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a fundamentally center-right, fiscally conservative country that is obsessed with deficits...,
what the fuck are all these letters doing in my alphabet soup?:
Somehow every time I read Ezra Klein or Scott Lemieux and the like explain how powerless the President is on economic policy I never see the words "Department of Justice", "Securities and Exchange Commission", "Commodity Futures Trading Commission", "Immigration and Naturalization Service", "Attorneys General settlement", "bank immunity", or even "TARP".
The Troubled Asset Relief Program! The Troubled Asset Relief Program wasn't used to relieve one bank of one troubled asset. A portion was lent to re-capitalize the banks with no strings attached, then recycled to bail out GM and slash auto worker wages back to their 1930 levels, then recycled again to mug distressed home owners for the banks. Barrack Obama walked into the Whitehouse with a $700 billion dollar blank check that he could apparently do anything he wanted with, and evidently he did what he wanted good and hard. Infrastructure bank? Gosh, where will we ever find the money to capitalize an infrastructure bank.
When George W. Bush came into office the DoJ quickly set up an Enron Task Force and went after Bush's single largest campaign contributor. Disloyalty, it turns out, was one of his finest attributes as a President. If only Obama had lived up to Bush's example on prosecuting his major campaign contributors Wall Street might have gotten a message other than "continue looting, we've got your fat backs". Bush: 21. Obama: 0. It's the third Bush term except for all the good parts.
You also never see the words "Federal Reserve appointments" or "reappointing Bernanke". Even more glaringly than that, you never see the words "Department of the Treasury". This motherfucker up here is telling you he's going to bring manufacturing jobs back by playing tiddlywinks and passing more of the same trade agreements that sent the jobs overseas in the first place, and the crazy son of a bitch sets policy at the goddam Treasury. Fucking powerless he is to do anything!
You can only imagine that Obama did everything he could with the congress he was given if you ignore every single tool the Presidency has at its disposal but the power to autograph sausage. These liberalish types have been going on like this for a year and a half and even the most critical krugthulus among them can't find anything to complain about other than a long series of perceived sellouts to capital over legislation and something called an "overton window". You'll have to settle for the gomiti, sir, we're all out of the alphabet soup.