One thing about the government bailouts make me happy: for years, our so-called leaders have told us that there simply isn't enough money to pay for universal health care, decent education for our children, repairing our infrastructure...and many other services that would help millions of our own citizens.
Well, now we know that is all bullshit. Because when the banks and financial services companies started to fail, suddenly there is more than enough money to shower on these Titans of Capitalism. And the extraordinary numbers thrown around in this bailout make the cost of things like universal health care seem downright reasonable.
So I say: if we are going to put our children and grandchildren deeply into debt, let's do it in a way that benefits them and not just a handful of fat cats on Wall Street.
GM, Ford and Chrysler CEOs come to Washington begging for $25B in bailout funds and they are raked over the coals - justifiably. "Where's the plan? How do we know you won't come back for more?" Now, I have mixed feelings about this bailout; these companies are so badly managed. But their collapse will be catastrophic for our economy. At least, however, there was a reasonably public debate over the use of public funds.
But Congress said go away (and come back later with a plan). Oh, and the Bush Admin expressed opposition to giving the Big Three this money.
Days later, after no public debate, no Congressional hearings....Citigroup is handed another $20B of taxpayer dollars. What is their plan, I wonder? How can a company that does nothing but push bytes around in different computers (that's what financial services mostly comes down to, doesn't it?) get a free ride when GM does not?
It's almost as though the Bush Administration is more concerned about making sure rich people stay rich than middle class and poor Americans keep their homes. Huh.