Is It Time to Just Say No to Bailouts?

Originally, the Treasury-written bailout package was going to include “troubled assets” from the mortgage meltdown, presumably to keep people in their homes. Now they’re tossing in SUVs and credit card debt that people would just as soon not pay too.

I like Chris Dodd but it’s hard to ignore the fact that as chair of the Senate Banking Committee, he received $516,000 this year from the banking industry

That’s right, Republican-Americans and all you other idiots who bought a McMansion with no money down and a five-year balloon, then parked your Lincoln Navigator and Nissan Armada outside while Best Buy delivered the home theater system you charged…you can walk away from all those bad decisions and the idiots who sold you that crap can too. No one’s out anything, unless you count the next few generations of Americans including my 10-year-old niece.

And best of all, we’ll be giving the Treasury, another wing of the executive branch, complete freedom to blow our future wealth with no oversight whatsoever. That will come as a relief to all those CEOs who worried that unlike McCain advisor Carly Fiorina —who was fired from Hewlett-Packard but took her $21 million golden parachute with her anyway — they might actually be held accountable for their poor performance.

Here’s the exact wording of the proposed legislation:

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Kind of has the ring of Dick Cheney, doesn’t it?

Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson, Senate Banking Committee Chair Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) appeared on ABC’s This Week to tell us that we must act and act now to avert devastation and calamity. The only problem was no one could exactly explain what the impending doom we might avert looks like.

George Stephanopoulos asked the question about five different ways and got googly eyes and sputtering and each time.

Stephanopoulos: So what is it you all both think will happen, to specify this out a little bit more, if you don’t pass this bill this week?

Dodd: Again, I don’t want to use the language and I don’t think John does either because language has its own impact but let me tell you, as I said a moment ago, we’ve been in a lot of meetings together over the years at a lot of critical moments. When the chairman of the Federal Reserve described the situation to us, George, there was a pause for about ten or fifteen seconds when nothing was said. The air came out of the room. It was that, that startling a description of where we were, both at home —

Stephanopoulos: So give us that description. What startled you into silence?

Boehner: George, you can’t, you can’t (Dodd waves hand and shakes head at Boehner), you can’t describe on Sunday morning uh, how ugly this picture would look if we don’t act.

Stephanopoulos: Why not?

Dodd: Because it’s not just this country, it’s globally as well. This is not just the financial markets here, it’s global. And again, we’ve been lurching from failed institution to failed — We’ve been talking about these Fridays, for six months, where we get the call on Friday that we’ve got another institution that’s failing. We’re now trying to do something about this systemically and there are concerns whether this will work or not, but not doing anything at this point —

Boehner: George, this is the most serious financial crisis the world has ever dealt with, and this is not a time for people to be playing games, it’s not a time to be out scaring people. It’s a serious crisis that affects our economy and Americans’ job and their savings and we have to act to protect them.

Stephanopoulos: Well that’s exactly what I’m trying to get at because I hear you saying it’s serious. They see serious costs involved and they want some flavor of what will happen if you don’t act.

Dodd: Well I think what you’re talking about is not just Wall Street, that is what happens in Main Street: retirement accounts, 401s, pension funds, student loans, credit cards. Credit card debt is being securitized. What does it do to people’s ability to be able to finance their needs on a daily basis? Job creation in the country. All of this are (sic) the ripple effects of what could occur here, making what this cost is — and it’s significant and sad and tragic — pale by comparison if we don’t act. So the choice is, for us, do we do something in response to what we’ve been told we must respond to, or do nothing and face the consequences?

So let’s get this straight. People would have to pay as they go and stop using credit to “finance their needs on a daily basis?” Credit card debt would be securitized, meaning you would stand to lose something if you don’t pay it back? Wow, what concepts. How could our country survive such calamity?

Yes, I’m being facetious. It’s just hard when you’ve been brought up to believe on some level that capitalism works, as anyone who grew up in America does, at least a little, to suddenly get your arms around the idea that it doesn’t, and that the people making money from it never really expected it to. That all that front-end stuff about taking a risk and reaping the reward is superseded by this new back-end meme of “unless there is no profit and then government has to act.”

It’s hard to grasp that no one ever expected, as Chris Dodd put it, to “face the consequences.”

After the selling of the Iraq invasion and occupation, we are suspicious when we are told we must act, and act now before we have a chance to know the truth, and that we must give our leaders complete autonomy to do whatever they want.

I like Chris Dodd, I really do. But it’s hard to ignore facts.

Cornyn received $201,548 from donors affiliated with commercial banks so far in this election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He ranked fifth among all senators, just behind Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, who raised $516,044.

I think we need to slow down and take a deep breath and start over with this whole bailout idea. I’m not convinced it needs to happen (how can I be, no one’s even tried to convince me with say, facts) and I damn sure don’t want to hand more unlimited power to the executive branch. I think I might have to give my senators a call on this one. Maybe you should too.


  • nikolai
    September 23, 2008 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    The bailout is FASCISM. Fascism is defined as the collusion or merging of private corporations with the gov’t. The fact that Bush want maximum pay (bonuses, retirement, golden parachutes etc) to go to the CEOs who CAUSED this disaster speaks VOLUMES.

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  • October 1, 2008 - 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Did you know many of the fat cats who circulate from board to board and from job to job throughout the financial industry are also members of the Bilderberg Group and or the Trilateral Commission, founded respectively in 1954, and in 1973, in New York City? When someone takes your money and steals your car, it makes an impression. When they belong to such a shadowy political clique, it leaves an indelible impression. Many elected officials even belong to these cabals, hence the secrecy. When Bill Clinton eased banking restrictions, he dished out $8-billion dollars for “community reinvestment loans.”

    When the financing schemes fell through, as is their wont whenever 30-million Mexican nationals buy inflated properties and default, it left banks in the lurch. Hillary Clinton counted on the Politically Correct loan giveaways to buy votes. Interestingly enough, had Hillary secured the nomination; she, instead of Barack Obama would preside over the bailout. So, where’s that $8-bilion plus dollars? Where’s Hillary? Why the caveat in Section 8 of the bailout: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency?”

    The Global Initiative people (code speak for car thieves) took my money; they did in fact steal my car. If you or I did half the things these people have done, we’d be serving consecutive life sentences. Wise up, get angry, and let the bubble burst. No way, No How … No Bailout. Besides, a bailout guarantees us nothing. We’re going to be just fine. You have my word on it. Gentlemen, I want my money back:

    “You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out.” –Andrew Jackson, on fraudulent financiers, 1832.

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