This might be the only time I will say this: Thank you, thank you House Republicans for voting ‘No’ to Bush’s bullshit “bailout my friends and leave the american people with the debt” plan.
I just got a new issue of the nation with their bailout plan. I haven’t read it yet so I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this topic later. If you haven’t yet, take a glance at Nader on the Bailout and Kucinich’s “Main Street Recovery Plan.” I, also, saw Paul Krugman on Keith Olberman tonight and he had some good points that found their way here.
First, let’s start with what’s bad:
- Buying bank’s bad assets. Um, would you buy a house that was ruined by Katrina? No. It’s absurd.
- Giving Bush 700 Billion (or 350 Billion now and 350 Billion later unless you explicitly vote No) to do whatever the fuck he wants. Didn’t we already do that in Iraq? Where has that gotten us? Here. That’s where.
- Rewarding people for royaly fucking up the economy … no, ALL the economies in the whole fucking world. Austrailia’s market dropped 15% in the first 5 minutes; Japan dropped 5%. Capitalism is ‘sink or swim’ but the only businesses that seem to be allowed to sink are small business.
- Not helping out average americans who are drowning … BAD. BAD. BAD.
Ok so … Here’s what I think:
- Yes, we need to help Wall Street. Why? Because they aren’t lending to businesses and students and that is the money that makes the world go ’round. Here’s what we do: The Treasury buys Preferred Stock in the companies they bail out. Enough stock to have a controlling interest in the company – to prevent ridiculous CEO compensations and ensure that tax payers get their money back … with interest. This way, if the company is back on it’s feet, the tax payers gets payed back by buying low and selling high. If the company goes backrupt, preferred stock holders get paid first.
- Start with 50 Billion; not 700 Billion
- In the short term, the Treasury should lend directly to businesses and students alleviating the credit crunch and ensuring, again, that tax payers get their money with interest.
- Take some of the 700 Billion and create some fucking jobs idiot. Our infrastructure is crumbling and we have an energy and environmental crisis. Let’s revive the Tennesee Valley Authority and the Civillian Conservation Corps. Let’s build some wind farms all across the country. Let’s fund research in energy – I’m sure many of my fellow IT workers at Lehman and other financial institutions would gladly switch over to working in other fields. Gladly. If people have jobs, they have money. They have money, the spend it. Economy better. Seriously, Economics 101 … and The New Deal 101.
- Empower bankruptcy judges to renogiate mortgages … and get rid of any bankruptcy consequences for 6 months to 1 year of the new mortgage. If you still default, then you can ruin your credit.
- Regulate the fucking economy. Adam Smith is rolling over in his grave guys. This is not capitalism. For example: increase the requirements for buying on margin (buying stock with money you don’t have), tax speculation, regulate derivatives; re-instate Glass-Steagall (separate commercial from investment banking).
A few things I’d do after the immediate crisis passed:
- Give stockholders real rights. Stockholders – the owners of a company – should be approving things like executive pay. Let’s incentivize companies to do the right thing.
- Expand Medicare and create a universal, single payer health care. NOW. No one should go bankrupt because they can’t pay their medical bills. (Currently, half of all bankruptcies are the result of medical bills).
There’s so many more things we should do – take a look at Kucinich’s comprehensive plan – but these are the most obvious and pressing I think.
Some parting thoughts:
– “… there are no libertarians in a financial crisis.” Paul Krugman on Real Time with Bill Maher
– Aren’t you glad Bush didn’t succeed to privatizing Social Security???