30 September 2008

Under Cover of Darkness...

Disgust and revulsion are only a couple terms that come close to describing how I feel about the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, also known as the “bail out plan”. This terribly crafted and short-sighted legislation is being rammed down our throats. Thankfully, a good number of democrats and republicans voted against the “bail out plan”. Please thank your representative for voting against it if they happen to have done that. If your representative voted for it, well you know what to do on November 4, 2008 to show your “appreciation” for their stupidity.

The same President Bush that cried out that Iraq was a major threat to the United States came on the radio this morning on my drive to work and claimed the sky is falling. He claims we need to implement immediate measures or we will suffer dire consequences. You really have to question his motivation here. So what if the Dow dropped 777 points in one day (an estimated $1 trillion in paper money – all I hear are crickets chirping); it went back up 485 points the next day. The markets are based on emotion not reality and not a good indicator to base economic policy on.

Most folks in the know look at the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) to determine how the credit markets fair. The LIBOR is the interest rate at which large international banks are willing to lend each other money on a short-term basis. Many home equity lines of credit, small business loans and student loans also use LIBOR as an index, and this interest rate has been increasing which makes loans more expensive.

I do not believe President Bush. How can you trust Secretary Paulson after what is coming out with regard to the AIG bailout? Speaker Pelosi is utterly clueless. I have no faith that Senator Reid knows what he is doing. They are politicians first and foremost and care more for their own backsides than what is best for America. This is a housing bubble of an estimated $8 trillion of which only $4 to $5 trillion has been lost – meaning more losses to come. We should be very skeptical and extremely suspicious of anyone using the argument that we will make money from this deal. They screwed up and we are supposed to look the other way and pick up the stinking pile of crap they left for us? No thanks.

Dean Baker from the Center for Economic Policy Research was on C-SPAN talking about the failed bail out. He penned a plan that makes more sense than what Bush and company are proposing. There is absolutely no reason to rush into this. Most reasonable economists agree and would rather see a fiscal stimulus such as investing in infrastructure and direct intervention by trying to work with home owners on the edge rather than sending hundreds of billions through the financial institutions. Let the failed financial institutions hang.

Now the Senate is set to vote on their plan (read: push their failed policies) on Wednesday, 1 October 2008. The Senate will call up H.R. 1424: Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, the text of which will be substituted with the economic rescue plan (a Dodd amendment which must have the consent of both the Majority and Minority Leaders).

Other than the bailout, what does their plan include?

  • Raises federal deposit insurance (FDIC) limits to $250,000 from $100,000
  • Adds a set of popular business tax breaks
  • Adds legislation to prevent more than 20 million middle-class taxpayers from feeling the bite of the alternative minimum tax

A little bit of sugar with a whole lot of poison. Please call your senators and send them a message loud and clear that we do not like this plan and would rather see it defeated.

Photo by KCThinker, Butterfly - Omaha Zoo

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