I woke up this morning, and entirely without the assistance of Congress, the sun rose, pouring light and warmth down upon us. The birds sang, the breeze blew, and all was well. I flipped the light switch and the light came on. There was food in the kitchen and gas in the tank of my car. I turned the key in the ignition, and the engine started. I pushed the accelerator petal and the car moved.
Based on the panicked frenzy of the talking heads on TV you would think that the world was coming to an end. Congress didn't sweep in and save us. What are we to do? Well, I've got a news flash for the media: America will survive this. We've pulled through much worse than this and come out stronger for it.
Yesterday's vote was not a failure of leadership. Instead, yesterday was a fine day to be an American, because for once, Congress heard the voice of the people and refused to pass a bad bill in the face of pressure from all sides to ram it through.
But what about the 778 point plummet of the stock market. Believe me, I am aware of that. Yesterday was the first time in my life that I lost $20k in one day. But today I am smiling regardless. My loss yesterday was on paper, and I am not selling. The market will recover. The plunge was a good thing. After all, the stock market is a barometer of the emotional state of the top echelon of business and finance -- the very people who were key players in creating this crisis. They should be shell-shocked. The bet the farm and lost, and yesterday the thought registered that Congress might not ride to their rescue. They hoped that the taxpayers would be compelled to cover their loss, but the taxpayers spoke up and 218 courageous members of Congress heard.
Citizens getting informed and putting their foot down is generally a very good thing. It prevented Nancy Pelosi from sneaking in a provision to funnel money from the bailout to wacko leftist groups including ACORN, a fringe group built on tactics from Saul Alinsky. BO was a trainer for ACORN in Chicago, where he employed methods from Alinksy’s book Rules for Radicals, a manual for the overthrow of the US Government. ACORN members trained by BO used Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act to shake down banks, forcing them to make risky loans under threat of lawsuits. ACORN was a major player in the push to lower lending standards, which is what created the mortgage crisis in the first place. Today ACORN is in trouble in a number of states for voter fraud. When the public became aware that Pelosi was using this bailout bill to channel money to ACORN, she sheepishly removed the provision, but her cover was already blown. It was now apparent that she was not laying aside partisan politics for the good of the country, as she claimed.
But we need to do more than just avoid channeling taxpayer money to far left groups responsible for the crisis we are trying to escape from. We need criminal investigations of Senate Banking Committee Chris Dodd who accepted $166,000 in contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while assuring that Congress would ignore their fraudulent accounting scheme. We need to investigate Barney Frank who said these institutions were fundamentally sound, and should be more aggressive in getting loans to low-income people. And we need to prosecute Obama advisors Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, and Clinton administration official Jamie Gorelick and Rahm Emanuel, who received tens of millions of dollars in bonuses from Fannie and Freddie while they cooked the books and steered the ship straight into the iceberg.
Yesterday’s victory proves that Congress will listen if we shout loudly enough. Now it is time to demand the things which must be in the bill. If taxpayers are to buy out the bad loans, it must be at a large enough discount to make it a reasonable investment, likely to return a profit commensurate with the risk being assumed. The people listed above who broke the law while creating this crisis must be prosecuted. Fannie and Freddie should be privatized so that they will no longer be subject to government meddling. Laws which force lenders to make unsound loans must be repealed. Corporate tax rates must be reduced to keep America competitive in the global marketplace. Finally, “mark-to-market” accounting should be waived.
So don’t buy into the fear mongering. Yesterday’s vote means that there is still time to do this thing right by fixing what is broken rather than simply buying off the consequences of the criminally irresponsible actions of the mortgage lenders and the government institutions which encouraged making bad loans.