Chad Perrin: SOB

24 September 2008

You’ve heard about the $700B bailout. Right?

Filed under: Liberty — apotheon @ 11:09

In case you’ve had your head in a bucket for the last month or so and haven’t noticed what’s going on in the world of US government economic policy:

Major financial institutions have been collapsing left and right. Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch for pennies on the dollar, thanks to a subsidy provided by Uncle Sam. Before that, Bear Stearns got similar treatment, being bought for pennies on the dollar by JP Morgan Chase. AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac all got bailed out by the Federal Reserve — money was pumped into them so they’d stay afloat, thus insulating them against the consequences of their own incredibly stupid actions.

All this crap is the result of tons of bad, awful investments, offering terrible loans to abysmal-risk borrowers. Much of the reason for that is Clinton-era policy that encouraged loaning money so people who can’t afford to buy homes and expand marginal businesses would then buy homes and expand their marginal businesses, specifically to help urban development. While the Bush administration has done nothing to correct the matter, as far as I’m aware, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statements to the effect that George W. Bush should apologize to the American people for “causing” the current financial crisis are somewhat off the mark.

. . . to say nothing of the forty years or so of piss-poor economic policy under a long line of crappy Presidents before Clinton came on the scene, all of which set the stage for Clinton’s gaffe.

Now, Ben Bernanke (chairman of the Federal Reserve board) and Henry Paulson (Treasury Secretary and IMF board member) are trying to harangue Congress into approving a $700 billion bailout for more failing organizations considered “too big to fail” by supposed fiscal wizards like them. Let’s have another, more literal look at that number:

$700,000,000,000.00

It’s a big number.

The US government could save about a hundred billion dollars and still give every motherfucker in the United States $2,000.

The US government could save about a hundred billion dollars and still give every motherfucker in the world $100.

Every. Mother. Fucker. In. The. World.

One hundred dollars.

Shit. Do you have any idea how long $100 can feed a kid in Darfur? Seriously, that is an insane amount of money for what amounts to a one-shot corporate subsidy. Anyone seriously considering supporting this deal must not have had to buy his or her own milk for at least twenty years. They all probably have maids pour their cereal for them so they don’t even have to look at the milk jug, or for that matter the refrigerator.

No, scratch that. I bet cereal’s too gauche for them. They must have Eggs Benedict every morning, cooked over their $100-bill-fired stove by diligent and internationally respected four-star chefs. Seriously, folks — $700 billion. I guess maybe it takes at least a trillion to start looking like real money to a Congresscritter these days.

Read this advice for communicating with Congress.

It’s okay, I’ll wait.

Done? Okay, good. Now, find a contact number for your Representative and give him or her a call. Tell him or her how much you hate this idea, and how he or she has lost your vote if he or she votes for this piece of shit idea.

Seven hundred billion dollars. Criminy.

Of course, when you call, you should be polite and essentially formal about it. Try something akin to:

Hello, my name is [your name here] and I am a constituent of [representative’s name here]. I am calling today to urge [him/her] to oppose the seven hundred billion dollar bailout. My vote this November may depend on how [he/she] votes on this issue. Thank you.

Make sure you read the page about how to communicate with your Congresscritters. Don’t use the tone I use for most of this SOB entry. You want to be considered an important constituent, and not a “crank” (i.e., someone smarter than anyone in Congress) who’d never vote for your incumbent Congresscritters in the first place.

13 Comments

  1. My congresscritter is a bit of a dick, but I could have ended up with worse (never intended for vote for him, but I guess he doesn’t need to know that bit).

    I’m a little heartened at how much opposition I’m seeing to the bailout, even though the talking heads on TV are taking it for granted that it’s going to pass.

    Comment by Mina — 25 September 2008 @ 01:19

  2. I’m a little heartened at how much opposition I’m seeing to the bailout, even though the talking heads on TV are taking it for granted that it’s going to pass.

    Yeah — with that much (possibly token) opposition, I think a grass roots effort to sway our Congresscritters might actually have a chance at succeeding.

    Of course, we’re always fighting against the tide on things like this, since every time a bill comes up for a vote there’s a chance to tack some damned earmark riders on it. Congresscritters have a hard time resisting that kind of opportunity.

    Comment by apotheon — 25 September 2008 @ 01:59

  3. I think after this November I’m just going to see if Richard Branson will let me stay at his island. Don’t need to use the house if he doesn’t mind me running around killing for my own food and what not. Just need a place to bathe every now and then.

    Comment by Joseph A Nagy Jr — 25 September 2008 @ 09:14

  4. The market has never been this unpredictable and who knew that giants like fannie mae, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns would go down like this, but like they say all good things must come to an end and another phrase comes to mind ” the bigger you are the harder you fall ! “

    It was all over the news so got to know about that but the number ” 700,000,000,000.00 ” WOW TOO MANY FUXXING ZERO’S in there. I too agree with the perspective that its shit load of money to be spent on that where we can feed million of starving children and save lives instead of saving on damn company.

    The post seemed like thoughts being put into words from my head.

    John

    Comment by John — 25 September 2008 @ 10:29

  5. Hi

    Economic meltdown is casuing problems not only in usa but so many other countries. recently uk had been hit by the same and government had to stop the anti monoply low to be oprational to bailout the largest insurance company there. what comes out of this is simple . if you are rich you will be taken care of if you are poor keep dreaming baby :)

    Regards

    Comment by Jessica — 26 September 2008 @ 02:56

  6. While the Bush administration has done nothing to correct the matter, as far as I’m aware

    The man is an ass, but to give credit where credit is due, the Bush administration has been trying to reel this in since 2003, and has been told to go fuck itself on purely partisan lines, with Barney Franks leading the chorus.

    Comment by ilcylic — 26 September 2008 @ 05:57

  7. I interned for my congressman on summer break from college a couple few years ago. They pick and choose those letters carefully, some even get read only by college student interns, I personally would have read the ones which said hey asshole before the ones which started dear sir….;)

    Comment by cooper — 26 September 2008 @ 08:15

  8. ilcylic:

    the Bush administration has been trying to reel this in since 2003

    Cite source, please. I’m not aware of these attempts, and would like to educate myself on the subject.

    cooper:

    Yeah — but “hey asshole” probably isn’t going to convince the Congresscritter, I imagine. At least, not in most cases.

    I guess, if you know something about the personality of your own “Representative”, you might tailor the tone to his/her particular interests.

    Comment by apotheon — 26 September 2008 @ 09:56

  9. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06E3D6123BF932A2575AC0A9659C8B63

    The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt — is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates. … ”The current regulator does not have the tools, or the mandate, to adequately regulate these enterprises,” Mr. Oxley said at the hearing. ”We have seen in recent months that mismanagement and questionable accounting practices went largely unnoticed by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight,” the independent agency that now regulates the companies. … ”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

    Comment by ilcylic — 28 September 2008 @ 12:32

  10. Okay, fair ’nuff.

    Of course, I think it was probably more posturing than a real fix, but that’s based on a pretty superficial understanding of what the Bush Administration tried to do. Still, the 2003 attempts to alter regulation policy might have at least postponed the crisis — perhaps long enough for someone to implement a means of mitigating the eventual damage.

    Okay, so the Bush administration did try to do something right. Color me surprised.

    Comment by apotheon — 28 September 2008 @ 01:11

  11. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Infinite monkeys may yet write all of Shakespeare. The Bush Administration did something right. ;)

    Comment by ilcylic — 28 September 2008 @ 01:15

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