A lot of energy has been expended on debating whether the Silicon Valley Bank rescue was a bailout. That’s nonsense. Of course it was a bailout for the depositors, and of course the taxpayers will pay for it, and of course it will encourage even more reckless behavior on the part of financial elites now that they are certain that all profits will be privatized and all losses will be socialized.
What else could they possibly conclude?
The larger and more important and essential lesson is that the awful physics of objective truths eventually catch up to people and their institutions. That’s important currently because Team Biden seems to have an aversion to obvious objective truths.
A modest sampling of what they say they believe in contravention of the objective and obvious would include the following: John Fetterman is completely capable of fulfilling the duties of his office; the southern border is secure; Hunter Biden’s laptop is a non-story; the economy is great; the exit from Afghanistan went about as well as could be expected; inflation is transitory; gender is simply a matter of self-identification; you can be a Roman Catholic without actually following any of the church’s teachings; slaving and genocidal communist China is worth emulating; the banks are stable; etc., etc.
That list is by no means exhaustive.
The previous president was (and is), like all successful real estate agents, a fabulist. Everything either is or is about to be the greatest, the best, the most wonderful, etc. He veered off the tracks only at the very end with the undefended (and most unexplained) claims that the election was stolen.
In comparison, the current regime may as well be Soviets. Their chronic inability to either recognize or tell the truth about objective facts is either alarming or very alarming.
Silicon Valley Bank was just the most recent and egregious example. The reality is, of course, that the bank went under because of lousy investments, and, despite what President Biden says, the taxpayers – at least those with bank accounts (which probably means all of them) – will bail out the millionaires and billionaires that Sen. Bernard Sanders is always fretting about. Mr. Sanders will, of course, also ultimately be in favor of bailing out the rich.
Bailing out the rich is a bipartisan problem. Way back in 2008, President George W. Bush paid absolutely no attention to the surge in foreclosures (denominated in millions) until a few of his pals on Wall Street got a bit chilly. Then, almost immediately, it was a national emergency. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was given $700 billion in walking around money to make sure his rich pals were OK and had nice warm blankets.
This time around, many Republicans have been quiet about a bailout that they, too, will probably wind up supporting. The support among Republicans has been quiet only because many fear — as they should — the power of the insurgent wing of the party.
Folks in the legacy media are always asking the same question, although in different ways and in the veiled language of the laptop class: Why are so many Americans radicalized against institutions? The bailout of Silicon Valley Bank – like the financial meltdown in 2008 — is an excellent example of a radicalizing experience. No matter what else happens, the elites are going to take care of their own, and whatever consequences there are will be borne by those who are well-acquainted with the objective facts about power and class in American society.
• Michael McKenna, a columnist for The Washington Times, co-hosts “The Unregulated Podcast.” He was most recently a deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House.