Greece is a dress rehearsal for US says top economist

“Greece’s [situation] should be viewed as a dress rehearsal for the United States. It’s exactly the same thing. Greece didn’t really get any bailout funds at all. All of the bailout funds were given by European creditor governments to the banks that held the Greek bonds. And Greece was told, “Well, there’s a 50 billion euro loss on your bonds that have gone down. You have to sell off and privatize $50 billion of your land and property in the public domain.” So every euro that the bankers lose, Greece has to sell off. And the idea is to carve up the government and privatize it, just like Illinois and Chicago and Wisconsin and California are doing. So it’s a dress rehearsal for what’s happening here.”

According to Michael Hudson, President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends, distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and author of the book Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire.

As part of a deal to raise the federal debt ceiling before the August 2nd deadline, President Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner are close to agreeing a $3 trillion deficit-reduction package. But the Obama-Boehner agreement, which reneges on Obama’s election pledge not to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits, is coming under fire from both congressional Democrats and Republicans. Speaking on Democracy Now! on Friday, Hudson explained how the entire debt ceiling crisis is fake:

“The question is, if they can create a $13 trillion on a computer keyboard, taking over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Federal Reserve can simply give this money, why can’t they, over 50 years, pay the trillion dollars for the Medicare and the Social Security? It’s—obviously, it’s a charade…

“What they’re pushing for really isn’t a default on the debt. They’re pushing for a crisis to let Mr. Obama rush through the Republican plan. Now, in order for him to do it, the Republicans have to play good cop, bad cop. They have to have the Tea Party move so far to the right, take a so crazy a position, that Mr. Obama seems reasonable by comparison. And, of course, he is not reasonable. He’s a Wall Street Democrat, which we used to call Republicans…

“As Mr. Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission said, we have to get rid of Medicare, we have to get rid of Social Security, put the Social Security funds into the stock market, create a stock market boom, create a new business for his—for Wall Street. He believes in trickle-down economics.”

Click here to watch and to read a full transcript of the interview

Earlier in the month, giving an interview on the same subject on The Real News Network, Hudson explained why the protests in Greece and Spain are still important:

“What [the protests are] doing is laying a legal foundation for simply repudiating the debt, because if they can now argue, say, look, this debt that you say we owe and have to pay off by privatizing our assets, you knew that we rioted, you knew the whole population was there, you knew that the people were asking for a vote. It doesn’t matter if the Socialist Party people who’d sold out, they’re corrupt. The people are not behind this loan. And when we repudiate the debt, you can do one of two things. Either you can kick us out of the common market, the European Union, and you can kick Spain and Portugal out. If you do, we’re going to form our own union, and this union is not going to pay the debts to you, because no country can be expected to push itself into a generation of depression in order to pay creditors who simply create all this credit to lend to governments on computer keyboards.”

Hudson says that the important thing to realize is the government doesn’t borrow money it creates it, so the whole issue of whether the US has a debt problem is largely fictitious. Here’s a different interview Hudson gave to Russia Today six months earlier:

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Filed under analysis & opinion, austerity measures, campaigns & events, Greece, neo-liberalism, Uncategorized, USA

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