November 26, 2008
-- by Dave Johnson
So far it looks like you and I have coughed up about $7 trillion dollars to bail out Wall Street and the big banks. The executives and their bonuses and the shareholders all thank you, suckers. Of course, you and I had NO SAY in this at all!
So $7 trillion comes to about $23,000 per person - including infants. This means that the average family of four coughed up almost $100K to bail out Wall Street and the banks and the executive bonuses and shareholders. This was the Republican approach to fixing the problem.
They say it's all about making money available for people to borrow. This assumes that people have any credit left. I mean, if you make $5,000 a month and your payments add up to $5,000 a month, maybe you aren't going to want to borrow any more. And maybe a lender with sense won't let you. Lending to people who can't afford to pay the money back is what caused the mess! Loading everyone up with even more debt is not the solution.
Why not make people more able to afford to buy things, and not have to borrow to get by? We could have put $7 trillion into health care, roads, bridges, schools and other things that would have created millions of jobs and provided raises to or lowered costs for regular people! I wonder what THAT would have done for the Christmas shopping season, and all the rest of the Christmas shopping seasons from now on?
But we not only didn't have any say in how the money was used, the money is all gone.
Meanwhile go read The Bail-Out Will Not Work at angry Bear to understand why giving all the rest of our money to the people who created the mess will not work.
Posted by Dave Johnson at November 26, 2008 12:00 PM
The whole thing makes me nauseous. It strikes me as totally insane... and the numbers only keep on getting larger! $326 billion (on top of $25 billion and god knows what else) for Citigroup?!? $150 billion for AIG? With almost no debate or discussion or democratic process... and yet, the Congress is demanding accountability and plans from the car companies, for a relatively piddly $25 billion (not that I'm sure they should get it easier), when the direct and tangible cost of their failure is far, far more clear and unquestionably catastrophic.
None of it makes any sense. It makes me think that Grover Norquist has finally won... not by shrinking government so it can be drowned, but by rendering it utterly incapable of doing anything socially useful by devoting every last bit of available resources to unproductive activities - drowning it in debt.
I worry about the debts my children will inherit, the services they won't have available to them because of these debts. I worry about them graduating into an economic catastrophe that makes the Great Depression look mild. ... and, I realize, this isn't just going to be our children paying for it. I'm thirty seven. I'm going to be around to reap the whirlwind. On an immediate basis, I worry every day that the economy is going to simply implode, catastrophically, and that my clients are going to be taken down with it (and thus my business and income).
I think about all the good this money could have done, spent elsewhere... and whether or not we've had a real debate over our priorities as a nation.
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