Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Everything for Wall Street, Nothing for Main Street

With difficulty, I've wrapped my non-analytical mind around this financial crisis.

It didn't require a PhD in economics to see the nation rushing headlong to ruin.
An expensive preemptive war,
a massive defense budget that does not even cover the war cost,
deficit spending,
trade deficits,
slumping dollar...well, these things don't skid along forever.

The bubble has burst. And Congress will finalize this week the largest government intervention in financial markets since the Great Depression. The Bush Administration is asking for $700 billion to bail out Wall Street by buying up the mountains of bad debt they accumulated when the housing market was overvalued.

Outrageously, the Administration includes nothing for struggling homeowners,
no protections for taxpayers or sharing of future profits and no regulatory
control over the institutions that created the mess.

They want to privatize the profits, and socialize the losses!

And, what is perhaps the most galling display of greed and corruption, while the Administration plans to stick each American taxpayer with a $2000 bill, the CEO's who crafted the schemes that led to this disaster get to keep their multi-million dollar salaries and exit on golden parachutes.

My Monday food pantry co-worker is a rabid Republican. We can't discuss politics. His mind is closed. And he rants pro-Bush! But, yesterday he was livid. Republican-schmublican--he knows the difference between what's responsible and what is outrageous. He is seriously ticked!

As for me, I'm not about to get railroaded into another Patriot Act:

"Hurry up! We need this NOW! Don't read it...just pass it. No recourse. No supervision of these powers passing to an appointed official. This is necessary for AMERICA. God bless America!"

A grassroots group I've come to trust, Working Families Win, suggests we insist on:
  • a moratorium on all foreclosure proceedings
  • protection for homeowners equivalent to the assistance given the lenders
  • a cap on CEO pay for the institutions taking the bail out
  • strict regulation of the commercial and investment banking industry and a public share of their profits
  • the breakup of institutions deemed 'too big to fail' who participate in the bail out
Some senators and representatives are beginning to push back, but Congress must hear support from Main Street to get these provisions included.

Call 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Members' office.

Yeah, it might not work. But I'm going down swinging. How about you?


eProf2 said...

BE, you've listed some of the best arguments for why we're in this mess. And, BushCo is now pushing really hard to have the Congress and the American people buy into the Paulson bailout plan because as Larisa Alexandrovna points out this is the last step in the completion of the fascist coup d'etat with the executive branch taking over the legislative branch in war making powers and control of the economy. Money and power all flowing into the executive. And, they've just about done it, too, especially if they can get McSame elected president. See her post at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larisa-alexandrovna/welcome-to-the-final-stag_b_127990.html

Border Explorer said...

Whew, I liked that article even before I read it, I really liked it after I had read it. I think things are really hitting the fan and that this is our last stand. Hope I'm over-dramatizing it. But Larisa seems to think so too.

Thanks for a great summation and link, eProf.

HelenWheels said...

I spent half the day signing petitions & calling congress critters. Yep, I'll go down swinging, too.

Those neocons sure love to kick us when we're down. If anyone ever had any doubt how much they hold the citizens of this country in contempt, including their own supporting kool-ade kidz, this ought to convince them otherwise.

Border Explorer said...

Good for you, Helen! The neocons are selling the future to pay for their golden parachutes and overseas estates. Yep, future generations can just "take a leap."

I just watched YouTube of Obama's address of the economic crisis given 9/21. Excellent! We need a leader like Obama. McPOW will seal the fascist deal--as eProf said.

HelenWheels said...

Hey - this is a good one today:

Andrew Sullivan talks about McCain's incompetence.

On the other front, I was reading about a low turnout event in GreenBay for Obama today. And the comment section is full of Obama haters. Pretty disturbing that there are so many uninformed morons out there. They all claim that Obama is tied to special insterests and lobbying and McLame isn't... WTF? I just hope most of them are paid to do that, because otherwise we need a revolution to clean the morons out of power.

Border Explorer said...

Great little article. I love seeing my impressions laid out in the national media--& so well written.

I do not discount racism in this country. It could sink the Obama ticket. It scares me.

I'm working on a project to get homeless people registered to vote. I hope it'll be my contribution to Election '08.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I didn't call, but I signed a petition and email my representative.

HelenWheels said...

B.E. that is a noble and amazing effort. Good on ya! Every little bit. I did phone banking on Sunday for MOveOn.org and, while the people I actually reached couldn't attend the function MoveOn wanted them to, they all told me the stuff they were doing personally (these were folks in Bend, OR). And it was pretty cool to hear.

Border Explorer said...

Ruth and Helen, it's great you've acted and told us about what you did. All the ranting in the world is not as valuable as that email, that campaign phone bank, that petition, etc. etc. Thanks.

HelenWheels said...

You're welcome and thanks for all YOU do!!

DCup said...

With the desperate noises being made by the Administration, I hope that Congress will go slow on this thing. The sense of immediacy just feels so much like the run up to war, the FISA bill, the Patriot Act.

HelenWheels said...

DCup: EXACTLY. And Obama among others (even rethugs) are saying the same thing.

Fool me once...

can't get fooled again (or can they?)

I bet dead-eye dick is LIVID about now. Apparently he got booed by his base. Some dissent is actually happening among rethugs. Amazing.

Border Explorer said...

Booing makes sense, Helen. The GOP is historically the more conservative party. They've got a base--like my co-worker at the pantry--that will NOT like getting stuck with the bill for golden parachuted CEOs.

No one but the upper echelon will like this bail out idea.

DCup, I'm with you. The more pressure the Admin exerts, the more resistant I feel.

Mnmom said...

I'll call tomorrow on my lunch hour, and email your talking points. Wish I had time to read all these excellent articles.

We've been sold down the river folks, and it's time to take our country back!

HelenWheels said...

Granted, the GOP is not traditionally conservative at all anymore. It's radically right-wing. Sooo.... the ones that are traditionally conservative have sort of had it. Lincoln Chaffe comes to mind. I can only see it as a good thing if some of those young idealistic (and Goldwater rethugs) can turn their party around after what the shrub & its minions did to it. It would serve us all well.

Randal Graves said...

In a way, the noise from the voters slowing this down is frustrating. If they voiced this concern ALL the time on ALL the issues, even the wingnuts would be listening more.

Border Explorer said...

Thanks, Mnmom.

Helen, good point on GOP shift to the right. We've got some unusual allies (like my pantry buddy)!

Randal, I hear you. We've been "eating cake" and silent. Now we're afraid there won't be any bread. So we howl.