attacking together, humming “kumbaya”

The Michigan Congressional delegation, like most around the country, was divided on the $700 billion in “emergency” aid to the financial sector. Representatives from the mitten state voted 9-6 against the bill. John Dingell, who voted for it, attributed the loss to partisan politics, but it wasn’t just Republicans who voted, “No.” 95 Democrats, including 3 from Michigan, voted against the bill designed to keep American mega-banks solvent.

I know I should be worrying about the financial apocalypse that the President says is closing in on us, but, before I get started boarding up my windows, I just want to sit here for a moment, close my eyes, and enjoy for the fact that, for once, Michael Moore, Richard Shelby, Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich and Newt Gingrich have found something that they can agree on… I never thought that I’d see the day when people across the entire American political spectrum could come together and, with one voice, say, “Let them fail.” There’s something really beautiful in that… It’s too bad it took all of this to make it happen.

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16 Comments

  1. Brackache
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Amen.

    Screw you, Dingell.

  2. Doug
    Posted October 1, 2008 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know enough about economics to have a valid opinion. I also think there are very few people that actually do.

    However, my gut is leaning towards the “let them fail” camp.

  3. Brackache
    Posted October 1, 2008 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    If there’s anything the leadership of both parties can agree on, it’s bailing out their rich friends at our expense.

    Have fun pretending Obama (yay) or McCain (yay) give a fuck about you or the Constitution, those who are voting for one or the other. Must be a good feeling to still believe that.

    Thanks, by the way, Mrs. Stabinow, for the No vote.

    Fuck you, Levin, for your Yay.

    (guess which one of our senators is up for reelection and which one isn’t, coincidentally?)

  4. Posted October 1, 2008 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps this is a sweeping, moronic generalization but the economy just isn’t that simple. Letting these mortgage banks fail right now would be utterly disastrous. If no one is able (or willing) to loan money, no one buys property, property values fall, people lose mobility, can’t sell their houses, on and on and on… If you owned property, it would likely be a little clearer. Maybe you do, but try selling that dog right now.

    I am no economist, but the “Let them fail” rhetoric is just too simple minded to be valid. Educate yourself a bit without the help of Michael Moore, the situation appears to be seriously dire. I agree that corruption is rife throughout Washington, but I really don’t think that this is just a way to bail out rich friends.

    I found a series of articles in the Economist to be helpful. Check it out:

    http://www.economist.com/finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12322942

  5. mark
    Posted October 1, 2008 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think anyone here is getting all of their information from Michael Moore. I’m certainly not. I just included his comments because I thought that he made a good point about healthcare costs, in many cases, leading to foreclosure. I’ve also linked, over the past few days, to several economists, politicians, and informed business people, who are both for an against the bailout. Personally, I don’t know where I stand on it. My inclination, given the administration’s track record, is to say “hell no,” but I recognize that I’m not well versed in economics. So, for that reason, I’ve been advocating a middle way – a limited bailout in which we get equity in these banks in exchange for saving their sorry asses. It’s not the $700 billion blank check that Paulson wanted, but, at the same time, it’s not nothing. Compromise.

  6. Brackache
    Posted October 1, 2008 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you dude, that letting them fail would probably be pretty bad in the short term. But this is a bubble that needs to pop and correct itself to avoid a prolonged depression. Yes, this credit crisis is pervasive, but the devaluation of the dollar and price-fixing of worthless crap no one wants to buy will be even more pervasive.

    I was going to start looking to buy a house come spring, but will probably not be able to get a loan if this bailout fails the house (again). Fine. I would rather rent the rest of my life than watch our entire failing economic system get propped up even higher to fall even further and harder down the line.

    Not to mention the blatant injustice of the whole thing, which is reason enough to vote against it.

  7. EoS
    Posted October 2, 2008 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Senate passed a bill tonight, but Stabenow stayed the course and voted no again. Supposedly the Senate added features to their bill to make it better to the average American. One thing the new bill does is to extend FDIC insurance to bank accounts up to $250,000 dollars. Does anyone know of an average American who keeps more than $100,000 cash in their bank account? I’ll bet we’ll all sleep better tonight knowing that the Senate is giving the manufacturers of wooden arrows a desperately needed tax break. And somehow these add-ons have made the bill more palatable for our elected representatives to support?

    So what will the bailout accomplish? The Federal Reserve will crank up the printing presses and add $700 billion more paper dollars to the circulation. With no assets or value to back up this increase of currency, we just devalued the savings of every American. It will save the million dollars you may have invested in a retirement account, but the inflation it causes will mean you’ll need 10 million dollars to afford the same level of economic security that you thought your retirement account would provide. The real cost to taxpayers is far greater than the $700 billion added to our national debt because it includes the loss of value to all savings as well.

    Notice how everyone is trying to spin that this isn’t a bailout of Wall St., but of Main St. Really? Congress has passed numerous pieces of legislation to allow mortgage lenders to provide financing to potential homeowners who really didn’t have the means to pay their mortgages. The collateral for the risky mortgages was the assumed potential increase in the value of their homes. Real estate investors made a fortune. Mortgage brokers and banks made a fortune. Home builders made a fortune. Legislators reaped windfall donations to their election campaigns. But the homeowners got foreclosure notices and bankruptcy proceedings. And now that the home market has tanked due to the oversupply, we have a financial crisis that necessitates us to bail out those that made their fortunes exploiting the insanely designed lending practices and a piece of legislation that jeopardizes the standard of living for all future retirees. Oh yeah, and it allows Wall St. to get right back into the business of creating more wealth for the chosen few for a short while until they create the next financial crisis for the masses. This bailout does nothing to correct the problem that caused it in the first place.

