GOP Vocabulary Word of the Day: to nationalize, "To convert from private to governmental ownership and control."
Providing further evidence that the Republicans have run out of the conservative solutions generally associated with their party and are now borrowing from the far left, the US government has nationalized AIG. From Floyd Norris, writing in the Business Section of The New York Times:
Socialism, 21st Century Style
The government tonight nationalized the American International Group, the financial giant that could not find anyone else willing to lend it the billions of dollars it needed to stay afloat.
That is not the official version. Fed staffers, who briefed reporters at 9:15 tonight, don’t even want us to say the government will control A.I.G. The government will name new management, and will have veto power over all important decisions. And it will have a warrant allowing it to take 79.9 percent of the stock whenever it wants. But they contend there is no control until the warrant is exercised.
President Truman once tried to nationalize the steel industry, arguing that a strike that halted production in wartime created a national emergency. The Supreme Court ruled that was illegal. This time, however, the company agreed to the nationalization. It was the only way to get the cash it desperately needs.
Invoking extraordinary powers granted after the 1929 stock market crash, the government seized control of the insurance giant American International Group to preserve a crucial bulwark of the global financial system.
The move to lend the Wall Street giant up to $85 billion in exchange for nearly 80 percent of its stock effectively nationalizes one of the central institutions in the crisis that has swept through markets this month.
Not long ago, the Republican party was associated with the notion of "privatization" and in the last eight years, many formerly governmental function were privatized.
Today's question for John McCain: what else would he nationalize if elected President? Or is he still in favor of privatization?
My reading of McCain's position in Social Security as described on his campaign website is that he still favors a partial privatization.
Reform Social Security: John McCain will fight to save the future of Social Security and believes that we may meet our obligations to the retirees of today and the future without raising taxes. John McCain supports supplementing the current Social Security system with personal accounts -- but not as a substitute for addressing benefit promises that cannot be kept. John McCain will reach across the aisle, but if the Democrats do not act, he will. No problem is in more need of honesty than the looming financial challenges of entitlement programs. Americans have the right to know the truth and John McCain will not leave office without fixing the problems that threatens our future prosperity and power.
See also CNNMoney's video Government's growth spurt.