March 17, 2009
Where’s My TARP?
I am a scared and very, very angry American. Angry, because this great nation of ours, despite what inept politicians rebuff, finally admit we are experiencing a recession… Scared, because we are rapidly losing our democracy at the hands of our own government. These same politicians who live in their ivory towers, fly to the Vatican, enjoy the best healthcare, daycare and pensions, all at taxpayer expense, vote themselves raises, accept “perks” from lobbyists, which most assuredly influence their votes and bank balances as well as those of their “friends’ and family and as our employees decide when they will and won’t actually do the work that they were hired to do by the people.
No wonder these positions are so coveted…especially when most candidates don’t have a clue how business actually works. They were so exhausted after being “in session” laboring over the Stimulus/PORK package that apparently none of them read, they rewarded themselves by taking a week off! I’ll bet most hardworking Americans and especially small business owners, who wear multiple hats would love to take a week off with pay after working overtime(which, incidentally is the norm not the exception for most of us)…and still get paid not to work! And here lies the first problem with government…they use our tax dollars to pay people not to work…and reward bad behavior starting first and foremost with themselves! Wouldn’t you love to get paid for not doing your present job while applying for over a year for a more lucrative one?
i.e. The Elections
Elected/Appointed “public servants” can not run for another office while currently holding one. If they do, there must be a consequence for their action as in the private sector, a risk/reward ratio. Politicians must resign from the office presently held and reimburse the taxpayers for the cost of a new election to replace the position being vacated. Candidates vying for and ultimately holding public office must be held to a high moral standard, be accountable to the people as well as maintaining complete transparency…a chorus refrained repeatedly during the last election but one we are still awaiting. I guess the CHANGE that we were promised referred to all that we will have left in our pockets after Congress taxes everything but the air we breathe. I know my $13/week stimulus will make a real difference in my life…now I might be able to get a bagel with my coffee!
Candidates running for office would all have 1-3 months prior to the election to campaign. Each would have equal funds to work with as their first test of fiscal responsibility and creativity working within a finite budget. This would eliminate special interest groups and lobbyists from securing influence and preclude candidates from “buying” elections.
Term Limits/ The Washington solution, in fact, the government(local, state) solution is to “throw” hard earned taxpayer dollars at a problem and if that doesn’t work, “throw” some more…in an attempt to correct an issue that they had a hand in either directly or indirectly. The Mark to Market rule in banking and of course, doesn’t forget the Community Reinvestment Act which was the catalyst for the housing crisis. What I find so irritating is how government continues to reward “bad behavior”. Consider our new Treasury Secretary, who is also head of the IRS, who neglects to pay his taxes and according to Washington is the best candidate that America has to offer from all of its citizenry. Are you kidding me? Not to mention his amnesia when it came to the AIG “big wigs” multi-million dollar bonuses funded again by American taxpayers. Have you noticed that every time Geitner speaks the stock market tanks? Where has the press been when it comes to investigating and being the “watch dog” for the people? Why aren’t they finding the connections between campaign funds and AIG?...follow the money …it will astound you!
Hard working Americans will now have to postpone retirement or even work ‘til they drop while still contributing to another ill run government program…Social Security that will probably be bankrupt by the time most of us “qualify” to receive it.
Our homes, that not only serve as our refuge but likewise our “nest eggs” have plummeted in value. This was inevitable when Congressmen like Chris Dodd, Banking Chair, gets a “sweetheart deal” on his mortgage from the very lenders he is in charge of regulating and claims he didn’t realize he was getting such… Banking 101? Barney Frank, Finance Chair, who strong armed Freddie and Fannie which ultimately diminished qualifying requirements by lenders was instrumental in placing us at the point at which we have now arrived. What experience have these two ever had in these respective fields and for that matter what have any members of Congress had in the private sector? It is a lot easier to make the rules than follow them. It is a lot easier to criticize and regulate than create and generate. Term Limits would preclude politicians from wielding the power to which they have so be come accustomed. Remember the old adage, Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely! If, as American citizens we represented ourselves instead of allowing career politicians to determine our destiny, the constant turnover of members would reflect the needs of the public and not the self-serving wants of the politicians.
As a pre-requisite for those holding public positions especially those that entail a working knowledge of finance one must have had to balance a budget in the private sector. How difficult is it to spend money that does not belong to you? And when you run out you just print some more or borrow it from a Communist country?
Who can fathom that Congress would “give away” millions of our dollars to corporations with no caveats only to “grandstand” now by “bullying” the VIPS of these companies to deflect their own stupidity, lack of business acumen and common sense with an arrogance that is unbelievable. These same politicians who have the audacity to even question the mode of transportation by which these “execs” arrived in Washington ought to take a look in the mirror. These companies claim that they had prior contractual obligations to pay out these bonuses to the “best and the brightest” or they would seek employment elsewhere. Aren’t these “whiz kids” the reason for the necessity of a bailout in the first place? Again, bad behavior is rewarded. If these same companies filed for bankruptcy or collapsed…then what would these contracts be worth…NOTHING!
The Tarp/ Stimulus- Renegotiate these bonuses and fire the parties responsible for the decisions made that jeopardized the solvency of their respective corporations.
Instead of bailing out these ill run companies divide the TARP amongst legal, taxpaying Americans i.e. give each $60k(that’s about what it will cost each of us)…this would be an immediate stimulus. Those in foreclosure could pay down the balances on their notes, which they rightly owe. Finally, those responsible people that pay their bills, educate their children and pay their taxes on time can either save,(which would help the banks) replace lost retirement funds or splurge a little and buy a new car or replace an old appliance or just purchase. This would infuse the economy immediately…this would be a true stimulus and the bonus is that it is already our money that we sent to Washington!
…Greed is what catapulted us to this point in time. Greed for Power, Greed for capitol and material possessions. Our forefathers must be rolling over in their graves as they watch the antics of our present government. When the ends justify the means and the win at all costs attitude prevails over integrity we are in trouble. Doing the right thing is never the path of least resistance or we would all choose it the first time. I hope our leaders will make an honest attempt to do so or I truly fear the consequences.
On the upside the housing market is starting to correct itself.(without the aid of government) It will take time but it is moving in a positive direction. Interest rates have never been better and first time Buyer incentives are available. If you have any questions, about purchasing your first home or are looking to upgrade, please give us a call or email.