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September 24, 2008

Corporate Welfare: Time To Cut Them Off!

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Bigstockphoto_stop_sign_smell_stupi I've had a volcanic rant brewing in me since this whole financial crisis started and today's the day I'm gonna blow.

First, watch this story from "60 Minutes" from last May.  It should scare the hell out of you.  I know it did me.  In a nutshell it talks about Stockton, California and how banks and lending institutions were giving away money to prospective homeowners that they knew couldn't afford to pay their mortgages.  They then sold those bad loans, disguised as other kinds of financial products, took their profits and ran.  The institutions they sold the bad loans to, then bundled those same bad loans with other good financial products and sold them to the next company and so on.

"60 Minutes" described it as a Pyramid Scheme.  Pyramid Schemes have been used by con artists since the beginning of money to fleece people out of their hard earned dough in just this way.

I remember thinking that everyone involved in the banks and lending institutions perpetuating this fraud should be in jail.

So all credit to "60 Minutes" for telling this story, but what did Washington do about it?  Nothing.

This is beyond "bad behavior by Wall Street" as someone on CNN called it.  This is greed by Wall Street.  Someone said the other day and I can't for the life of me remember who, but they said something I very much agree with: we should not be blaming poor people for this crisis.  As you can see from that "60 Minutes" story, the banks and lending institutions were basically giving away free money.  Free money!

Would you have turned it down?  Especially if you were trying to get your family out of a dangerous, bullets flying neighborhood and into what you were told was an affordable home?

One guy in the report said facetiously that in Stockton you had to pretty much apply not to get a loan.

Well here we are now and the Wall Street corporate, greedy scum, have their hands out for free money. $700 billion of it.

You hear them saying that without the $700 billion, people will lose their jobs, banks won't lend money, Wall Street companies will go out of business.

My response?

Let 'em!

'Cause you know what?  As soon as we give them that $700 billion, they're going to cut mid-level employees like you and me anyway.  The upper-echelon will be just fine.

Banks won't lend money?

That's a blackmail tactic.  They don't lend money, they don't make money.

Wall Street companies will go out of business?

They should!  Isn't that what free market business is supposed to be all about?

Remember the SNL crisis?  Remember Enron?  Sound familiar?  The only thing different is the price tag you and I are supposed to pay.

If, and I do say if, these companies are given a dime, all those bankers and corporate hot shots need to sign a contract that turns over significant portions of their banks and companies to the taxpayers. Then when the stock market turns around, and remember, it always does, a significant amount of the profits will also go to the taxpayers. 

Also in the contract---and this is very important---a salary cap on executive salaries, and eradication of bonuses of any kind for the foreseeable future.

And don't think I'm only blaming Republicans for all this. Democrats are to blame as well, but the Republicans consistently run on platforms of deregulation of business and basically allowing Wall Street to do whatever it wants.

These are the same people who want to cut food stamps for poor people. These are the same people who begrudge any kind of increase in the minimum wage.  These are the same people who have absolutely no sympathy for the middle class people who have to mortgage everything to pay for catastrophic medical bills.  These are the same people who laugh at the rest of us because they get to live the high life and then know we'll bail them out when they screw up with our money.

These scum sucking Wall Street bastards should be put under the jail.  They are a disgrace.  And the Republicans who've always supported them, who are still talking about getting rid of capital gains taxes and who just a few years ago wanted to gamble with Social Security money in the stock market should be right in jail with them.

Can you tell I'm kinda pissed?

If you know your history you know that the stock market always recovers.  And believe me when it does, if we don't tie their hands now, these same people will be living the high life off our $700 billion while you and I are still trying to keep a roof over our heads.

And whatever you do, if you're not retiring soon, don't let all this panic talk convince you to take your money out of the stock market because all these losses are on paper.  It's not a real loss until you sell a stock.  The stock market always comes back and it will this time. 

Sticking with the market is what I plan to do.  That and trying to make sure the corporate welfare crooks are punished for fraud.

Eruption, for the moment, over.

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