I wonder if any of the voters who called to release the venom rotting away their innards have taken a gander in the mirror recently. Maybe they had something to do with the creation of the financial disaster of the century. How many callers have home equity loans, an SUV that can’t fit in a standard garage, large credit card balances or a house filled with crap they don’t need?
This is a gem. Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, chairman
of the Joint Economic Committee Strike Force Battalion Alpha
(OK, I made the last four words up), explained in the NY Times
yesterday that he and fellow senators were getting an earful from
their constituents about the pending super-sized financial rescue plan.
It turns out – get this – that they are angry, agitated, constipated, amazed,
bewildered and befuddled beyond belief about the whole thing.
And what, exactly, are voters developing such a wicked case of all-
consuming indigestion about? According to Chucky, the first source of
outrage is the Bush Administration’s “no strings attached” request for
$700 billion to rescue the financial industry from all of the bad mortgages
stewing on their balance sheets. The second is the outrageously reckless
behavior that our naughty bankers- both investment and commercial
types- have been engaging in over the past several years (it might actually
be more accurate to say decades- but last I heard, there is an election
As constituents from across this mall-infested land continue to express
their misplaced outrage, the financial rescue package is plodding it’s
way through the legislative process. (“The Times” reported today that
Congress is close to agreeing on a final deal.)
Right form the start, the familiar battle lines were drawn in the debate
over how this financial rescue package should move forward. Democrats
want help for homeowners, restraints on executive pay and more
oversight. The Republicans, who champion free markets without regulation,
gave in to all three demands. But many news outlets were reporting that
industry lobbyists are lining up to include other “troubled assets”, such as
car, credit card and home equity loans- which is a sad development that
will provide ample material for my own venomous outburst (stay tuned).
Instead of pointing fingers and spewing poison, voters should think about
their role in creating this mess. Granted, many were taken advantage of
due to shady- OK, criminal- lending practices. But I would wager that the
vast majority never bothered to read the fine print on the fancy financial
products that allowed them to fill their vacant lives with material bliss.
And, those that did understand that the lending terms were onerous
were foolish enough to believe that real estate prices would always rise,
and their homes would always be fountains of disposable cash.
The rescue plan that slithers through the greasy halls of Congress will
cost a ton of dough. And, I have a suggestion for many of those angry
voters out there- instead of calling their elected representatives to
bitch and moan, they should instead turn to their kids and apologize.