(Note: This was written last night, just posted tonight.)
For the first time in my flaming liberal life, I agree with Newt Gingrich on this economic bailout thing. He has been saying that we need to stop a minute and really think through who the bailout will benefit (he states it should be the people-not the wall street big bad wolves.) and who are Paulson and Bernanke going to report to when they are told, "show me the money". He said that we shouldn't draft knee-jerk two day solution that will cause a twenty year mess to clean up. I hate having to admit that I agree with him.
In order to portray McCain as a hero-reformer instead of a chicken shit who is trying to bow out of a debate that he knows he can't win, his Republican pals are trying to backpedal and say, "whoa-we don't like this bailout idea." Let's face it, McCain didn't march into Washington to battle the evil democrats and the traito administration. He retreated to Washington with his tail between his legs trying to avoid a battle that he knows he can't win.
As Obama said, our nest president needs to know how to multi task.
In a round about way, McCain admitted that he can't keep an eye on the economic situation and at the same time jump on a jet for a 90 minute debate, to quickly return to where he feels he needs to be twiddling his thumbs. So how can we count on him to supervise two wars (and possibly more if we don't keep our nose out of other people's business), balance the budget, help the hurricaine survivors in Texas, make sure that his selfish, nutjob vice-president doesn't fire the entire White House staff in order to hire her high school buds while he still manages to get enough sleep and decent nutrition so that his melanoma doewsn't come back and kill him, which would leave us with a loony unqualified beauty queen who feels sanctified by God to take over the world!
Todays question is: are we willing to give up 700 BILLION dollars that could be spent (if we had it) on helping people in practical ways to enjoy the liberty of, say, decent healthcare or safe and effective schools, in exchange for the security of banks and Wall Stret executives who have been preying upon people's fears of not having homes if they don't sign on for outrageous usery charges?
I think that the tip of the iceburg was breached a little when negotiations stated that there would be a cap on CEO salaries of the bailed out institutions. The thing is, those CEOS weren't the only ones involved in the scam. Shouldn't the bailout include a provision like that the governmenbt won't pay more than , say, 50-75 cents on the dollar for the bad debts so that they have some leeway to negotiate payoff terms with the individuals owing mortgages that their diminishing real income can no longer support? That way there will be some hope of dignity for those individuals to be able to survive without the humiliation of becoming homeless and there would be the practical probability that "we" (the taxpayers/government/people) would be able to recover some of the debt that we incurred in the bailout itself. If the troubled banks choose not to take this lowball offer, then they can forfeit any and all possibility of being bailed out of the same mess later.
I make absolutely no claim to knowledge in this area. My basic MacroEconomics class that I slept through twenty years ago, grants me no insight or third-eye intuition about this mess. I do know it won't be solved in a day or with one person dictating what will be. Perhaps I've got it all wrong. Perhaps we need to have a congressional seance and ask Roosevelt what he would do. We can't go to war to jump-start the economy like happened with World War II. Fighting two wars is probably part of what got us in this fiscal fiasco to begin with.
Perhaps, instead of using the 700 billion dollars as a banking bail-out, the government could use it to create real jobs to stimulate the economy so people can make good on the debts that they signed on to.
Okay, maybe I'm too optimisic or maybe I'm too pessimistic. I'm not sure. One of my friends first calls me one, then calls me the other, what's a girl to believe?
Hey, another thing that my friend said...Does anyone remember that this whole mess began in the first place when Saint Ronald (not MacDonald) decided that American banks should be trusted to regulate themselves, after all if they don't, they will lose profits and we can't have that, can we? Reganomics brought us the idea of giving the rich more money than God and trust that they will spend it in a way that will create menial jobs to keep the masses busy with minimally paying jobs so they don't have the time or education to realize that minimum wage is not a living wage, no matter how much you neglect your kids to juggle multiple paychecks. Have they inducted him into the economic hall of fame yet? If wo, I think that honor should be revoked and those who still worship at the porcelain altar of Saint Reagan need to look up and see where those policies flushed us (we, the people).
OOPS. I forgot, my new hero, Newt Gingrich is one of the ones who needs to fece up to his marriage with Reganomics. Thier de-regulation has ended up to be a mess that is bieng cleaned up over twenty years later, just what Newt wants to avoid this time around.