Alarmist hyperbole also used to ram through 2008 financial heist
Paul Joseph Watson
September 30, 2013
Some of the doomsday rhetoric surrounding the consequences of a government shut down sounds an awful lot like the fearmongering that was used to scare lawmakers into passing the 2008 bailout bill, which quickly turned out to be a cynical bait and switch.
Democratic Senator Tom Harkin has warned that if Republicans refuse to cave in, the situation will be “as dangerous as the breakup of the Union before the Civil War.”
Lindsay Siler, the issues campaign director for Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action, warns that, “a government shutdown will shutter crucial services the American people depend on and wreak havoc with our economy.”
Such dire rhetoric is patently part of a ploy to try and force Republicans to back down on their demand that Obamacare be delayed for a year before a bill securing government funding is passed.
As we documented earlier today, the ominous “government shut down” is nothing of the sort. It would be the 18th time it has happened since 1977. In no previous case did such circumstances lead to anything even approaching the apocalyptic hype being bandied about by Harkin and his ilk, nor did it significantly impact the economy in any way.
The vast majority of government activities and services will remain fully operational whether a “shut down” occurs or not. Crucial services will not disappear and America will not collapse into a state of anarchy.
The reality of what a government shut down entails clearly does not warrant such alarmist hyperbole, but it’s not the first time we’ve witnessed these blackmail tactics.
In the days before the October 2008 bailout, lawmakers were bombarded with threats of a new great depression and martial law by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in an effort to railroad them into passing the bailout bill.
On October 2, Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman gave a stunning speech on the House floor during which he decried the fact that, “Many of us were told in private conversations that if we voted against this bill on Monday that the sky would fall, the market would drop two or three thousand points the first day, another couple of thousand the second day, and a few members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no.”
It later emerged that Paulson was behind the threats, brow-beating Congress into authorizing the bill in the name of the desperate need to buy out toxic debt, a proposal “which he abandoned the day after he got the money,” said Senator James Inhofe.
Once he got approval for the bill by threatening that its rejection would see a total collapse of the financial system, former Goldman Sachs CEO Paulson pulled a bait and switch and injected the money directly into banks.
There is now talk of an 11th hour deal that could offer a temporary solution to stave off a government shut down for a few days, but Republicans shouldn’t be cowed by the bellicose tone of Democrats who spout doomsday prophecies about such an eventuality given how such rhetoric has been used in the past to frighten lawmakers into blind acquiescence.