was right way back in 2003 when he warned about this problem. Nobody listened then, and the bastards in his own party refuse to listen to him today. Fortunately, they had enough sense to at least reject the bailout.

  • AH

    The US does not need a bailout from the government. Of course, people don’t need jobs either.

  • Pinko Punko

    Bankruptcy and foreclosure are not the same thing. Moore is wrong here. Too many people were given mortgages that they couldn’t afford.

  • Bob Loblaw

    “Ron Paul was right” is up there with “Islamofascism” in signaling “my political opinions are not worthy of being taken seriously.”

  • Gordie Lachance

    The mortgage crisis is not simply a matter of making bad loans (and has almost nothing to do with health care).
    It’s a result of huge corporate builders like Toll Brothers and Hovnanian overbuilding (out of greed) to capitalize on the housing boom, and then slashing their prices to dump inventory when prices began to fall, thereby devaluing all homes in the area, leaving people holding half million dollar mortgages on 300,000 dollar homes.
    Of course any republican will tell you that those corporate builders are entitled to grab all the cash they want in a free market economy. That’s what makes America great.

  • Joshua Mooney

    Moore is more right than wrong. First time I ever said that about Michael. But these are dark and fucked-up days. So his version of reality is becoming reality. Wow. Never thought I’d say that either. Hs..ha…ha…

  • traumnovelle

    While there’s plenty of blame to go around, the greedy Wall Street banks, Toll Brothers, K. Hovnanian, etc., Pinko Punko is right.
    When I applied for a mortgage in 2003, lenders kept trying to push me into mortgages I knew I couldn’t afford. And I wasn’t the only one. I said “No thanks,” but I suspect many borrowers said “Sure!” and figured that they’d sell for a profit before their ARMs readjusted.
    This isn’t a bank problem or a problem with corporate builders. People wanted to use the equity in their homes to get rich quick, and the lenders were only too happy to sell and resell the loans. I suspect it will only get worse in the short-term.

  • MDOC

    This is one of those times where people really need the media to help them understand what is going on. Noise makers like Moore do a diservice to Americans because he plays the same “blame republicans” card. If they are truly to blame, he’s too biased to be used as a source of information. If he’s just using this as another moment for his Blame Bush act, well shame on him. Everybody has their pet theories about the crisis. I haven’t seen much mention of the contributions Fannie and Freddie made to the Obama campaign here, but that doesn’t mean it’s not everywhere.
    Where are people going for a more than surface level understanding of this crisis? The Moores, O’Reillys, Olbermanns all can’t be trusted during times like these, their agendas are too transparent.

  • Gordie Lachance

    Of course since it’s an election year the problems with the economy are going to be politicized and each party can blame the other.
    It’s all of our faults. Half of our economy is built upon the idea of people borrowing money to buy things they don’t need, and the other half is driven by investing to satisfy insatiable greed.
    Any American who owns a share of stock in Toll Brothers, Exxon or Halliburton (all way up this year!) is as culpable as the Wall Street coke-addicts and mortgage lenders.
    We all deserve whatever’s coming.

  • corey3rd

    to bring this crisis into movie talk. The problem with these companies can be summed up with one quote:
    We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize?
    [Holds up prize]
    Blake: Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired
    Nobody gets credit for “saving their company” from giving out a bad mortgage. They’re just seen as losers who couldn’t figure out how to seal the deal.

  • MDOC

    corey3rd,
    I agree it’s a messed up system but it doesn’t change the fact that my watch costs more than your car.
    All jokes aside, I’m wearing a Swatch from 1984, I will share what us righties are telling each other caused the financial crisis.
    http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=184743
    It’s compelling, but I’m not looking to play the blame game. The feelling I have getting ready to sign off on a huge bail out probably isn’t unlike someone signing up for a mortgage he couldn’t afford 4 years ago. In either case a careful understanding of the fine print is important. Who is reading the fine print?