    The House doesn’t have to approve this Senate version of the bailout and shouldn’t. A reduction in credit in the short term will penalize those who created this mess the most. Those who engaged in bad lending practices should suffer the consequences of their decisions. Loss of credit will force individuals to live within their means which is a quite rational economic decision. And fixing the problem now by stopping the hemorrhaging will ultimately benefit the most. Call Dingell today and tell him, “Let them fail”.

  8. Brackache
    Posted October 2, 2008 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Exactly. One of my friends wrote a great letter to his Reps about it, but it won’t let me post it here cause it’s too long I guess. Too bad, because he went to Princeton, worked in real estate, and taught Econ at the graduate level. To sum up: everything I’ve been saying but more detailed.

  9. EoS
    Posted October 2, 2008 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Brackache,

    You said it better and more concisely. Thanks.

  10. Posted October 2, 2008 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    “The Federal Reserve will crank up the printing presses and add $700 billion more paper dollars to the circulation.”

    This isn’t how it works. If all the government had to do was print money, then we could all be rich. Money is only worth as much as the market decides, printing up more money just for the hell of it only devalues the dollar.

    While my gut reaction is to just say “fuck them”, you have to remember that this isn’t just the mom and pop down the street. Sure, you can rent for the rest of your life, but your house is still owned by somebody, who’s going to be up shit creek when it comes time fix your roof or to renovate your sewer system, because he can’t get a home equity loan to take care of it. Like I said, though, I am no economist.

    The Iraq War was a colossal waste of money, I don’t believe that this is given what I’ve read. Maybe what I’m reading is lies and distortions from the evil right wing media.

  11. Brackache
    Posted October 2, 2008 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    This isn’t how it works. If all the government had to do was print money, then we could all be rich. Money is only worth as much as the market decides, printing up more money just for the hell of it only devalues the dollar.

    That is how it works. The rest of this statement, however, is spot on and the whole problem. That’s why the bailout sucks.

    You see, market forces don’t devalue it untill it trickles down from its original recipients and gets widely circulated. At first, it retains its preinflation purchasing power. Who are the original recipients? Wall Street, defence contractors, foreign governments, etc. When it gets down to us, finally, then it’s worth less.

    There’s more to it then that, but that’s a huge part of the problem.

  12. applejack
    Posted October 2, 2008 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    there was a nice discussion on npr yesterday about how so many americans are willing to risk a financial catastrophe in order to get revenge on these bankers and wall street crooks. they talked about the game theory behind such a decision, which i always find illuminating. if someone takes ten dollars from us unjustly, most people would be willing to pay an additional fifty if they know it will cause the other guy to lose a hundred bucks in return.

    and honestly i think i agree that a little financial meltdown might not be such a bad thing for the country right now — it might hurt a lot of people, but look at how much debt americans have, both as individuals and at the federal level as well. we cannot continue like this.

    college tuition for instance is not realistically priced. they know the students can’t afford it anyway and will take out loans, so they can make the cost fantastically high. plus as a society we value a college education very highly, which is fine, but kids are in a situation where all of their peers are incurring a mountain of student loans too, so that is seen as normal, that’s how the system works: so how bad can it be? people cannot properly gauge the value that they are getting because the cost isn’t incurred until years and years later. it is a fantasy to believe that u of m students are all getting what they pay for.

  13. applejack
    Posted October 2, 2008 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    americans today have negative savings. the american government is trillions of dollars in debt itself, and the bailout will only dig us deeper. a financial meltdown may be an awful way to solve this crisis — because everyone will take on more debt rather than adjust their consumption to the changing times — but eventually the system will need to be reset. like the end scene in ‘fight club’ where the credit card companies are destroyed. or isn’t there a jewish holiday where all debts are forgiven every seventh year? at any rate the credit system in america needs an overhaul. and americans might need a painful re-education in how to save their money.

    as an aside, michigan has been in recession for a while now anyway, so at least we’re used to tough times. how much worse could it get? haha

  14. Posted October 2, 2008 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    It seems that “the rich get richer, the poor get poorer,” and the prostitutes just get better looking every danged day, don’t ya know, under this economy!

    The fault is not some inanimate entity, but within human nature, what is so presciently portrayed in the movie “Wall Street.” It was reported that in Beiging “GREED IS GOOD” was raised in a large sign, hmmmmm.

  15. Brackache
    Posted October 2, 2008 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know, Laal. I think prostitute ugly is deflation proof.

  16. Robert
    Posted October 2, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Dubya is the boy who cried wolf. Every time those assholes in the Bush Administration want to capitalize on some situation, they suggest there’s some disaster comming. It’s urgent mainly because they don’t want anyone to have time to look over the details. I’d like to see congress keep stalling them, but of course we all know it won’t take much to buy off the majority.

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