Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Money Pit and Cat in the Well

After pulling an all-nighter, the low-approval gang in Washington this morning will give us their new, improved version of the $700 billion gamble nobody understands but practically all are sure is needed to keep the sky from falling.

The 1980s Tom Hanks movie, "The Money Pit," comes to mind as Congress and the Administration enthuse over the financial structure we're buying with a $250 million down payment that may or may not stand up until their successors move in next January.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi congratulates the negotiators for "the great work they have done" to "insulate Main Street and everyday Americans from the crisis on Wall Street” while Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson gets up off his knees to celebrate "a deal which will work and be effective in the marketplace.”

But as the happy couple prepare for the Housewarming, the grumpy former tenant Newt Gingrich stands outside bitching that "it’s probably impossible, without the president getting a new secretary of the treasury, to get to a good deal...We’re taking an immediate tummy ache, and we’re in danger of turning it into cancer.”

So much for the mixed metaphors, but perhaps the most apt commentary might be that of a voice from the past, the 1960s Senate Leader Everett Dirksen, who may or may not have said, "A billion here, a billion there and pretty soon you're talking about real money."

Dirksen had all kinds of folksy anecdotes to warn about wild-eyed government spending, including the one about the schoolboy asked to figure out how long it would take for a cat that had fallen into a well 100 feet deep to get out if it climbed up one foot and then fell back two feet.

After reams of calculations, the answer was, "If you give me another 30 minutes, I'm pretty sure I can land that cat in hell."

Dirksen is long gone, but he may have a good sense of direction about where Washington spending was heading.

7 comments:

THINK ABOUT IT said...

I began to be suspicious of the house Republican "insurance plan" when I learned it was suggested by Wall St. Now I get it. Suppose you had $6 trillion of this MBS junk. Merrill Lynch sold $ 6 billion for 22 cents on the dollar, just before they had to sell themselves to Bank of America. If you hold $ 6 trillion, would you rather I buy it for 22 cents on the dollar, or agree to make you whole($6 trillion) for a 10 cents on the dollar insurance premium? Obviously, your haircut drops from 78 cents on the dollar, to 10 cents on the dollar. And we are all happy, right?

Anonymous said...

Dear Rep/Senator,
With all due respect, I do not agree with your action to support in any form, shape and fashion to an idea to use MY TAX DOLLARS to bail out the wall street crooks from the mess they created and I would rather see them sinked and drowned forever. I do not see it just to help all and any of the people who have accepted the stretching terms of their loans, since it was their responsibility first to apply for and use ONLY such kind of loans that they CAN AFFORD and not to bend over backwards to get the houses the cost of which is way over their ability to purchase. And if banks talked them into such loans, it's also the banks' fault and they must pay the price, not I.

For that matter, I could consider supporting a possible bailout only AFTER I also am reimbursed a reasonable amount of the cost of my house that I have almost paid off by now over the course of the past TWENTY SOME years, and that WITHOUT any assistance from any agency or government, because I only borrow what I can pay back. So, until and unless I AM REWARDED for my efforts, honesty and YEARS OF SACRIFICE of passing on MANY LUXURY ITEMS that I judged were not affordable to me, hence, did not acquire those taking extra loans I could not pay back, until and unless I AM COMPENSATED for the sacrifice of my family and mine - I will not approve any bailout of these greedy financial institutions and as far as I am concerned, they can go straight to hell.

And if that means a financial crisis - so be it. To me this is only yet another trick by the greedy fat cats to squeeze my tax dollars from irresponsible and/or corrupt legislators. I only hope that some of the representatives/senators that are involved in this will have enough decency left to put an effective stop to this crookery.

There is no guarantee that once this $700B money is paid as a bailout to the financial sector, there will not be another sector of the economy, like car industry (Ford and/or GM), air transportation (airlines), steel, or whoever else, that would be calling for MY MONEY. Where do you think I can get all that money to pay for all these. As I said above, I only buy what I can afford to pay. If something is not affordable, I am not buying. This bailout is NOT AFFORDABLE. I AM NOT BUYING IT.

