I have remained fairly quiet on the whole issue of the government push to spend three quarters of a trillion (how many zeroes is that?) dollars to rescue the economy. Around the house, Ben is probably tired of my saying "Let the economy collapse if that is where we are headed.", but it is the way I feel. It is also apparently the way that a LOT of citizens feel based on the information coming out of various congresspeople's staffs as to constituent input on this matter. I was pleased to hear an interview with a LosAngeles based US Representative who made it clear that she listens to her constituents (Wouldn't it be nice if they all did that?) and out of 1500 calls and emails (admittedly a small number of her constituents), 2 were in favor of the bailout plan and the rest were opposed. That kind of response has been reported from other districts as well which tells me that a vast majority of US voters are opposed to the plan set forth. I heard one man say that it is better to let the economy fail now and have the current generation suffer the consequences than to burden our children and several generations with the enormous debt this would incur.
I oppose the bailout for several reasons:
1) No one bails me out when my finances run amok
2) Why should the government buy the very risky loans and investments that the financial industry says were the very things that led to this crisis? A bad debt or investment is bad whether it is made on Wall Street or Pennsylvania Avenue.
3) Too many people have been raping the financial system for personal gain for years -- they need to be called to account for their possibly legal but surely unethical and greedy actions.
4) All of these federal bailouts (this one, the proposed huge loans to the automakers, Freddie and Fannie, and others) set a dangerous precedent. It is a precedent that can not be carried to the point of bailing out every industry or business that is in trouble, so why start here?
5) Perhaps my biggest reservation is that this crisis is being brought forth by the Bush Administration -- a body of folks known for their collective forthrightness and absolute honesty. If George Bush told me that the sky was blue, I would have to go look to see if it really was so. From the stealing of the presidency in the 2000 election to the illegal invasion of Iraq to go after the "WMD" (Which of course never turned up), to everything else that has been a load of horseS**T (to use the word purportedly muttered in the debate by John McCain), we have been misinformed, misdirected, badly governed, and essentially screwed over.
6) Actions have consequences -- SOME of us try to teach that lesson to our children (though it seems that more parents than ever before seem to not be teaching it to their "special" children). If we (the people) bail out Wall Street, what kind of object lesson is that?
Now, I don't pretend to understand global economic matters, and perhaps some kind of government intervention is needed. However, I think it needs to a responsive action rather than a reactive jumping to a rapid conclusion -- a jump that could essentially bankrupt not only Wall Street and the business community, but the US Government.
Just to wind down, I say again, "Let's be responsible and responsive -- make informed and well thought out plans and actions and listen to the electorate -- not just to get their vote, but because I for one still believe in "We the people". And that, my friends is my take on this mess.