Pants on the Ground

Not only are our pants are on the ground, but we have been given the biggest wedgie in existence.

My last post, “The Courage of Our Convictions”, nearly did me in and took the wind out of my sails.  So for the sake of brevity and preservation of what ever strength and conviction I have left, this post will deal with an issue of national disgrace concisely.  The abuse and lack of corrective measures is so damn obvious that only a few sentences are required anyway.

The headlines in the Washington Post today were:

Obama blames Massachusetts Senate loss on middle-class economic pain

CITES DISCONNECT IN SENATE DEFEAT

Well, DUH!!!!!!!!  Finally, an admission that we are not representative of a capitalistic economy but of a billionaire society.  There is a total alienation of the middle class caused by our government and industrial/corporate complex having an overwhelming loyalty to the financial elite.

I will cite only two examples to demonstrate this total dedication to the top 1% of our earners while the rest of us are ignored, or even penalized.  When the financial crisis hit, Goldman Sachs had racked up billions of dollars in losses from risky investments.  Enter AIG, who insured Goldman for those losses.  Goldman had almost $13 billion in losses, which were summarily offset by federal bailout funds.  Then, to add insult to injury, AIG made good on its insurance contract with Goldman as well, enabled by their own receipt of bailout funds.  In effect, Goldman was made whole again by our tax dollars TWICE: first by the bailout funds and then by AIG’s payment to them which, by the way, also resulted from taxpayer money handed over to AIG to stave off their collapse.

In fact, the current House committee investigation of the New York Fed, then headed up by none other than Tim Geithner,  is up to their elbows trying to sort out the truth regarding AIG funneling billions of bailout dollars to other banks to pay off their insurance obligations.  When a bankruptcy is expected, as was the case with AIG, many of their debtors would be willing to accept a much smaller payment.  Geithner however, offered the banks owed money by AIG payment in full.  Well, why the hell not?  It was our money with which he was being so generous.  Easy come, easy go.

Then the ultimate slap in the face was that these financial companies increased the bonuses paid out to their executives.  These outrageous sums of money existed only because we, the taxpayers, made billions of dollars “too big to fail” available to them.  They are using our money to compensate themselves!  Why did it take President Obama so long to act against this financial tyranny?

In the interim, unemployment has risen upwards of 10%.  We knew this would result as a function of the recession. However, unemployment in a lagging indicator, and the worst job numbers hit as we witnessed corporate, bailed-out America repeating their mistakes by issuing even larger bonuses than last year.  No wonder the outrage of middle America.  No wonder the loss of patience with this administration.  No wonder the political powers that be are having doubts and seeking a re-evaluation of their priorities.  It is about time.

More icing on the cake of corruption and special interests: today the Supreme Court ruled that, as a function of the first amendment (freedom of speech), unions and corporations no longer are limited to the amount of donations they may make toward political candidates.  Hold on to your hats.  This ruling can be just as damaging to our elective process as the unrestricted TARP funds were to our unregulated financial sector.  If you think lobbyists and special interests rule the economy, just wait and see their takeover of our elections.

Health care is another clear example of this disregard for the majority of Americans.  With the GOP (and Joe Leiberman’s stalwart support of the insurance industry headquartered in his state) firmly behind the private insurance companies, there is no possibility of creating a fair and just health care system.  John McCain said today that the Democrat’s push for reform was misguided from the get-go, and was made even worse by their efforts to “buy” the votes  of Ben Nelson, Joe Leiberman and even Max Baucus.   McCain erred on the first part: this country needs a new system that delivers health care equally, easily and effectively.  While McCain twisted his party’s shut-down of everything the administration offered  just to deny President Obama any victory, his take on the Democratic horse-trading was correct.  I have got news for you: NEITHER party cares about a reasonable health care policy for all Americans.

This is because our dignified and prestigious elected officials play political games for their own benefit.  If not cutting deals to ensure their re-elections, they are consummating other deals to line their pockets.  Yesterday, the common shares of Merck reached a 52-week high while many other pharma enterprises were near their highs as well.  Personally, I would like to see America’s anger reach a crescendo, causing much worry and restorative responses on both sides of the aisle.

So yeah, our pants are on the ground.  Not only is the middle class being ignored, the the Billionaire’s Club is reaping all the money.  Supposedly the aid allocated to those entities that “are too big to fail” will ultimately trickle down to assist the needs of the other 99% of Americans.  This is nothing short of  fantasy.  “Trickle down” economics was a lie during the Reagan years and remains so today.

Our pants are on the ground.  It is high time for the middle class to pick up their pants on their newly-developed spine, affix them tightly around their waists and use their vote to assert their opinion, which was clearly the case in Massachusetts.  Then we should pull down the pants of our lawmakers and give them them biggest wedgie ever.

Sorry.  I lied.  There isn’t an ounce of brevity in me.

POSTSCRIPT:

How to Fix Congress – From the Grassroots

Congressional Reform Act of 20101. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below.
A. Two Six year Senate terms
B. Six Two year House terms
C. One Six year Senate term and three Two Year House terms

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

2. No Tenure / No Pension:
A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security:
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund moves to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, Congress participates with the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, server your term(s), then go home and back to work.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.  Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

6. Congress looses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

7. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American people.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

8. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective 1/1/11.
The American people did not make this contract with congressmen, congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

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