Bernie Sanders Was Just Plain Wrong In 2008
I am proud of my stands over the years concerning the bailout for the financial sector, and the one for the car companies. I supported both measures. I am proud of my position of support for the actions of Ben Bernanke. That is not to say there was not great angst and irritation at the foundational reasons we needed to act as a nation in 2008, but the fact is that action was required. The financial crisis proved why we need mature members of congress who look out for the larger interests of the country.
While many populists (I do not count myself as one) bemoan the idea that Bernanke helped save giant banks from collapse, they also fail to recognize the potential harm that would have resulted for millions had such a thing happened. While protecting the financial system may seem like it was designed only to help the ‘fat cats’ it should be noted by (Russ) Feingold and others that protecting the major players also helps protect the whole economy. While that may not fly as good rhetoric at the liberal bean curd dinners it does make sound sense for the rest of the nation.
I have always held Bernanke in high regard for his unflappable character, along with his cerebral aura which gave our nation confidence when he took the helm and steered the economy through some rugged and perilous days. It was those like Sanders in 2008 who scared the hell out my sensibilities and they still do.
Bernie Sanders continually remains on the margins. As the Dallas Morning News makes clear One Note Charlie is not prepared to lead our nation a president. Proof of that is clear when he was unable to see the damage in 2008 that would have resulted by allowing our national banking system to implode.
At every step along the way, Sanders has hammered Clinton for her perceived coziness with Wall Street. He picked up on the theme once more Sunday: “When billionaires on Wall Street destroyed this economy, they went to Congress and they said, ‘Please, we’ll be good boys, bail us out,'” he said. “You know what I said? I said, ‘Let the billionaires themselves bail out Wall Street.'”
It’s a fine applause line, but it ignores the scary reality that Congress had been asked to confront in 2008. The American system of finance was on the brink of collapse. Banks had stopped lending money — for just about anything, including homes, autos and business expansion.
Had the system collapsed, as economists warned it might, the human toll would have been staggering — and most certainly not just among bankers and billionaires.
That’s the grim picture that Sanders glosses over while talking about revolution. He talks about what needs to change and how the system might be more fair. But he’s forever leaving out any mention of the pain that would be felt as revolutionary changes slid into place.
In 2008, Clinton and 73 other senators saw the risks and acted to avert them. Sanders was busy shouting about the unfairness of that system. He still is. If he’s ever to broaden his appeal, he needs to offer more than that same-old, populist saw.