$700B is a lot of money. It is 2 million houses at $350K each. An alternative of a bailout or what, houses will lose in value? That's only the better, if they lose 50%, to an average of $175K, they will become more affordable and the same $700B could bail out not 2 million, but 4 million homeowners. I will have a better chance to get a cut of that bailout being 1 of 4million than 1 of 2 million.

To make this long story short - my answer is: NO BAILOUT. Period. Not a Republican version, not a Democrats version. No bailout. If you want to know what We The People think about it, put it up for Referendum in the upcoming election Nov.4 and you will see. Anyways, I can assure you that if any bailout is carved out as a "compromise" to steal MY MONEY, my vote on Nov.4 will be AGAINST ALL INCUMBENTS for US House and Senat, regardless of their party affiliation. We The People want NO BAILOUT of crooks. Let them fall.

Best regards

Anonymous said...

I see our wonderful earmark loving Democrats Obama, Pelosi and Reid are going to bake in a neat little syphoning of profits clause to send 20% of any profits made off to "community organizer" groups (like Acorn). How LOW, and how obvious can the Democrat's corruption be? First they take all of those campaign contributions from Freddie and Fannie right before they go under, and now they are going to take the citizen's potential profit for bailing out their buddies - and send it over to Obama's "community organizers". I wonder which politician's pockets it will really end up in. Vote all of these sleeze buckets out.

Anonymous said...

Banks fouled up. Their clients fouled up. And now our crooked politicians are making us all pay for thoughtless, reckless consumer and commercial interests. It's a scandal that will take out more than money - but a part of our national soul. And it won't be recovered until the rulers and the ruled realize that until we stop bullshiting eachother, the ugly truth will catch up to us all.

Anonymous said...

I am asking that you, our House & Senate, not support the Wall Street Bailout. These Wall Street companies have been ‘raping’ the public for years. We the common working families have been working hard and they keep increasing the cost so that they can make more of a profit off of us, the working people that need what they have to sell or loan. The CEOs, CFOs, and executives make more in one year, or even in one bonus than most of us will make in a lifetime. Why now, do we have to bail them out? Who was helping my family when I worked 3 jobs to make end meet? I had to figure it out, so let them.

I again ask- Do not use out US funds, or borrow money to once again give it to the big guys ‘raping’ the innocent.

Anonymous said...

It is really scary that our "economy is based on Debt" The fat cat crooks and liars, unethical practice running wild. I guess the days of eating at the best restaurants and living the big life are OVER. Oh, hey look we need ten Trillion dollars or tax payer money have a war in Iraq. I mean I know we can afford it, but I am sure the taxpayers will understand I mean what's another 10trillion of dept that we have to pay to the Federal reserve. I am fucking sick of this fear mongering. Crash this a disaster that. I am still making money, still have a job and I only get what I can afford. I don't take my credit card to the max and spend like that is no tommorrow let those dipshit greedy mongers take it like the rest of us let them leap from buildings and commit suside. Let them pay for their greed lies and conciet let the fed rot in HELL.

Anonymous said...

Figures. We pander to China.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=anZHfo6tQi60

Asia Needs Deal to Prevent Panic Selling of U.S. Debt, Yu Says

"If China doesn't allow the yuan to appreciate and continues to promote export-led growth it will lead to confrontation with the U.S. and Europe, Yu said. "

That has led to issues for a long time and it kept the prices low enough to get US companies to send jobs overseas and ruin the ability of the US only based companies to complete.

If China raises prices that lessens the reasons all the jobs got outsourced and manufacturing got moved out of the US. Where do we think we can get out of the mess they made with 700B or the 600B spending spree? Nowhere. Stalls only.. bury the American taxpayer while they're at it.

Add in China, Russia & Venezuala & Iran .. we're acting like scared children ducking under desks in the cold war, only this time, we literally sell our country to them to stop it.


We can't build/manufacture here to support our miltary either. We're screwed, chewed, and should have brands on our behinds with this bail-out.

We can't fix what it's taken the Current WH, and Both Political Parties to destroy with 700B. It only puts off the problem for the next administration to deal with.

So, we're at the proverbial Wall of China. Looks 1000% times worse than the Berlin Wall did.

http://votenobailout.org/
Demand that the Bailout Legislation Be Rejected

Let America get back to the business of being a great country and screw Globalization. We have sunk to a new national low thanks to cow towing to foreign markets.