Main Street is rumbling. The people are up in arms. They are perplexed and angry. What has happened to our nation’s economy? Why is the so-called Republican government gearing up to bail out failed corporations to the tune of over 700 Billion dollars?
A little-known book in the Old Testament, Habakkuk, contains a revelation that seems eerily similar to the debacle going on in the back rooms of Wall Street:
“Look at the proud!
They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked.
But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.[b]
Wealth[c] is treacherous,
and the arrogant are never at rest.
They open their mouths as wide as the grave,[d]
and like death, they are never satisfied.
In their greed they have gathered up many nations
and swallowed many peoples.
“But soon their captives will taunt them.
They will mock them, saying,
‘What sorrow awaits you thieves!
Now you will get what you deserve!
You’ve become rich by extortion,
but how much longer can this go on?’
Suddenly, your debtors will take action.
They will turn on you and take all you have,
while you stand trembling and helpless.
Because you have plundered many nations;
now all the survivors will plunder you.
You committed murder throughout the countryside
and filled the towns with violence.
“What sorrow awaits you who build big houses
with money gained dishonestly!
You believe your wealth will buy security,
putting your family’s nest beyond the reach of danger.
But by the murders you committed,
you have shamed your name and forfeited your lives.
The very stones in the walls cry out against you,
and the beams in the ceilings echo the complaint.
As far as I know, none of the CEOs of these failed financial giants have committed murder, but they have, by reckless abandon and greedy gambling with money that wasn’t even theirs to gamble — they have murdered mom and pop’s life savings…they have gambled away someone else’s dreams.
There is no way executives of companies who seek a buy-out, a mulligan, a do-over, should get any bonus payment, period. If my husband does not meet his goals at his company, he does not get his bonus. If the company were to fail, he would not get a bonus. Why should it be any different for them?
I don’t pretend to be an economic genius. In fact, there’s a reason my husband pays the bills. Numbers are not my forte. But I am smart enough to know that if you have more money going out than you have going in; if you lend money to people who have shaky credit histories; if you then build your business on shaky mortgages that snap in two like timber when hard times hit; if your debt to income ratio is 40 to 1 — you are living in a fantasy world.
Governor Mike Huckabee sent out a message today to his conservative PAC supporters. He is not only disappointed in the Republican government…he is disgusted. In part, this is what he had to say:
Frankly, I’m disappointed and disgusted with my own Republican party as I watch them attempt to strong-arm a bailout of some of America’s biggest corporations by asking the taxpayers to suck up the staggering results of the hubris, greed, and arrogance of those who sought to make a quick buck by throwing the dice. They lost, but want the rest of us to cover their bets so they won’t be effected in their lavish lifestyles as they figure out how to spend their tens of millions and in some cases, hundreds of millions in bonuses and compensation which was their reward for not only sinking their companies, but basically doing the same to the entire American economy.
The idea of a government bailout in which we’d entrust $700 billion to one man without Congressional oversight or accountability is absurd. My party or not, that is insanity and I believe unconstitutional.
Wall Street has become Las Vegas east, but at least in Vegas, people KNOW they are gambling and they don’t expect the government to cover their losses at the tables. In Wall Street, they do. And the American taxpayer burdens the responsibility.
If Congress wants to do something, here are some suggestions:
1. Eliminate ALL capital gains taxes and taxes on savings and dividends right now. Free up the capital and encourage investment. This is the kind of economic stimulus the Fair Tax would bring and if Congress is going to lose money, let them lose it with lower taxes, not with public dollar bailouts of private market mistakes.
2. Repeal Sarbanes/Oxley. It has failed. It was supposed to prevent this. It didn’t. Kill it.
3. Demand that the executives who steered their ships into the ground be forced to pay back the losses of their companies.
Attempts by Democrats and Republicans to blame each other is nonsense. They are both guilty and ought to own up and admit it. They all lived off big campaign contributions and the swill of the lobbyists who strong armed them into permission to steal. Enough of blame. Fix it!
This would be a start. If we don’t hold these guys responsible, we are all finished.
Governor Huckabee, I couldn’t have said it better myself.