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to banks and bank-holding corporations to-date? Who owns most of the stock in these institutions? Who makes (and has made for decades) millions and billions in salaries, bonus, commissions, and stock transactions?

How much 'Stimulus' money has been spent to-date? How much of that actually went to a Small Business or to a wage-earner? If we knew the actual dollars paid/promised/created via TARP and related policies, we could run the numbers. Various estimates make the ratio between 6:1 up to 25:1.

I agree with you when you write: "... Republicans, and even wealthy Democrats such as Warren Buffet in today's Wall Street Journal, are either wary of or outright opposed to incurring large national debts to stimulate current spending.  Massive debt has only one possible, long term policy solution: raising taxes on the wealthy,...". I would end your comment about there.

Lacking that degree of concision, my response is "Sounds good to me, if a bit underwhelming so far."

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Wed Aug 19th, 2009 at 08:46:29 PM EST
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The stimulus and the bank bailout are two different things, with two different sets of fiscal commitments. The stimulus commitment, which is both consumption spending and infrastructure investment, really is a transfer of wealth from the rich to the less rich whom might have lost their jobs if not for the government provided stimulus.

The bailout is largely a transfer from some of the wealthy to other wealthy people, and to the extent that some of that transfer is unjustified, it may not be unfair to compare it to a public form of Bernie Madoff.  

However, on net, the transfers of wealth due to policy interventions do appear to be transferring wealth from future high income people to present day low and middle income people, and that's why conservatives oppose it so, even though their own macroeconomic narrative -- monetarism -- agrees with liberals' Keynesian playbook regarding the need for expansionary fiscal and monetary policy in the present crisis.

by santiago on Thu Aug 20th, 2009 at 10:39:31 AM EST
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To Hell with theory.  They don't like giving money to anyone, especially the poor.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 20th, 2009 at 01:47:02 PM EST
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