Crash It! *Updated*

September 30, 2008 at 8:02 pm (Politics) (, , , , , )

I’ve been trying since 9:00 a.m. this morning to send an e-mail to my peeps in Congress. Seems like every other American is trying the same thing because they have this message posted: 

The House of Representatives is currently experiencing an extraordinarily high amount of email traffic. The Write Your Representative function is therefore intermittently available. While we realize communicating to your Members of Congress is critical, we suggest attempting to do so at a later time, when demand is not so high. System engineers are working to resolve this issue and we appreciate your patience.

I’ll only assume if I attempted to contact my Senators that I would get the same response. I say CRASH THE SERVER!!! JAM THE PHONE LINES!!!! LET SOMEONE IN WASHINGTON KNOW WE’RE PAYING ATTENTION!!!!

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and talking to people who have a better grasp on this situation than I do. I have a pretty good grasp. I know I had one table today… 1. Uno. One. Our crowd gets thinner everytime something else goes under. If you say it hasn’t hit Main Street yet, you aren’t looking in my bank account. Oh, I no longer have a bank account, so, guess you won’t find anything there. Well then, take a look at my paycheck.

However, from the reading that I have done, its apparent to me that Paulson, nor anyone on Wall Street needs a bailout from the American taxpayers. There are other avenues for solving this crisis. At least, they keep saying that. Obviously one of the biggest problems is the mortgage crisis. Another big problem are all of the corporate leeches who got us into this mess to start with, because they were given the rope to hang themselves by deregulation. What they have done is greedy, reprehensible, and irresponsible and if they walk away from Wall Street with anything more than a boot up their collective asses, I will personally march on Washington, DC with a sign and all.

Does something need to be done? Of course it does. However, I’ve read enough “rush to judgement,” “unknown impact,” and “there are other ways,” from The Washington Post to The Wall Street Journal to convince me that The House did the right thing.  The Irish government made a surprise move today in insuring all of of their banks (there’s four) for two years. Basically, the Irish form of FDIC. The reason banks fail is because some are stronger than others, and rather than risk your money in a weaker bank, you pull your money (or your company’s money) and put it into a stronger bank.

This leaves the weaker bank still weaker and they go under.  One proposal now is the raise the FDIC to $250,000 instead of the current rate. In Ireland, the investors were much happier and their stocks rose anywhere from 7 to 22 percent. I got this information from a gentleman mentioned in the WSJ, Mike Shedlock of Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis.  He breaks down the Paulson Plan fairly efficiently and reiterates a lot I’ve heard from other sources, and what I had figured out myself due to an incredible Political Science teacher in college (re: The Paulson Plan being unconstitutional and the government intervening in free trade amounts to Socialism).

I think this why a lot of those in Congress, including those running for President, and a lot that weren’t,  didn’t say, “Hell yes! Its the best plan ever!” They said they were inclined to vote for it, or that it needed more work, or if certain stipulations were met, they might vote for it. But, most seemed uncomfortable and even Newt Gingrinch said he would have “sadly” voted for it because it was the only thing Paulson would agree to.

Oh. Really?  Too bad Paulson’s position isn’t an elected one.

So, I’m feeling the crunch on Main Street, but, knowing what I know now, I’m glad the Bailout Bill failed in the House. Maybe it’s worthy for all of us to stop, take a breather, and look into this a bit deeper. If they raise the FDIC, it appears as though we can stablize the banks and buy the time we need for real change and boots up asses, not bailouts.

*UPDATE*  I was able to send an e-mail to both of my Senators, however, I’m still trying to get through to my Representative.

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So, This Is Why Economics Is Important

September 29, 2008 at 7:08 pm (Politics) (, , , )

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?

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