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Bail out a burden for taxpayers, added ‘pork’ is appalling

Bail out a burden for taxpayers, added ‘pork’ is appalling

Posted: Friday, October 10, 2008 2:40 pm
By: By Sabrina Bates, Chief Staff Writer

In the midst of a now-global economic meltdown, one can only speculate as to what the near future will bring. Legislative rescue efforts came a little too late, as people with money panic over the looming sense of lost pensions and savings plans. Many of those savings plans were made up of stocks in the world market that have plunged drastically over the past two weeks. For me and my family, that is not a concern. No, we don’t have enough money to “invest” in the stock market. We are fortunate enough to be able to buy food and gas, let alone worry about sending money into something that is not a sure thing. As I watched the “bailout” plan unfold last week, I was shocked more than once. People that I have spoken to over the weekend have said that the economic bailout issued by our legislators was the “right thing to do.” So, I will give people that. Maybe it wasn’t the “right thing” to do, but a necessary evil that stems form the economic down spiral that has taken shape during the last few years. I’m sure there are people out there who are shaking their heads right now and saying, “I told you so.” I was skimming through my files at work one day last week and came across an article citing housing market woes with foreclosures spinning out of control and wondered if something could have pivoted this nation then, before we reached this point. If everyone knew before that the state of this country was in economic turmoil, why wasn’t something offered before it reached the boiling point? I can remember hearing our nation’s administration refused to accept the economic woes for what it was – a recession. I can remember only months ago how there was a ditch effort to put money into the hands of taxpayers to “stimulate the economy.” I said before that the stimulus checks were issued to help people pay down credit card debt, so that the credit hold would loosen a tad for those left holding the debt. That was strictly my opinion. Realistically, there wasn’t an incredible amount of options that people had for such a small amount of money. The majority of people in this country were able to pay bills for the month from the money designed to stimulate the economy. I scoffed at the idea of those checks designed to “stimulate” the economy. That was at a time when my husband and I were struggling to pay for getting to and from work and listening to people with lower incomes try and buy food for the week. So, just imagine my astonishment when I discover that our federal government wants to issue $700 billion to help those who chose to issue mortgages to people who couldn’t pay for them. When the idea of “deregulation” churned, bank and mortgage companies fought hard to lend money and succeeded in placing a heavy burden not only on themselves, but those who initially benefited from low interest rates. When those interest rates rose, those families found it harder to maintain their house payments because they were sold “variable rate” loans. We could sit around all day and play the blame game to see who is ultimately at fault. We could also read from mainstream media who will benefit form corporate bonuses when this is all said and done and ask ourselves why, we the common link, are still scraping by with little money in our pockets and less food on our table. I disagreed with idea of a “bailout” plan. I can see how companies are now being held hostage by banks or other financial institutions that refuse to offer any more loans to those industries or even small businesses so that they can maintain operations. I have also seen how, with the passage of this bill, the credit freeze is still very real as the effects of the bailout plan may take time to show themselves. Now, instead of mortgage companies and banks holding the bad loans and trying to recoup some profit, the American people were forced to take hold of the debt. I say forced because I know my legislators did not consult with me before casting a vote. I do not know of any senator or congressman asking my opinion on whether or not my daughter and her children should be the ones left trying to pay off more of this nation’s accrued debt. As a taxpaying, voting citizen of this great nation, Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker as well as Con. John Tanner, have failed me. Over the course of the past two weeks, they have chosen to divert more money from my child to benefit those who have worked off of my back to get to where they are today. I am not asking them to bail me out. No, I have done that repeatedly in the past week. They didn’t listen. To Tanner and Alexander, you will not receive a vote from me in November. You have failed me and you have placed too heavy of a burden on my child. She does not deserve, nor will ever deserve that type of recklessness from anyone. Certainly not from someone whose salary is paid by her mother and father as well as her grandparents. My hope is that this package will restore some stability to the economic sector of this country. It will take time for homes to recover from their depreciation. There are many taxpayers out there who will have a time recovering from this downward spiral that threatens the global economy. The added provisions of this bailout legislation were more than enough to make me cringe at the very thought of legislators using this bill as a scapegoat to feed their lobbyists. So not only are we forced to carry the bad debt, we are forced to fund the pork that was added to the second proposal sent to Washington. It breaks my heart to know this piece of legislation needed added pork before it was actually signed into law. At this point, I can honestly tell myself that I’ll know better next time before I cast my ballot. For those interested in the list of provisions that sweetened the deal, visit WCP 10.07.08

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