Political Fatigue or Why I Hate the Bailout Plan

I am not an economist.

I took Economics 101 in college and then I took a few accounting and public finance courses in graduate school. I didn't enjoy them, but I like to think I learned a little something.

But, I still don't feel I can formulate a proper argument on the government's bailout plan(s). I've tried to keep up with the news - I've even stooped so low as to watch network evening news programs.

It's all propaganda; every website, every news story, every word. I can't make head or tail of anything. It's all Wall St. versus Main St. The banks are all collapsing! No one will ever get a car loan or a home loan or a student loan again!

And the media makes it all true by simply adding the word "may." Many employers may not be able to make payroll. Small businesses may go under. Your geriatric mother may have lost her entire life saving. In fact, she may be living in and eating out of a dumpster right this very moment!

Maybe. You should probably call her just in case.

Obama and McCain prattle on about change and whose change is best and whose will likely kill us all. It's inane. If this bailout business teaches us anything, it's that the elections in November won't change much.

I would venture to say that both parties have failed. The failure of the bailout bill in the House of Representatives on Monday proved that the Democrats were willing to sacrifice the bill - which they assured us was so very necessary - to sink the Republicans running for re-election. As if, after this, we need more Democrats in the House.

But we don't really need more Republicans either - although, at least they were against it from the beginning.

Now the Senate has passed a bailout package. Oh, our great and noble Senate has come to save us. Except, I read this article from the Associated Press. I've copied my favorite pieces below.

Their opposition appeared to be easing after the Senate added $110 billion in tax breaks for businesses and the middle class, plus a provision to raise, from $100,000 to $250,000, the cap on federal deposit insurance.

They were also cheering a decision Tuesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission to ease rules that force companies to devalue assets on their balance sheets to reflect the price they can get on the market.

In addition to extending several tax breaks popular with businesses, the bill would keep the alternative minimum tax from hitting 20 million middle-income Americans and provide $8 billion in tax relief for those hit by natural disasters in the Midwest, Texas and Louisiana.

So, tax breaks. Seriously? You want to spend $700 billion in tax-payer money and pretend that you're cutting my taxes. So, who exactly will pay for the $700 billion? Oh right, I will when you cut federal funding to programs which my state will then have to cover and my state taxes go up and, then, in the end, you'll go ahead and raise the federal taxes later.

Raising the limit for FDIC coverage shouldn't be necessary. I thought this bailout package would stop my bank from going under. If it doesn't, then we need a new plan!

I've already said I didn't enjoy accounting. I am no expert and I won't claim to be, but why shouldn't assets be tied to price? If I buy a $10000 car in 2008, it's worth much less in 2010. I shouldn't continue to value to asset at $10000; I can't liquidate it for that amount. I have to value it based on market price. This easing of the rules will make companies seem to be worth more money that they are, or am I wrong here? Isn't this already part of the problem?

AND $8 BILLION IN DISASTER-RELATED TAX RELIEF? As part of the bailout package?

This is sickening. It reeks of coercion. If you vote against this bill, you will be voting against hurricane victims. If the Senate was serious about tax relief for victims of natural disasters, then the Senate should have taken it up separately.

Ugh. I am often one to defend government. After all, it's people. One must remember that our government is made up of people just like us.

Unfortunately, this has proven to me that they're not like me. They have different concerns than I do. I think that they've forgotten how to think beyond politics. I read somewhere that Congress was finally earning their 10% approval rating and I am inclined to agree.

I can't just blame the Democrats, although I believe that they've utterly failed as the majority party in both houses.

I can't just blame the Republicans either, although, let's face it, the Bush administration has failed in most ways possible.

13Months officially withdraws support for McCain.

13Months refuses to endorse either of the main party candidates.

13Months is inclined to endorse Sarah Palin all on her own simply because she isn't a senator.


Tammy said...

BRAVO!!!! I couldn't have said it any better! They're putting the "roosters in charge of the hen house" watch out now!

Mobea said...

I totally agree with you about the bailout. This has gotten out of control quickly. I can't believe how much pork they added to it in a manner of days. I basically understood the reason for the bailout until it got out of control. BUT, We the people, of the United States, have no one to blame but ourselves, when only appx 20% of registered voters will get off their butts and vote. We can stop this nonsense by as Palin stated last night,"taking personal responsibility". We are a nation of apathy. We complain about our government, but yet we act as though they are Gods that cannot be controlled. We, the people of the United States, ARE the government. We have the priveledge of choosing our leaders unlike a lot of other countries. A lot of people have died defending that right and we ....oh well, I'm just on my soapbox. Sorry to use your blog to do so. But I agree with you, Bob.