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My thoughts on the “Bailout”

I’m opening up myself to criticism by talking about a subject I don’t know a whole lot about, but in any case, I’m not happy about what is happening and since I have a blog, I’ve decided to voice my opinion on the topic.

Let’s go back a bit in history, all the way back to when Clinton left office, there was a surplus in our budget which hadn’t happened under either of the previous republican presidents. It took a liberal “tax and spend” democrat from the lowly state of Arkansas to actually put this country on the right path. Sure things weren’t perfect but they were pretty good and getting better.

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In 2000 Bush ran against Gore as a “compassionate conservative”. He didn’t turn out to be either of those things. The United States quickly dove into that surplus and then started spending massive amounts of money all while cutting taxes. It’s the opposite of a “tax and spend” liberal. It’s a “borrow and spend” conservative. In fact, the US debt has doubled since Bush took office. (source)

Due to the complete and utter greed of Bush’s friends in business and coworkers in the government, every possible avenue of making money was exploited. Gambles were made with reckless abandon and the people in position to make important decisions about financial matters, made all the wrong decisions. I’ve actually been concerned for quite some time and in fact made a post right here on this blog back at the beginning of 2007 concerning this very topic. I quoted an article talking about the need to solve the problem now, not when the economy goes south. Here’s what I quoted:

The good news is that because the problem only grows more intractable with every passing day, our dithering politicians will have fewer options to chose from when the crisis hits thereby making their jobs that much easier. The bad news is that the more time we spend in denial, the less time remains for us to get busy and do something about it. There is even the danger that if we wait too long, we will face a potentially unfixable problem on the scale of what the Soviet Union experienced – catastrophic economic failure.(source)

So, this situation was easy enough to see years ago by experts and those experts were able to relay that information to the public that cared, including me. So how can the government not have known? The answer is they did and they didn’t care.

I don’t trust this government at all and I do not want to give them any more money. This government has screwed up the lives of so many people already that I’m not willing to let them touch any more of the taxpayers money. If I had a say in the matter, most of the executive branch of government would be impeached and perhaps jailed and members of the do nothing congress we have, would be relieved of duty. This goes for both democrats and republicans. I’m particularly disappointed that Barack Obama supports a bill like the one the Senate passed yesterday and the House will be voting on tomorrow.

Secretary Paulson actually has stated that he will be leaving his post in 4 months. We don’t know who will replace him. This proposed bill gives the person who will replace him an incredible amount of power. If you listen to some people talking about this “crisis” they seem to suggest that if this money isn’t handed over to the Secretary of the Treasury immediately, then the entire global economy will collapse and the world as we know it will be over. That’s a pretty significant level of trust we are putting on somebody who already has one foot out the door and then on the unknown individual who will replace him.

I suggest both presidential campaigns name the person they would choose to appoint to the position and let them start taking questions as to how they would handle things. It just makes sense that we should have this knowledge when our congressmen are voting for this bill and we as voters need to know before cast our ballot for president.

But back to the point, obviously $700,000,000,000 is a lot of money. A lot.
To put it into perspective, the Iraq war has cost this country : ###
(source)

My immediate reaction to the idea of spending $700,000,000,000 is “woah… is buying up bad debt really the best way to spend that much money?” I don’t know the answer to that question but neither does Congress. The fact that the Bush Administration is trying to hammer this legislation through without giving people time to think about it, makes me super suspicious about their motives. Bush has gone on TV a few times now and given ominous sounding warnings about the urgency of this crisis:

(youtube video)

The problem is, we’ve heard this before from the Bush administration… Colin Powell trotting out to the UN with a powerpoint slideshow talking about the urgency and need to invade Iraq and the hastily passed Patriot Act. Two examples of this routine leading us down a path that in hindsight we should not have followed.

They claimed last week that if the bill didn’t pass by tuesday of this week, the world would end. Or at least the economy would be beyond saving. In reality we are still fine. And we will be fine for quite some time. I hope congress will do some small things that will help the economy now, then once a new administration is able to come in, they can work on some plans that will actually significantly help the situation in the right way, with proper deliberation and some actual thought about the future.

I think about what a $700,000,000,000 investment in alternative energy research and development would do for our nation in the long term. I think about ways that money could be spent on a national health care plan and a real investment in education. These are things that will actually help our economy by creating wealth, not just taking good money and sending it after bad money.

I have several more thoughts on the topic, but it is getting late, and I’ve already said plenty.

To end, here is a short video of Eisenhower warning against the dangers of the military/industrial complex, and it’s scary accurate!

(youtube video)