Friday, October 3, 2008

A day that will live in infamy

Today our House of Representatives voted for the bailout of Wall Street. They had previously rejected it on Monday. The Senate took the bill added an additional 150 billion in earmarks, passed it, and sent it back to the House. The polls showed public opinion at an amazing 50-1 in opposition to this bill, yet it still passed! When the Founders of this country declared independence from England, they stated why they had to break away in a list of grievances. Some things written in this declaration are strikingly relevant today. Among the grievances listed were:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

We are all going to experience the loss of purchasing power through inflation. That is a hidden tax that we all pay and we pay it for the benefit of the banks. Most don't understand how it happens, and if they did, would not consent. In 2006 Congress passed the Military Commissions Act, which allows for permanent detention of "enemy combatants" without ever having to press charges. No contact with your family or a lawyer and certainly no trial by jury, all this on the say so of one man, no probable cause needed. The CIA has openly admitted to the use of extraordinary rendition. We currently live in a Country that, has "free speech zones", allows warrentless wire tapping of our phone calls and emails, tortures people, and has taken away habeas corpus. Our most important rights as free people are being gutted from our Constitution.

So here we are faced, we are told, with an economic meltdown. We are being told that we must give unprecedented power to unelected officials. The fear-mongering on this issue has been great. Every major "leader", including the President, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Chairman, both presidential nominees, the leader of both parties in both the House and the Senate, all have claimed the sky will fall if Congress does not act immediately. In spite of the warnings the American people in record numbers contacted Congress to tell them NO, DO NOT PASS A BAILOUT. Some polls showed as high as 200-1 against this bill. So Congress goes ahead and passes the bill, and not only passes it, but adds on an additional 150 billion of taxpayer money in giveaways to special interests. The people's message to congress seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

After listing all of the grievances the colonies had, Jefferson wrote this:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

When will we come to this conclusion again?

--Jeff Avitabile

Monday, September 29, 2008

Step In The Right Direction

Today the House of Representatives rejected TARP, the $700 billion bailout proposed by treasury secretary Henry Paulson and favored by Bush and bipartisan congressional leaders alike, and all I hear from the mass media is that we are in dire circumstances now! Albeit, I agree we are in bad times, but let’s take a minute to look at what would have unfolded as a result of the bill being passed. First off, the economy would worsen as a result of the number of foreclosures and job losses that will continue to rise. This would be inevitable seeing that this poorly conceived plan mentioned nothing to regulate against it. Come to think of it, it doesn’t mention much, only that it needs $700 billion (kind of scary to think this is the only idea that they can come up with). With no plan in place to avoid this crisis in the future than what’s the point! Instead of calling it the “trillion dollar crisis” it will be called the “two trillion dollar crisis” down the road. Next on the list, what’s in it for the dollar? I’m not talking about inflation (this time, next article) which already has taken a heavy toll on our economy, but rather the affect that wall street investors will have when they again start to focus on negative interest rates, account deficits and ever increasing banking problems (Wachovia just made the list). The dollar will retreat even farther turning inflation into hyperinflation or worse. In fact the dollar has already begun to retreat, falling somewhere in the area of 5% since its mediocre rally that only lasted about two in a half months. So what can be done in place of this rushed proposal? I hate to just bitch about the problem and not offer any solutions. After reading an anonymous email that is also posted on this blog, it got me thinking. It talks about the $85 billion that had been used to bailout AIG being instead given to the taxpayers. Not such a bad idea in my book. Alright, maybe not so much to the extreme of the email (even though it’s still better than Paulson’s plan), but giving part of that money to hurting homeowners in order to pay part of their mortgage can go a long way. This would help preserve the value of these mortgage backed possessions and add a certain degree of liquidity to the market. It would also mean keeping these taxpayers in their homes where the economy needs them! A friend of mine only a short time ago told me his house recently devalued because the guy next to him had to foreclose. Scary stuff! To come to the point people, I’m fed up with hearing what the overly rich have for solutions. Let’s hear what the majority has to say! I always love to hear what you the “Mob” has for ideas, so feel free to post your ideas in the comments section below. Let’s follow the constitution for a change; it’s there for a reason!

--Charlie Mullen