Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Congressional Crunch

I see Republican members of the House, as well as some Democratic Congressmen, making the TV news circuit and letting everyone (translate that to the folks back home) know that they voted against the Agreement yesterday. Indeed, they look us in the camera eye and tell all of us in televisionland that their constituents back home wanted the bill to go down.

Now I find that an interesting comment. The constituents, they say, want them to vote against the bill. They tell us that the public doesn’t want to bail out Wall Street moguls, and complain that Congress wouldn’t bail them out if they were in trouble, so why should their tax money bail out Wall Street?

Well, folks, they’re trying to bail you out! And your Congressmen either don’t understand the actual state of affairs or are too lazy to educate themselves. Their job is to first read, yes read, the draft of the bill—all 110 pages of it! It’s available online in pdf format and can be downloaded, so they don’t even have to be in Washington to peruse it. They can do it from home.

After looking over the bill and noting that there are safeguards for the taxpayer and the government, as well as provisions for oversight and golden parachutes for CEOs (not allowed). Well, need we go further? Examination should reveal that this bill is a very decent beginning to dealing with the crisis. And, yes, it is a crisis, and as such needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later.

The second and even more important part of the job is to explain to the folks back home what this crisis is all about and how this agreement is NOT about bailing out Wall Street but about freeing the debt market and saving our economy by getting it moving again. After that, the work continues. The populace is angry and they’ve been worked up by a lamentable choice of vocabulary and a lack of trust in our current administration. And no wonder. But in this case, there really is a serious problem (yeah, the MWDs are really there this time!).

One of the jobs of a Congressman is looking after the constituents by explaining why you want to support a particular measure and why voting for that measure would be good for Main Street. Not with a catch phrase, you know, like “No bailout for Wall Street,” but with honest evaluation of the situation and how you’re looking after the interests of those back home and their future ability to get a loan for a house, a car, a business deal or for your company to keep running so you don’t lose their job. That’s what our Congressmen need to, and it’s urgent.

As expected, the politicians “play politics” while sitting on their rear and just letting the mail and phone calls make the decision for them—especially when people making contact for the most part don’t really understand what’s going on. And if not, they need to make an honest effort to find out. That’s also part of the job. Get to work!

1 comment:

sparkle8 said...

OK, fine. An important piece of legislation got passed despite widespread opposition from the American Public. That's because our Congress would rather do the right thing, even if it means losing the next election, right? NOT!

There are at least a dozen other ways to solve the crisis. Congress considered none of them. In a rush to judgement, they threw good money after bad, when there were better ways recommended by financial leaders.

As for a credit crunch, that only exists for people who have bad credit. The bank my business uses is People's United. They have 2.5 billion in cash just waiting to be loaned (that's how banks make money, folks).


If you have a good credit rating they will loan you money. If you don't, they won't. That's how it's always worked until fairly recently when lots of uncreditworthy people got money they should not have gotten.

As for the future, here's my prediction:
The next round of Congressional candidates running against incumbents will have a simple platform. They will announce "I did NOT vote for the bailout, and my opponent did". I believe that every one of these candidates will be elected by a landslide.