Remember back on September 12th I wrote a post about my head hurting as I tried to wrap my brain around the economic packages that Obama and McCain were advocating? I take that as my civic duty to inform myself of the issues facing this country and my fellow countrymen.
What I see are a bunch of billionaire fat cats who have stuffed their coffers and gotten the average Joe Blow and his pension plan into some extremely hot water.
I can’t say I am or was in favor of the bailout. At the same time, I can’t say I was against it. I read the layman’s HR bill online and I was happy to see that it had included some of the finer points that one of my Senator’s, Jay Rockefeller, spoke of, such as, not doling out $700 billion dollars overnight and making those with the purse strings accountable in more than one way.
What it didn’t speak of was making those responsible for this debacle pay any of the 700 billion dollars back. Of course, that could include several Presidents, one of which is deceased. It could have something to do with Reaganomics, it could have something to do with the creation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (even though they were created during a time of economic surplus), it could have something to do with the Bush Administration, and it could have a hell of a lot to do with GREED.
I vote we raid the bank accounts of those making 10 million dollars a year, and getting 2 million dollar bonuses, and see if we can’t find enough to fund the bailout with their money instead of ours. You know, us, the regular Joe Blows of the world. I’ve heard numerous people say, “If I fuck up financially, I don’t get a bailout and neither should they.”
I fully understand this and don’t think I haven’t thought it. However, this is not a single household, this is a country in deep financial crisis. What Paulson really said when asked about the banks was, “Their holding their own, but make no mistake, they could fail.” He just didn’t want to alarm anyone and make the situation worse by actually saying that. What he actually said was a non-commental, “They’ve stayed strong so far.” I wouldn’t be surprised if he weren’t crossing his fingers and toes when he said that.
However, some have cited some “bailout” strategies that ole Paulson may be aware of but has not utitilized. I mean, why put anyone making millions of dollars a year in a precarious position when instead you can ask the Government for a handout?
Some financial consultants are still concerned that the banks will either fail or just do a credit freeze. That means that small businesses, like the one I work for, wouldn’t be able to make payroll. Hell, we couldn’t even get product because its all credit based. It would mean that you couldn’t even use your ATM card. It would mean no buying or selling on the Internet except by cash or money order. Oy vey!
So, whether you were for the bailout or against, the ramifications could be far reaching if things get much worse. I have yet to see anyone propose any great alternative to a bailout except allowing those that formed this mess to go down with it. If it were that simple I’d be the first one to hold my middle finger in the air and say, “Suck it!” If the government, and therefore, the People, bail out Wall Street and it works, I’d say we’ll all be a bit better off. If we bail them out and it doesn’t work or we don’t bail them out at all, well, I’d say you’d better have a crap ton of cash hidden in your mattress or in Mason jars buried in your backyard.
My dad once said that the next Civil War in America would not be over politics, but over money. That it would boil down between the “haves” and the “have nots,” as the majority of Americans were pushed further toward the poverty line, while an elite few were basking in their ill-gotten millions (or billions), snacking on caviar.
I guess money was the wake-up call that America really needed, not just in regard to the Presidential election, but in holding Congress, our state governments and our local governments accountable for their actions. Why did it take so long for so many to wake up?