  • dinther

    MDOC, re: FNMA and FMAC contributions to Obama, you’re confusing a couple things. First, you’re referring to contributions made by individual employees. Corporations are prohibited by by law from giving campaign contributions.
    Second, you’re relying selectively upon certain statistics to make your case and ignoring the bigger picture: At last count, FNMA and FMAC employees gave $126, 349 to Obama’s campaign – about 3/100 of ONE PERCENT of his campaign total.
    By contrast, the board and lobbyists for these companies – you know, the ones who make the major decisions — contributed $16,000 to Obama. This same group gave McCain $169,000.
    Pls do your homework the next time you decide to parrot right-wing talking points. Thanks.

  • http://www.gamechangers.com Bonifer

    I am 100% agreement with MDOC. The people who are supposed to be explaining this to the voters — members of Congress and the media — have lost all semblance of coherence as they play the blame game and the media stokes it.
    Midst all that chaos what remains clear, what voters can comprehend, is the meta-language. $700 billion. Executive pay. Golden parachutes. Naturally, when this is the takeaway, taxpayers are going to revolt. Which only gets the media hotter. Nothing like a disaster to keep the Wal-Marters glued to the TV.
    We should remember that we do not actually live in a Democracy. We live in a Representative Republic. The Representatives owe the Republic an explanation and they are doing a really shitty job on the bailout in this regard.

  • MDOC

    dinther,
    Interesting information, can you post a source so I can read it and pass along?

  • dinther
  • Ray

    Hey Bob, take a careful look at the economic policies Ron Paul is advocating before you publicly embarass yourself. I personally don’t agree with some of his foreign policy ideas and his conspiratorial bent, but the facts show that Paul predicted the market meltdown several years ago. That is much longer than anyone – including the two presumptive Presidential candidates, who have yet to grasp it even now.

  • moviesquad

    If this is the case, why does the party he wants us to vote for in November support this Bush bill by a larger margin than the party he hates?

  • D.Z.

    Pinko: “Too many people were given mortgages that they couldn’t afford.”
    And too many Republicans spent money on a war they couldn’t afford. What’s your point?
    traumnovelle: “This isn’t a bank problem or a problem with corporate builders. People wanted to use the equity in their homes to get rich quick, and the lenders were only too happy to sell and resell the loans. I suspect it will only get worse in the short-term.”
    Most people wanted a nice place to live at a decent price. The speculators were the ones stupid enough to pay more for houses then they were worth.
    MDOC: “Noise makers like Moore do a diservice to Americans because he plays the same “blame republicans” card. ”
    As opposed to Republican posters who try to blame the Dems for “obstructing” a so-called “reform” bill which they were in the majority to pass?
    “If they are truly to blame, he’s too biased to be used as a source of information.”
    Yes, who cares about facts, if Michael Moore is presenting them?
    “If he’s just using this as another moment for his Blame Bush act, well shame on him.”
    You’re right. He should blame Clinton instead.
    “I haven’t seen much mention of the contributions Fannie and Freddie made to the Obama campaign here,”
    Did Obama suddenly have anything to do with deregulating Fannie and Freddie? Last time I checked, that was McCain.
    From Thismodernworld.com:
    “This is Abraham Lincoln, then an Illinois state representative, speaking in the legislature on January 11, 1837. He‚Äôs referring to a dispute between private shareholders of the Illinois State Bank:
    ‘It is an old maxim and a very sound one, that he that dances should always pay the fiddler. Now, sir, in the present case, if any gentlemen, whose money is a burden to them, choose to lead off a dance, I am decidedly opposed to the people‚Äôs money being used to pay the fiddler‚Ķall this to settle a question in which the people have no interest, and about which they care nothing. These capitalists generally act harmoniously, and in concert, to fleece the people, and now, that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people‚Äôs money to settle the quarrel.’
    “Lincoln‚Äôs speech was given just as one of the greatest speculative bubbles in US history was bursting. This was followed by the Panic of 1837, which led to a six-year contraction described by Milton Friedman as ‚Äúthe only depression on record comparable in severity and scope to the Great Depression.‚Äù’