I watched much of the C-SPAN coverage of the Senate debate on "financial stabilization." Senators Feingold and Sanders made the most cogent statements calling this legislation well-intentioned but deeply flawed.
And deeply flawed it is. This legislation fails to address how we will pay for it, how taxpayers will be protected, and does nothing to prevent similar abuses in the future. This legislation also fails to even mention punishing those responsible...and the executive compensation limitation provision is laughable...simply limiting corporate tax deductions on salaries over $400K.
Senator Schumer, after using the first few minutes of his address to smother Obama's behind with kisses ( in hopes of advancing his personal career??), said the arteries of our financial system are clogged with debt and if something isn't done we're gong to suffer a financial heart attack. (Sorry, Chuck, lot's of folks are already in intensive care...you're just too stoooopid to find your own behind with both hands much less talk about finance.)
Other Senators, regardless of party affiliation, took the opportunity to blame members of the other party for this mess. Typical. A few Senators actually took some responsibility and said Congress was to blame for allowing this mess to happen by not paying attention.
The truth is that these financial problems have been building for a long time, have been well documented and reported, and Congress has continually turned a blind eye to facts and the pleas of concerned constituents. Congress did NOTHING...until the crisis was upon us. And now Congress has passed deeply flawed legislation because they think doing something badly is better than doing nothing.
It seems reasonable to suggest the financial crisis created by unscrupulously managed, unregulated, "free market" greed-driven financial system is not the only crisis we're facing in this country...and to wonder what the next poorly conceived "bailout" will be about and what the cost will be to our citizenry and our nation.
What are the other well known crises we're facing?
Our Constitution is being dismantled in bits and pieces. Our system of justice is being politicized and corrupted. We are on the edge of an energy abyss...where our contemporary means of transporting ourselves and food and essential goods and services is about to run out of fuel. Clean and abundant water is running low. Our Armed Forces have been stretched to the limits of their physical and logistical endurance. Our Health Care system is being ravaged by the same brand of insurance exec's that have ravaged our banking system. Our local news reported the FDA had stopped testing our fruits and vegetables for poisons/pesticides because the Bush administration had finally stripped them of the funding ($8 Million) being spent to protect us. Link to "What's in your Arugula?"
So...what's next? Gasoline shortages and rationing...resulting in food shortages and rationing? Water rationing? A bailout for the Health Care Insurance Industry after they've raped the citizenry and clogged our financial system with citizens facing catastrophic medical debt? More public funding to shore up an American automobile industry that has ignored diminishing petroleum supplies, rising prices and (DUH!) building fuel efficient/alternative energy vehicles. And what happens when the price of electricity doubles or triples?
We have been well and truly screwed and it's going to happen again and again and again...unless we dump the feckless representatives in Congress (Democrats and Republicans alike) who keep playing blind, deaf, and dumb until reality comes up and smacks them full in the face with a snow shovel. If we can't vote them out this time around...let's at least call for the resignations of these shamefully negligent wretches.
I realize time is of the essence to stabilize our financial system. Yet, it doesn't seem difficult or complex to amend this legislation in ways that would answer the public concerns AND send a strong signal to the financial industries people who played a huge roll in getting us into this mess.
I'm certainly going to be writing and calling my elected representatives telling them bad legislation is not better than no legislation and to get busy and DO IT RIGHT....and to pull their heads out of the sand and get busy on these other problems before the convergence of all these known and potentially devastating situations destroys us as a nation.
Go HERE for contact info...if you're so inclined.