Thursday, January 15, 2009

What's 350 Billion Bucks, really?

President-elect Obama is urging Congress on his hands and knees then from his mighty pedestal to pass the second half of the Bailout money. Most Congressional members, Democrats included, are a little resistant to that kind of thinking. There is a glimmer of hope that is attached to this debate.

First off, Congressional democrats are already off to the wrong start for the 2010 elections and would be in a tough spot if not for the bunches of retiring Republican Senators. Democrats pledged over and over again their allegiance to Obama's plans during the campaign, especially health-care related items, but now are having a little trouble reconciling their own political futures with the Obama Economic plan.

Congress finally buckled and released the remaining half of the $700B bailout they approved in October. After all their complaints they decided.. "hey, maybe we are just whiny! Let's just approve it!" As usual they were exactly wrong. Usually (most) members of Congress are whiny and ask frivolous questions and engage in self-serving "investigations" while the American people suffer or could someway be better served. In this case there are legitimate questions to be asked. Where did all the money go?!

We were told that this money would fix the financial markets and one would think that the over 500 Billion dollars we've spent would have done that however the banks are asking for more and other industries are getting a piece of the pie too. Where's the money? Banks refuse to tell us.. or Congress.. or their shareholders. Seems a little suspicious. Let me draw up a scenario: You are a rich philanthropic individual and you see a bunch of poor homeless people. You want to help them and a bunch of Soup Kitchens come to you telling you the only way to do that is by giving them a million dollars, you give them 500,000 and then come back a year later and find that nothing has actually changed. Do you: 1) Wonder if the Soup Kitchen people are crooks? 2) Call the police to investigate? or 3) Both. Obviously you'd do #4, just fork over the rest of the money.. because evidence is for the weak.

Just sad.

In the 2008 election we had a choice between one candidate who was surrounded by Oil Industry executives and one who was surrounded by Financial Industry executives. Guess which one we picked? I'm not saying President-Elect Obama is in their pocket but he needs to start showing some backbone if he wants to really get us out of this thing.

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