All of us who are the ones who pay our taxes faithfully and on time to our local, state, and national governmental agencies are simmering….no…ready to erupt….at the thought of yet another government bailout for failing businesses brought on largely by greed and "crony capitalism" as one writer recently called it. If I understand it, it would seem that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two lending agencies sponsored largely due to government support really started the breakdown on Wall Street the past week or ten days. There are many politicians howling and blaming right now, but the one that gets me the worst is Barney Frank of Massachussetts. He is been in the forefront blaming the Bush administraton but Barney has a huge pile of rubble around his feet.
Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe (in Frank’s own state) wrote recently and titled his commentary piece "Frank’s Fingerprints are all over the financial fiasco". According to Jacoby, Barney Frank was one of the leading politicians in Congress to engage inpressuring lending institutions like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make more loans to people who could not afford to pay them back …this was done so that low-income people couldown their own homes. Fine and dandy, but those who take on home mortgages have to pay them back in the real world, but Frank chose not to recognize that most important factorof borrowing and lending. Time and time again, previous to last week’s FM’s disaster, Frank insisted in public and in the House of Representatives that Fannie Mae and Freddie Macwere in good shape when they were not. He was one of the leading pols who blocked attempts some years back to force the two FMs to be more regulated in making loans and collecting on them. This has led to to what we witnessed last week when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both proved to be "houses of cards" that came tumbling down in the foldingof other lending institutions on Wall Street. In spite of his fingerprints being so publicly "all over" the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac crisis. Frank had the gall to stand upin Congress and say this: "ThePrivate Sector got us into this mess. The government will get us out of it." He is really living in some kind of a La La Land "bubble".
If there is one thing I cannot abide, it is hypocrites like Frank who point their finger atothers for blame when there are 4 of their own fingers pointing back at themselves. I do not think that Barney Frank even thinks he has any responsibility for this fiasco even thoughhe was active in the entire process of bad loans to people who could never pay them back. This was done in the name of "fairness" according to Frank, who seems to need somebasic economics education badly!
In another commentary written by Phil Harris on Monday September 29, Harris calls NancyPelosi, the so- called leader of the House, "an elder snotty brat" after Pelosi’s leadership failed once again and she made a highly partisan speech from the HouseFloor before the bill for the government rescue was voted on… causing it to fail by a significant number of votes from both Republicans and Pelosi’s own Democrats. Pelosi hassuffered other humiliations as House Leader but this is a big one. Harris also described Senate Leader Harry Reid as being in the same boat as Pelosi other than that he has a Ychromosome! Reid’s continuous petty partisanship has caused much distress in Senate actions in the past and he is not acting the part of a true leader now, either. Both Pelosi andReid are too much concerned with small stuff that might help "one of their own" get past an election, but their concern for the good of the nation is lacking with their extremepartisanship….not a good quality for true leadership. They are far more interested in playing "Gotcha" games against the opposition party than they are in getting thingsdone that count, in both houses of Congress. It is a small wonder that the approval rating of Congress has sunk to about 12 percent and, at times, has been in the single digits….muchlower than the approval ratings for the hapless President. But Pelosi and Reid continue on their own destructive paths and fail to provide any real leadership in either house of Congress.
There is a long history of government bailouts, unfortunately. It started in 1932 and1933 after the Crash of 1929 sent the United States into the Great Depression that lasted for almost 10 years. President Hoover in 1932 got Congress to pass legislation to bail out some Wall Street failures by enacting the Reconstuction Finance Corporation which was supposed to prop up business and promote some positive business activity. President Roosevelt in1933and thereafter, got lots of legislation passed to reinvigorate the economy in many bailouts and government takeovers. The bailout process has never stopped. In 1971 Lockheed Aircraft and Penn Central Railroad were rescued in government bailouts to the tune of billions of taxpayer dollars. In 1979 in the waning days of the CarterAdminstration ,Chrysler was bailed out with more millions of government dollars. After the September 2001 attack on the United States and the subsequent shut-down of theairlines for several days, the government provided about 15 million tax dollars to shore up the airline industry. There were other major bailouts in 1984, 1989 and 1998.
Now in the first half of 2008, Bear Stearns has been bailed out (March); IndyMacbank was bailed out later in the spring; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were bailed out on Sept. 7 and AIG was shored up with government dollars shortly after the "rescue" of "Barney Rubble’s"favorite government loan institutions which borrowed millions in bad loans to people who defaulted and were unable to pay when they were approved for the loans inthe first place. People who have little or no income (it has been discovered that some FM loans were made to Illegal Aliens!) should not be trying to buy a house they cannot pay for. And no agency should be lending money to those "customers"….can you imagine your local bank making that kind of a mortgage loan????
This history of bailouts should tell us something: no government bailout ever createspermanent help for businesses. Only the free working of capitalism will ultimately cause financial success in any business. Sometimes poorly managed businesses have tofail… if their failures are due to the greed and stupidity of those who are at the head of the company. Why should "we the people" pay for such greed and stupidity and allow thosefailing CEOs to walk free with huge golden parachutes??? There should be a lot of people sitting in jail rather than holding up the failed institutions that made the bad loans inthe first place? I wish it were not so… but watch out—-nobody will be held accountable. That is too old fashioned as a concept…..the new way is to point the fingerand blame,blame,blame!!! It isn’t going to change and we are going to see more failures and more bailouts as our once- great nation goes gradually further and further intodebt and degradation brought on largely by the people who are supposed to represent us in Congress.
Just sit back and watch our elected representatives continue to "pour sand down arathole" over and over and over til the country falls into a third-rate position in the world.