In a phrase that reminds us why we miss George Carlin, he stated: "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out". This is especially appropriate as members of Congress and the Bush Administration attempt to forge a bipartisan economic bailout plan that will avoid jeopardizing the re-election of members of Congress and simultaneously sodomizes the American public. If we are going to spend over one trillion dollars, there are many more productive ways to allocate such spending. Some alternative suggestions for an economic rescue plan include loan guarantees for mortgage adjustments for debtors who can afford to make monthly payments on those adjusted mortgages, grants to States for infrastructure repair and maintenance, grants and loans for development of alternative energy sources, targeting loan guarantees for other existing businesses which may have difficulty securing credit despite maintaining sound business practices, and targeting loan guarantees for new businesses which may have difficulty securing credit despite having sound business plans. These alternative spending plans would exert a more effective stimulus on our economy than will be realized by rewarding the reckless and criminal behavior of the numerous business executives who engineered the financial turd which Congress is attempting to polish.
As dire as the situation may be, the current financial crisis offers a good opportunity for necessary regulatory reform, but the howls of protest from members of Congress are just bad theater in preparation for a colossal sellout on some "compromise" bailout plan that pours good money after bad. There have been bleats from Congress about the prospect of the U.S. Treasury Department intentionally inflating the value of the bad debts that financial institutions seek to excrete on the American public, and that is certainly unconscionable, but the ultimate result will be worse when the financial system collapses nevertheless like a house of cards. Some of us have memories, and another factor which should be (but will not be) considered by Congress is to insure that, when any assets which may be acquired by the government are later sold back to the private sector, these transactions should not be sweetheart deals that again rape the American public, such as the sales of assets made by the Resolution Trust Corporation in the aftermath of the Savings and Loan scandal.
Although members of the chattering class in the mainstream media profess their own ignorance to explain why we are heading into a financial abyss, OpEdNews contributors Ellen Brown and Chuck Simpson have done an excellent job of explaining, to financially unsophisticated people such as I am, how investments known as derivatives (especially credit default swaps) created this fiscal crisis. In the negotiations on the pending economic bailout/sellout, none of the reforms offered by the Bush Administration and the leaders in Congress seeks to correct the primary cause of the financial meltdown, and none of the proposals from the Bush Administration and the leaders in Congress addresses the gross inequities in our tax system that subsidized and accelerated (via tax cuts on investment income) the criminal investment schemes which have ruined our economy. A large percentage of business executives have been primarily concerned with plundering their own businesses, and if Congress were to reject the economic bailout/sellout, it also would provide some incentive for shareholders and other affected parties to support reforms to rein in the obscene extravagance that causes overcompensation for incompetent business leadership.
Although the Republicans are the most odious of the odious in destroying regulation of capitalism's excesses and preventing enforcement of existing regulations, the Democrats have been thoroughly complicit in leading us to financial disaster. Bill Moyers has said: "Democrats talk about direction without convincing us they know the difference between a weathervane and a compass." The Bush Administration is engaged in financial terrorism by using fear rather than logic as the main ingredient of their campaign to obtain a bailout of failed economic policies, and the Democrats lack any common sense as they squander their political leverage on one issue after another. Now, the Democrats are allowing themselves to be out-maneuvered by the Republicans so that the Democrats are doing the heavy lifting for the unpopular economic bailout/sellout, and this economic bailout/sellout will be even more unpopular when it inevitably goes sour.