OK, let’s bring this entire Bank Bailout farce down to terms that we can all understand and that can be applied in our everyday lives. Your wife comes to you and says your daughter got a great job, but she will definitely need her own car to get to and from work as it’s in an area that is not served regularly by public transportation (and if you’re from New Jersey, this is an all too familiar scenario). Your wife is telling you that this is urgent; that your daughter needs to contact her potential employer right away to accept the job offer, a job she really wants. After having this matter of life and death situation put in front of you, you agree to lend your daughter $20,000 to get a car; and because you trust her implicitly, you give her the cash and trust her to do the right thing. A few weeks go by, and your daughter stops by your house with the used car she bought: a 1991 Honda Civic with over 100,000 miles on it. She is also wearing what appear to be expensive diamond jewelry and a fur coat. Naturally, you’re a bit miffed at this blatant disregard for the cash you gave her; so you ask her how she spent the money…and she pretty much tells you it’s none of your business, and go to hell.
This is exactly what the large Banks who accepted OUR TAX DOLLARS in the largest government bailout of the private sector in history have essentially told the members of Congress and the American People. An Associated Press report circulated yesterday stated that they asked the Banks the following questions: How much did you accept, what did you spend it on, how much went for troubled assets, and what do you intend to do with the rest. Almost every Bank pretty much came back and said it was not our business, that they wouldn’t tell us what they spent or would plan to spend it on, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out of the office, thank you very much! One Bank even went as far as to say not only that they wouldn’t tell how much they spent, but told the reporter not to tell anyone that the Bank said that. In an era of mortgage foreclosures, massively high unemployment, abysmally low consumer spending, and our entire auto industry on the verge of collapse; these Banks have compensated their Executives and their Shareholders with OUR TAX DOLLARS. The Banks have taken luxury junkets and flown on their corporate jets while taking OUR TAX DOLLARS and all the while crying poverty. The Banks were supposed to lend money to businesses and individuals to stimulate the economy and buy troubled assets in order to prevent further collapse. Instead, they have completely misappropriated the funds for uses other than what it was given to them for, and have basically raised a giant middle finger to the good citizens of this nation in the biggest bird-flipping in history.
While the Banks and the rest of the Wall Street white-collar criminals were given carte blanche with billions and no strings attached, the Auto Industry has to go BEGGING for just 2% of the total $750 Billion with a LOT of strings attached. Management and labor gave in, with the biggest concession coming at the expense of the blue collar workers and the UAW. Their wages were to be “in line” with the workers of non-union Toyota, Hyundai, BMW, and other foreign auto makers. One small caveat that everyone forgets is that those workers have Government sponsored health care in their respective countries, while there is none here. Essentially, those non-union workers are being paid a HIGHER salary than our union workers whose hourly wage is within a few dollars of those employees. Oh, to add insult to injury, many of those non-union workers for the aforementioned foreign auto makers manufacture cars right here in the good old USA…in the good old non-union South (no pun intended). In fact, a larger financial assistance package that Congress was working on was torpedoed by the U-Boat Captains…er, Southern Senators whose states have those plants in them. I like Federalism as much as the next guy, but putting your state before your country is treasonous in my book (and I’ll give you three guesses who I have supported historically speaking during our Civil War. HINT: Sherman was right). There is a time and a place for everything, and that was NOT the time nor the place to put your local constituents before the nation. As it was, the Auto Industry almost didn’t even get a bridge loan from the first part of the $700 billion ($350 billion) that was made available. President Shitforbrains almost had them start to go into an “orderly bankruptcy” process. Orderly? Would you buy a new car from those guys? I sure as hell wouldn’t…I’m worried where I will get the parts for my Saturn if GM went under!
Oh, and Treasury Secretary Paulsen has asked Congress to release the rest of the funds as soon as possible. I guess Bush and his cronies need it for a few parting gifts before he (thankfully) leaves Office shortly.
Remember that story at the beginning of the post? To finish off that story, as a parent you’d feel a bit betrayed by what your thankless progeny had done to your good will and trust. So you ask her why she did it, and she replies that you never asked to see any receipts when you gave her the money. Guess what? Same thing happened with the Banks…and not only that, the Treasury Department has no accurate accounting itself of exactly how much money it gave and to whom. Your tax dollars at work.
The next time you go into your local branch of that Large Bank who took billions of your tax dollars to ask why they charged you $50.00 for an overdraft charge of $1.48 shortfall in your account, tell them you’re not paying it. And tell them to stuff their ATM charges, statement charges and transaction charges while they’re at it too…because they already have those fees built into their bail-out money via your tax dollars.
“Fraud is the ready minister of injustice” – Edmund Burke