Monday, September 22, 2008

All the big guns from the Bush Administration have been out all weekend pushing the bail-out.  However, perhaps, just maybe the Legislative branch will look at this very closely.  I feel as though they are snake-oil salesmen pushing for us to buy without adequate examination or reflection.  Is this really the only way to 'save' the system?  Do we really want to save this system as it is?  Archcrone at The Crone Speaks sums up the situation very well and I agree totally.  I would also go a good bit further.  I think the legislation should include a provision that, when a mortgage is sold to the agency they want to set up, all foreclosure proceedings stop, all upward  adjustments of the interest rates or balloon payments or other adjustments that would raise payments are cancelled.  The home buyer stays in the house at the original interest and payments.  If they could not afford that the payments should adjusted to reflect what they can afford.  When the housing market recovers to a point where the house could be sold for enough to pay the original note the proceeds should go to the government.  I see no reason why the government should buy these assets at bargain basement prices, allow the banks (or whoever) to get them back at slightly higher prices and then reap a massive profit from the proceedings.

I hope that more people are getting as pissed as Ronni Bennett at Time Goes By.  I am not hopeful that the bail-out will actually work.  I hate feeling that I, and my representatives, are being stampeded into buying a pig in a poke.  And I absolutely do not believe the benefits of this bail-out will 'trickle down' to my level.  When the term was coined in the Reagan Administration, I cynically noted that many things trickle down and not all of them are pleasant.  In fact most of them are not.  I have a sneaky suspicion that what ever trickles down from this mess will have been filtered through someone's kidneys.

Evidently some people are--getting pissed and frightened that is.  Check out Donna Woodka at Changing Places.  Both of her latest entries are right on point.  This is an Administration that has proven over and over that it truly does need adult supervision.  The conduct of the Iraq War, the FEMA operation post-Katrina all point to that fact.  It has proven that it doesn't want any of us little pin heads holding the Constitution up in their faces and expecting us to actually expect them to be bound by it.  If the shear size of the monetary bail-out wasn't enough to actually include language that puts the whole operation beyond legal oversight is obscene.  But then little about this Administration has been anything but.

TPM Cafe bloggers, like Dean Baker here, have also been weighing in against the proposal bringing up many of the same issues.  I thought that the suggestion from one of the commentators that the timing of the proposal is somewhat suspicious.  Should we be surprised since the Bush functionaries have been actively pursuing long standing goals through means that have little oversight and very little opposition comment?  Think about the efforts to redefine birth control as abortion and ensure that 'pro-life' health care professionals (if they can be called professional) must be hired to work in any clinic that receives government funds even if they refuse to dispense advice or medical care that conflicts with their religious views.

Here is another link to TPM Cafe.  This time Robert Reich has five very good suggestions for conditions that should be put on any bail out.  I liked point #5 especially.  It has galled me how companies have been able to go into bankruptcy court and get the terms of contracts changed.  Don't like the conditions of the labor contract you signed?  Don't worry.  Your friendly neighborhood Bankruptcy Judge will void the whole thing.  Your assets have taken a nose dive so that what you owe exceeds the value of the assets that secure them.  Again, don't worry.  File bankruptcy and let the Judge wipe out any debt exceeding the value of the assets.  If you are a bank holding mortgage loans aren't you so glad that the homeowner can't do the same.

There are a lot more good posts on the TPM site.  I don't necessarily agree with all the points or posters but most seem to be thinking with the right part of their anatomy.

For even more check out the bloggers at Americablog.  None of them are happy campers either.

And neither, it would appear, are some of the congresscritters.  According to MSNBC today some, especially Democrats, are insisting on oversight, that taxpayers get first dibs on profits, the government get a share of participating companies, and that CEO compensation be capped.  Go, boys and girls, go.  We do not need to give out blank checks.

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