30 September 2008

America Deserves an Explanation

Congress got a wake-up call yesterday. Actually it was more like a big flying F.U. Colossal failure of the bailout package yesterday sent Wall Street sinking and the political machine began to take Tums. How did this happen? It's what I've been saying all along. No one has bothered to explain to the American public anything about this economic "crisis". If you expect Americans to support spending $700 billion to bailout Wall Street and--let's face it--the real American elite have been pulling down six- and seven-figure salaries for decades for little or no leadership or risk, you'd better be damned ready to 'splain yerself, Lucy.

“The risk we run now is we will have a much deeper and more protracted recession than what we had before,” said Mark Gertler, an economics professor at New York University.

He faults politicians and government officials for not doing enough to help Americans understand why the crisis on Wall Street could start to hit home on Main Street. He also thinks no one bothered to spend enough time explaining to Americans how the proposal would work, leading many Americans to see it as simply a handout for Wall Street fat cats.

The proposed $700 billion bailout plan failed to pass the House of Representatives on Monday amid political squabbling and fears that a vote for the plan would impact what lever ordinary voters pull come Election Day.

“This is really a failure, at a massive level, of the political system,” Gertler said.

Politicians have been treating the American public like a bunch of little kids. Fear of runs on banks, massive sell-offs of stocks and the like does not give our elected leaders the right to keep us in the dark and demand we walk in lock-step with an administration we no longer trust. Why should we give billions to already rich people who seem to have no concern for the people they are now raping for tax dollars? Those little guys let their representatives know that they would show their disapproval of a "yes vote" with their votes in the fall. Game over.

If this issue really is bigger than individual elections, Congress needs to grow some cajones and communicate with the American public. I'm pissed off about this. I'm a citizen, too. And I've been TRYING to learn about why this bailout is necessary. I don't think even the media understands. Somehow GWB, Harry Paulson and Paul Krugman get it and I'm supposed to just, you know, believe them. It is a massive breakdown of the political process. As Krugman notes, "We've become a banana republic with nukes." Oh, and we should thank John McCain. Because, you know, he was so instrumental in bringing everyone to the table and getting them on board.

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