Or, Some Questions to Ask About the Bailout

NEWS FLASH: Republican leaders and their PR department announced the sun rose in the West yesterday. The Main Stream Media, in their daily effort to prove they are not now and never were the slightest bit scientific oriented (since that might be construed as liberal or elitist), promptly publicized the announcement about the sudden new direction the sun has supposedly taken. Republican voters and many independents who depend on letting others do their thinking for them immediately looked West waiting for the sunrise. Textbook publishers revise astronomical charts rather than risk loss of sales.

Apparently, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and the Democrats are to blame for the economic meltdown we are facing, at least according to the latest Republican press conferences. Perhaps before accepting that at face value, blaming what will ultimately be a multi-trillion dollar debacle solely on the gullible Democrats in Congress, I would recommend voters review some pretty unquestionable history and ask themselves some simple, relatively common sense questions. That way we can find out who to debit and who to credit, or at least who has less credibility.

Start with asking what party was in control of both the House and the Senate over most of the last 30 or so years? What party had the strongest or actual control over most of the period? For instance, wasn’t the latest switch in supposed “control” of the Senate close to a single vote in favor of the Democrats (i.e. little real “control” at all) and wasn’t one of those supposed votes giving Democrats finally control someone who was also a keynote speaker at the Republican convention? In a criminal court case, that would be who had Opportunity?

Meanwhile, who controlled the White House over most of that same period and not only proposed new laws, but controlled submission of both the budgets of the regulatory agencies and appointment power dictating who is hired and fired at regulatory agencies and what their philosophy of enforcement or non-enforcement will be? Have voters read the report out in the past few days regarding the Justice Department in the Bush Administration and see what such appointment power can do? Those are only the first questions. In a criminal court case, that would be who had Means?

During that same period of the last three decades or so, which party had as its platform the free and unrestricted market place, especially in financial and trade matters? Which party had and still has as its platform a goal of small government and massive deregulation? Which party sought the most deregulation and proudly announced each success in doing so? What party appointed all the current federal regulatory commissions and agencies? In a criminal court case, that would be who had Motive?

How many years have they been on the job? Wasn’t seven years long enough to spot something like that? If the party that did the present regulatory agency appointments and gave directional control to such agencies wins the election, isn’t it likely that will continue for additional years? Who will they likely appoint to the federal regulatory commissions and agencies if they are given the chance? In a criminal court case, that would be who had the Last Clear Chance?

Maybe the question should be, how many such debacles can we afford?

Certainly ask, what party do the CEOs and senior officers and directors of most of the financial institutions, public and private, especially those that have had either bailouts given them or sought bankruptcy law protection, belonged to? What party demanded that lobbying agencies hire Republicans as lobbyists? Who is it contemplated that will receive all or almost all the “bailout” funds? How long have they been in their positions? Were any indicted or jailed for fraud? What party did most of them belong to? Who did they give the most campaign contributions to? Democrats or Republicans?

Were they at least on the job while the supposed chicaneries of the bare majority Democrats was going on? Why didn’t they object over the years if that was true about the bare majority Democrats? Did they not see it (in which case they are effectively incompetent and should be replaced)? Or, were they gleefully in favor (in which case they are essentially co-conspirators and should be replaced)? Who pocketed the most profits that was obtained by the supposed chicaneries? If they were pocketing money knowing what was happening, what happened to the concept of Country First? Has that really been applied over the last several years if greed was an easy alternative? What party do you suppose most of the investors, speculators and shareholders of such companies belonged to when the money was flowing in during the go-go days? In a criminal court case, these would be cross examination Weight of Evidence and Credibility questions.

Didn’t they stop to wonder whether the Adam Smith’s Law of Supply and Demand had actually been magically repealed? Why didn’t they speak out or go to the press if debt was being given to homeowners with little means to repay the amounts? For that matter, why didn’t they notice or report debtor banks taking debt with little or doubtful security? Who devised the complicated financing schemes and the bundling that has lead to much of the unfettered disaster? Who was basing their action on an apparent assumption the bubble could not bust and housing prices would always go up? In a criminal court case, that would be more credibility or Veracity questions.

