Today the U.S. House of Representatives voted DOWN Bush’s $700 billion Bailout for Wall St. by 205-228. Surprisingly, the bill was killed by Congressional Republicans, 2/3 of whom voted AGAINST the bailout, while a majority of Democrats supported it. Public outrage of Wall Street’s massive robbery attempt must be running so high that constituents in those red states are rediscovering their Populist roots. This is a major victory for the grassroots. Over the past week there have been many hundreds of protests around the country against the bailout.
Meanwhile, this news helped trigger the Dow Jones’ largest plummet in history, as the industrial markets fell by almost 780 points. The Nasdaq also fell by over 9%.
All of this was preceded by the news that Wachovia stocks had fallen by 80% and the giant bank would be bought out by Citigroup, as the financial industry moved one big step closer towards private monopoly.
Under the shadow of the bailout, a similarly-sized and similarly-horrible bill was passed last week in the US Senate by a vote of 78-12, after passing the House by 370-58. This was a $634 billion spending bill that included such utter garbage as eliminating the 26-year offshore drilling ban, more money for the perennial energy-waster of shale oil in the West, a very regressive $25 billion bailout for the auto industry, and the largest-ever Pentagon budget of half a trillion dollars.
This is just the latest in a series of events that seem to indicate a move towards fascism in the US by financial and political elites. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, founder of the fascist model, famously declared that “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” Following in his footsteps, the fascists of today apparently aim to handover complete control of the government to private corporations and financial interests, by cracking down on dissent and civil liberties, cutting all social programs, stirring up racism to divide the public, and putting the country on a permanent war footing. This will all be much easier to accomplish once the banking industry has been allowed to pillage the US Treasury and put the entire country in debt to Wall St.
Today’s victory over the bailout plan will not be permanent if Bush and the Democratic Leadership have the last word. Also, it should be clear that both McCain and Obama are firmly in support of giving this humongous sum of taxpayer dollars over to the world’s largest and richest companies, all rhetoric of “protecting Main St.” aside.
Their real opposition as always will be ‘we, the people’, who are fed up with Washington’s crooked deals with Wall St. As we did this past week, we must continue to send in thousands upon thousands of letters and emails and phone calls, and organize hundreds of protests until this absurd bailout plan is dropped or completely transformed into a bailout for those losing homes, health care, access to education, and jobs, the real victims of the economic downturn.
Our hope is that despite those at the top seeking to entrench their power, the failure of the capitalist system will open up a window of opportunity for all those of us who believe in justice, freedom and democracy to create a new world. Today, we say “Enough!”