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WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED FROM THIS FINANCIAL DEBACLE CALLED THE BAILOUT?
If the $800 Billion + Bailout was not enough, now we learn about the outrageous behavior of the just bailed out AIG executives. Let us all hope that the rest of the bailout money (our money) is not spent so extragavantly or so obviously “in your face”. The “Bailout Bush and Buddies Bill” of 2008 is in future years going to be seen as a total sham. The structural problems in the economy are all too real. But if the “bailout” money is going to secure multi-million dollar executive salaries rather than pension funds, unemployment funds, or re-training funds — then lots of questions need to be asked and they need to be asked now. While the current Congress is in action, we all need to continue to assert our rights as citizens and taxpayers for demanding the truth (truth in lending). We need to show the leaders that the outpouring of anger, angst and the almost meltdown of congressional phone and email servers was not a one time flash, but rather a hot fire on their collective behinds. These people just voted on all this money to “stabilize the financial system” but how many Members of Congress, Republican or Democrat can tell any of us what a derivative swap is, or a fractional loan value, or for that matter the difference between a mortgage backed security and a partially mortgage backed financial instrument? Do they know what they voted on besides fear? How many of them can actually tell us what would have happened if this bailout was not rushed but rather put through the Committee System, be subject to debate and critique from the media, from academia and from other Government agencies?
You2Gov designed tools to make all of us more informed, more powerful. If we have learned anything from these times filled with fear, both literal and imagined – it is that the only thing that matters now is oversight. Not the kind you hear bandied about by this and that Congress person or Senator. No, I mean the kind of oversight a manager effects on his staff, or the kind of oversight that a principal has with the teachers, or even better the kind of oversight the military practises on itself through the chain of command. In this case the chain of command ends with you and me. We are the owners of the United States, the people. There are little read documents, some people don’t even know what they are. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, If you have not read them lately or never have, now is a good time to catch up. One of the important things you will come away with is how seriously the Founding Fathers took the concept of “Power from the People, to the People.”
We all need to be that serious about this serious situation.