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Front Page » September 30, 2008 » Opinion » The Wasatch Behind: A taxpayer bailout instead
Published 2,271 days ago

The Wasatch Behind: A taxpayer bailout instead


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By TOM MCCOURT
Guest Contributor

As I write these words, Congress is still working on a financial bailout for several huge American corporations. The size and scope of this thing is unprecedented. Our lawmakers intend to use taxpayers' dollars to underwrite a possible trillion dollars in bad debt caused by years and years of corporate greed and mismanagement.

The American people don't want this to happen. Public sentiment is running nine to one against the bailout. But our senators and representatives don't care. They insist on ramming this deal down our throats. Just like amnesty for illegal aliens, big brother government knows best. Both political parties insist that if we don't give billions and billions to the fat cat mortgage lenders, we face an economic melt down in the next few weeks. And we must sign the deal now without a public debate or a vote from the taxpayers. Sounds like a bunch of used car salesmen to me.

Are we being told the truth? Who knows? Most of us don't trust what our government tells us anymore and for good reasons. We are lied to constantly. And it doesn't help that our elected representatives are every bit as culpable in this mess as the CEOs who caused the bank failures. For years congress has been meddling in the home mortgage industry. Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac are government-sponsored enterprises. And now the very people who helped to create this nightmare are the ones who want to fix it by making you and me pay the bill. What is wrong with this picture? Where is the outrage?

And no matter what Congress does with this deal, the taxpayers get hurt. If we don't bail the rascals out, there will probably be a deep recession and maybe another depression. Thousands of honest people will lose their jobs and their savings. If we do give the billions of dollars, the government will deflate our currency by printing more money and we lose again because our dollar loses value. Everything will cost more and most paychecks won't keep up. And then again, no one can guarantee that the bailout will work if we do throw a trillion dollars at it.

So what can we do? Last week, Derry Brownfield, a midwestern farmer and radio commentator, came up with a brilliant solution to the corporate bailout mess. He said that he had figured it up, and with the trillion dollars congress wants to spend rescuing those mismanaged corporations, we could give every household in America a check for $200,000. I think it's a great idea. Can you think of a better way to rescue the mortgage industry and head off a recession? If the $600 stimulus check you got last summer was good for business, imagine what a couple of hundred thousand could do.

Just think, with a $200,000 stimulus check, most of us could pay off our home mortgages. People on the verge of losing their homes would be instantly rescued. The home mortgage industry would receive a massive infusion of money, just like congress wants, and most people would end up with a wad of money left over to spend or invest. The overall economy would be resuscitated and Wall Street would be happy. The government wouldn't have to create or oversee an expensive new bailout program, and the IRS could ding most of us a whole lot more on next year's income taxes. Everybody wins. With a plan like this, the bank insolvency problem would be solved overnight and everyone would be happy, not just the corporate fat cats and slimy politicians.

Why not? If we are going to spend upwards of a trillion dollars to rescue a bunch of incompetent corporate big shots, why not cut the little guys in on the action? We could call it trickle up economics. The failing corporations would be rescued after all of that tax money had been filtered through the economy by the people who pay it in the first place - a brilliant idea.

Impractical? Yes. And it will surely never happen. But I don't think that scenario is any more out of line than what our congressional leaders are trying to force upon us. 'Remember the Bailout' should be a battle cry for the next round of congressional elections.

Let's change those bums in congress - like a bunch of dirty diapers.

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September 30, 2008
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