Bailout Blues

My biggest problem with the Bush Administration’s bailout plan is the Bush Administration.

I don’t want the economy to collapse. I’m pretty cranky about the greed, dishonesty and outright stupidity that got us to this point, but I do agree that something probably needs to be done. I say “probably” because I don’t really understand the problem, and the more I read and hear about it, the more I wonder if anyone understands it. Certainly there’s no one on CNN who’s been able to explain it to me in anything better than third grade terms.

So, sure, let’s do something, but here’s the problem: I don’t trust the Bush Administration. Of course, I just generally dislike them for all the usual liberal reasons — I won’t go over them again. But the real problem is that they might be lying. I mean, after the selling of the invasion of Iraq, in which the administration simply made up a bunch of shit, spread the lies vigorously through compliant and supposedly “objective” media, and acted like it was a great big emergency and we had to hand over unilateral war powers to Rove/Cheney/Bush right away and don’t be asking any questions, why should I believe them now?

I can think of various reasons why they might be lying. They might be simply continuing their policy of destroying the federal government because neocons just don’t like the federal government. They might be trying to stall the collapse just long enough for John McCain to get elected. They might already know that John McCain can’t be elected and they might be trying to hand President Obama a big steaming plate of shit sometime next Spring. Hell, George Bush might actually be thinking about his “legacy,” as if he has a chance of salvaging anything there.

But after eight years of this administration playing fast and loose with the truth, why should I swallow their latest cries of impending doom and pony up my share of seven hundred billion dollars? Somebody needs to convince me that Hank Paulson won’t just tuck it into his vest and apply for his old job at Goldman Sachs. You might think that’s pretty far-fetched, that such a thing couldn’t happen in the United States of America. I refer you to the “election” of 2000, in which a barely literate nincompoop got picked to be President despite not getting as many votes as his opponent. Things can happen, folks.

I don’t know exactly how this could be handled in such a way that we won’t have to wonder if it’s just a gigantic bank robbery, the equivalent of George Bush and cronies grabbing the silverware and the chandeliers on their way out of the halls of power. But until somebody smarter than me in Washington has an idea, I’m OK with this bailout not going forward.

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6 Replies to “Bailout Blues”

  1. I don’t know how things are in California, but here in middle America it’s pretty damn frightening! The impact of greedy short-sighted risky financial practices have been devastating. It will continue until we MAKE it stop.

    I don’t want to pay for it either. I also want to stop getting phone calls from friends telling me they’ve been laid off; I want to stop watching my retirement account evaporate; and I don’t want to lose the little shack that I call home.

    Fear? You’re damn right I’m afraid.

  2. Theresa – I’m pretty disturbed, but so far not afraid. Congress will pass some kind of bill, probably this week. Times will be tough, but bearable, and the laissez-faire Republicans — most of them — will be tossed out of power, so we might be able to correct course over the next few years.

    And you know where I am if you need a hug.

  3. Anyone who sticks their neck out for this legislation is taking a significant risk. If it goes well, they won’t be seen as a hero. At best, we will shrug it off and be glad to move on to better things. At worst, they will be blamed for making a bad situation worse.

    Also, the blame-game is already starting. Once the problem-solving is past the crisis point, most in Washington will spend lots of time and energy (and probably more of our tax dollars) trying to figure out which of them to hang from the nearest tree. I’m all in favor of learning from our mistakes, but the witch-hunters will defend themselves with their favorite word: “Accountability”.

  4. Theresa – I admit I don’t know what’s really going on, but I can’t recall another situation like this, where no one likes the proposed solution, but everyone agrees — including those who have already voted against it — that the legislation in question (or something like it) should be passed. The number of people in Congress who are willing to walk away without doing anything can be counted on your fingers. It makes me think they know something that we don’t — something extremely compelling.

    Regarding accountability, there will certainly be some kind of post mortem, and there should be. We can’t just go blithely on without trying to determine what we did wrong that got us into such a mess, or else we’ll end up doing it again. It would simplify things if the Republicans — the “conservative, small government, anti-regulation, free-market zealots” would just admit that they were the primary culprits.

  5. From what I can tell, lots of blame is being assigned to those associated with Fannie and Freddie. Currently, several Democrats are in the spotlight. I find it ironic that Fannie was created in the wake of The Depression to pull the housing market out of the depths. Now she’s a big stone pulling us under.

    Yes, we must learn from this experience. However, I doubt the usual Washington-circus will uncover the truth.

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