What is the requirement?! Is an academic discipline in economic hullabaloo needed for the everyday Joe to voice his grievance against the cryptic script painstakingly being hallowed in the backrooms of the Unites States Congress? It should not even matter that this elaborate $700 billion governmental bailout plan for the financial markets, which supposedly averts Armageddon, has not even the faintest surety of assuaging the economic turmoil, a point on which all perpetrators would concede. The September 29, 2008 failure of this bailout in the lower chamber of the Congress should very well come as no surprise to anyone. Partisans on both sides, whose salaries are paid by neither party ‘s leaders, were forced to think hard and deservedly so—hard on whether a “profile in courage” stunt was indeed a courageous profile at this junction, or a foolish act of political bravado in a toxic and suicidal politico-economic climate.
And of course there was immediate talk on several news channels, partisans and economic gurus alike; especially that alleging a battering assault on Republican rank and file by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi minutes before the kangaroo vote—when she in effect dumped the dismal state of things on failed Republican policies—is responsible for the inability of the Republican leadership to corral its’ membership to pass the bill. One cannot in good faith defend any political party, but the mass revulsion of citizens on Main Street towards this bill in its current form effectively reminded the civil servant who dared eavesdrop who holds the ballot and his fate come election time.
Amidst all this, a puzzling phenomenon takes shape: one without which could be argued would have placed the sanitation worker who dumps the garbage of corporate CEOs in Manhattan on the hook for $700 billion by now. The Republican Party in recent times has been known to be the party of the big spenders and the affluent, the likes to own the shares and stocks that parade the sidewalks of Wall Street today. Democratic president Harry Truman was quoted as having said “if you want to live like a Republican, vote Democrat,” a saying that has held true to its part over the past decades. The Democratic Party for sure has not been outdone in all of this; the blue collar worker, the minority citizen who is more likely to own a shearer than a share very much still constitutes the core of the party.
So it has to seem a little strange that the guy who owns the stocks and shares on Wall Street, at risk of losing it all, defiant and insistent on drinking his painful medicine in silence alongside the greedy CEOs who brought him the sickness—is being begged to be bailed out by Democratic party leaders whose meager constituents don’t even own their corners of the world. While some may argue this is just a classic case of Republican ideological leaning of small, unobtrusive government versus the Democrat’s big, invasive government, it still does not explain the simplistic petulance of these Democratic leaders in their efforts to save the coffers of wealthy Republican colleagues at all costs.
Something without question has to be done, and the plunging of the Dow Jones Industrial Index by 777.68 points on the day of this first failed bailout vote is not the alarm button that underscores the need for reasonable and accountable course of action. It was only a 7% plunge for starters, way short of the 20% plunge on black Monday of October 1987 and the start of the depression in 1929. So excuse me if yours truly does not panic here. A massive sell-off accounted for this plunge, and wherever there’s selling, somebody is surely bringing his or her money out to buy. But I do concede it stands to reason there is panic in some quarters, certain individuals profited immensely from the credit and housing boom at the heart of this turmoil, before defaults and the like rose from the dark crypt.
No one has claimed to have a ready solution waiting in the wings for the Congress, and neither do I. But I’m assured after a forced bailout of financial entities by taxpayers to an exceeding amount of billions already; another massive uninhibited $700 billion check as proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is definitely not the way to go. I’ve never feigned managing Goldman Sachs, and neither has the secretary paid my tax. So since we’re both coming from two impossible angles, it’s imperative that we arrive safely at a possible destination. Those who got drunk on greed and indiscipline must suffer its hangover. House prices and a host of other commodities shot up rapidly during this period, driving them out of the reach of modest citizens. Natural and necessary socio-economic laws of correction must be allowed to take their course with minimal interference. And if Armageddon is here, why do we still see loan and mortgage ads from companies such as ING on our television sets? Maybe before it all gets so waddled up, we pause and bailout modest hardworking citizens from the threatening grips of Wall Street and its cohorts.