Wednesday, October 1, 2008


This bailout thing has become a convoluted mess. The Treasury secretary seems to be playing partisan politics with this thing. Senator Obama, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid, appear to be doing what they can to make this a huge win for the Democrat party, while positioning it as a loss for the Republicans at the same time. Instead they appear to be making a bigger, more confusing mess.
Just so you don't think I am picking on the Democrats, I do think there is some effort by the Republicans in Congress to help make McCain look good on this. For instance McCain has been trying to meet and talk to all the leaders involved in both parties. The House Republicans are letting John McCain be the one credited with the idea of having an independent oversight of the running of the bailout plan, once passed. So it's not like only one party is trying to come out of this smelling pretty.
However, the Democrats are taking the lead on this, because they are the majority party in both houses. In my opinion, they are fouling the whole thing up. What are they doing? Well, besides messing around with insider information from the Treasury Secretary so Barack can try and corner in the Republicans, they are throwing so much in this bill that does not pertain to the purpose, just to get it passed, we are going to have all kinds of Pork that will add to the cost of this bill. Good or bad, it is pork.
What really frustrates me is that the bill that is being pushed now is not just about financing for the bailout. There are a few items that everyone hopes would make a difference. An increase in FDIC insurance is one. It makes sense that if people can get a guarantee on the money they put in the bank, they will put more money in the bank. More money in the banks means more money to lend. This should help get credit moving in the economy.
It also deals with tax breaks for purchasing solar panels. How does this pertain to a crisis due to bad/faulty mortgages? While it may be a good thing, I don’t think this should be part of the bill. I perceive this as pork.
There are a number of tax breaks that are meant to garner Republican votes in the house. If you are going to pass a tax break, for example postponing the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax), then do so, but tacking it onto a relief bill for the economy seems like it is a bit out of line. While it is true that the more money that is in the economy the more jobs are maintained and created, this is more Pork.
It is hard to know for sure, but there are reports of emergency relief for the Midwest and South to help recover from recent storms. Again, this may be a great thing to spend my tax money on, but adding it to this bill so that it will get votes is called pork.
For a moment I was thinking of using a Mary Poppins analogy, ‘a spoon full of sugar’ and all, but it just doesn’t seem appropriate when we may be talking about Bad Medicine.
On Monday, the US House didn’t like the plan, with 40% of Democrats and over 60% of Republicans voting against it. This was very interesting, especially after the “leadership” said they had a compromise that would pass. It seems to me that the leadership was trying to force a plan on the American people. Instead, the people got on the phone and told their Representatives that they didn’t like it and their Representatives listened. This is the CHANGE I HOPE to see in Washington. Less bad government and more good legislation. Less partisan politics and more working together to do the right thing. We’ll see what the Senate does with this tonight.

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