Yet, what party has always declared for public consumption at least it was the supposedly conservative party while simultaneously insisting it is always a good time to lower taxes, especially for the rich, no matter what the economy happens to be doing? In a criminal court case, that would be Admissions Against Interest.

Weren’t there any signs this could happen as a result of such policies? Were they truly that ignorant? Weren’t there some Democrats arguing for more and closer scrutiny? Who shouted them down as ignorant claiming nothing could go wrong? Where there any Republicans arguing for more and closer scrutiny?

What Administration was in power during the similar, albeit smaller scale, destruction of the Savings and Loan Administration? That only cost billions. Wasn’t the tactics back during that crisis, such as inflated appraisals, poorly secured debt, etc. much the same as has been going on now? Didn’t the bill for that implosion get stuck with the taxpayers too? Does the word “Enron” ring any bells?

Weren’t any lessons learned? Doesn’t anyone remember or at least read history and economic textbooks?

What Administration and party took away the power of the bankruptcy court to adjust mortgages of individuals to real market value and interest, but refused to restrict credit agencies in any way, shape or form? What Administration thought that it was a good idea to send manufacturing and jobs overseas?

What Administration proposed the initial “bailout” plan unveiled a few days ago? How long has that Administration been in office? Why didn’t they see this coming so such a bailout would not be needed? If it was not their job, then who?

Did the bailout first proposed by the Republican Administration have a single restriction on the Treasury Secretary’s powers or even freedom from prosecution? Why not? Did the bare majority Democrats draft that proposal?

What industry did the Treasury Secretary come from? Does he strike you as credible when you listen to him and watch his face? What college degrees does he hold? What degrees does the President hold? MBA and business degrees, right? But, somehow it was the bare majority Democrats cleverly conning them all? Do the bare majority Democrats strike you as genius that way?

Where did the $700,000,000,000.00 bailout figure come from? Wasn’t it admitted that was pulled out of the air? Are anyone convinced more won’t be needed? Do anyone have confidence in those in charge in the Administration who will administer whatever bailout plan is approved? Remember when we were told that the billions on the bailout of AIG and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac probably wouldn’t be needed just days before they were bailed out using all the money set aside? Who told us that? Who is now claiming we must act immediately and without question?

Feel free to question the bare majority Democrats. Use “enhanced interrogation techniques” so favored by the White House. Use them on all residing in Congress if you want so long as the same techniques are used on those in the Administration. But, for the moment voters should ask themselves who is trying to divert attention by claiming even asking any questions about the plan specifics will somehow destroy the nation? Who is trying to say we must not look at blame before acting even though finding out the cause might be important to deciding what to do for a cure? Why would they not want us to know such information? Who would benefit the most if there was no inquiry into blame?

Has this Administration proven itself credible on most other warnings and predictions it has made? Come to think of it, has this Administration proven itself credible on any major warning or prediction it has made on any subject?

Why wasn’t anything other than the “nuclear option” of the huge bailout even seriously discussed by the Administration? Has the Administration been persuasive in their evidence? Is it sufficient for such a price tag? Do you feel there has been adequate debate allowed? Even with the cosmetic changes the Democrats and some Republicans have added to the bailout of the subprime lenders, do you believe it affects any systemic changes so this won’t happen again?

So.......voters should ask themselves those questions. Most of them truly are just common sense, gut credibility, elementary math, and basic history questions. They should be asked no matter what their party affiliation is. Voters should think of themselves as a jury. Was it crimes of passion or just greed? In any event, did those in charge honor their oath of office?

Then, voters should ask themselves if it really was just the bare majority Democrats as alluded to by those who want the Republicans to continue as the sole appointers and suppliers of the regulators. If it was not just the bare majority Democrats as the excusers would like us to believe, then in light of all the circumstances does the Republican Party genuinely deserve a kiss and four more years? Like the captain of a ship, shouldn’t there be some consequence to being in charge when the ship runs aground? Unlike the criminal law system, those questioning do not have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. The test is mere preponderance of the evidence.

Criminently (yeah a silly pun)!

Still no doubts? None at all gnawing?

If not, then I guess I am really lucky on the Oregon shore where I will be able now to watch the sun come up over the Ocean.

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