The (Not So) Great Bail Out

Posted: October 1, 2008 in Bureauacracy, Government, Homelessness, Housing, Money, Morality, Politics, Stupidity

When I checked my email yesterday evening, there it was: a news alert from the MSNBS website. It had the headline: Senate to vote on bailout bill Wednesday night. As a subtitle, it had: Lawmakers scramble Tuesday about how to pass $700 billion rescue.  

The opening sentence of the article said it all,

"In a surprise move to resurrect President Bush’s $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan, Senate leaders slated a vote on the measure for Wednesday ā€” but added a tax cut plan already rejected by the House."

Geez. $700 billion! Can you imagine? And, all for what? Why, to bailout Wall Street. Uh-huh.

So where in the world is all of that money going to come from? Out of the American taxpayer’s pockets ā€“ that’s where. It’s going to come out of the pockets of the middle class and the working poor. Folks who don’t have the money to invest are going to pay to save the behinds of those folks who can afford to invest. In essence, it’s the poor who are going to support the wealthy.

Now, I may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but shouldn’t it be the wealthy helping out the poor? Or does that make too much sense?

Apparently it does make too much sense, since our nation’s elected leaders are still trying to make the rest of us pay for the financial screw ups of those who have the money to screw up with. And, they’re really in a hurry to try and get this bill passed because right now they’re having to work overtime. They were supposed to have adjourned this latest session of Congress this past Friday so they could get out and campaign for the up coming elections. As far as I’m concerned, it serves them right that they have to put in a little overtime.

What really peeves me off about all of this is that it could have all been avoided if our nation’s elected leaders had done the right thing in the first place. Now, because they were all too busy not working and playing nice with one another, it’s the rest of us who are going to have to foot the bill for their incompetence.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Situation Summary for August 2008:

"The number of unemployed persons rose by 592,000 to 9.4 million in August, and the unemployment rate increased by 0.4 percentage point to 6.1 percent. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 2.2 million and the unemployment rate has risen by 1.4 percentage points, with most of the increase occurring over the past 4 months."

Despite this, the President and the Senate want to reward Wall Street companies for their mismanagement of corporate finances so that their investors won’t lose their investment.

In the meanwhile, there a millions of middle class families who are in danger of having their homes foreclosed on. There are also those folks whose jobs have been lost due to cutbacks and outsourcing because of a stinky economy. In addition, America’s working poor are showing up at soup kitchens and food pantries in droves.

There is also another, more subtle occurrence happening: the numbers of folks who are finding themselves homeless because of the economic and housing crisis is on the rise at an alarming rate. However, homeless support services are not being expanded to handle the increase in homelessness. The reason: lack of funding.

I find it difficult to understand how federal lawmakers are jumping through hoops to try and ensure that wealthy investors don’t lose some of their investments, but aren’t working just as hard – or even harder – to find solutions for reducing the numbers of homeless on our nation’s city streets.

I’ll admit that I’m not a financial genius. Still, I know enough mathematics to know that if I have $100 in my pocket I can more readily afford to lose $2 than a person who only has $10 and loses $5.

So, how is it that our leaders can find the funding to "bailout" those folks who have a surplus, but can’t seem to find the funding to help those folks who are barely able to make ends meet? How is it that lawmakers can continue to spend money on superficial and wasteful governmental opulence but ignore the needs of our nations’ neediest citizens?

Wouldn’t that $700 billion be better spent trying to ensure that no child is forced to live in homeless shelters or on the streets? Shouldn’t that $700 billion be spent trying to help our nation’s homeless Veterans ā€“ men and women who have given of themselves to protect our country? Wouldn’t it be more morally correct to spend some of that $700 billion in an attempt to provide affordable housing for our homeless senior citizens?

I understand that times are rough economically for our nation right now. But it seems to me that if we can find the financial means to help rescue the wealthy, then we most certainly have the financial means to help the homeless.

If there is anything which requires bailing out, it seems to me it is the morals and priorities of our nation’s elected leaders.

  1. AnAmerican says:

    I’m not an economist but I do have experience as a taxpayer. What I do know is that if I don’t manage my own money well enough to pay my taxes then I am held accountable by the government and will be punished. If I don’t do my job well, I will be terminated. I am held accountable for my own actions as an American citizen. So, why are the CEOs and our governement leaders not held to the same standards?
    Since our government is obviously so disconnected from the reality of the common citizens of this nation, how about they spend some time connecting to the real people who they serve. I wonder if their perspective would change if they had to camp out on the streets, eat in a soup kitchen or live in their cars? Just maybe such an experience is need to realign the priorities of those who “lead” our country.

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