I am one of those people who has on many occasions, disagreed with others on whether or not they should make their voting decision based on only one major issue, whether it be the environment, abortion, religion, or any other issue. I've always touted the idea that one's decision should be based on a very broad spectrum of criteria, and only after analyzing all of them individually and then collectively, can you effectively decide whether a candidate is worthy of office.
Well, I am now prepared to throw all of that out the window. If Barack Obama votes yes on this bailout package, I will withdrawal my decision to vote for him. Why? This is the wholesale sellout of the American people being handed to the world on a golden platter. But don't take my word for it, read the proposal for yourself: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/28/bailout-legislation-full_n_130063.html
In the words of Dennis Kucinich: "When a jeweler's eye is applied to this bill, this bill is about Wall Street." He went on to say that Goldmann Sachs has a hell of lot to gain in this bill too, since our man Henry Paulson - the Secretary of the Treasury - has massive holdings in his past employer. If this doesn't reek of a conflict of interest, you need to have your nose checked. Paulson is literally bailing himself out with this bill.
Even beyond the conflict of interest, and the general worry that we should all have about any massive bailout that does not include some kind of dividend check given to every American tax payer below a certain income (because those above a certain income barely pay taxes in this country anyway, and they have most likely benefited from the fleecing the people), the most frightening thing to me is the overuse of words like "may" and "shall", and "encourage to" in regard to helping homeowners. The word "mandate" or "shall" appear far too infrequently. "So there's no help for homeowners in this bill", according to Kucinich. Additionally, there is no requirement to revisit the bankruptcy laws that the Bush Administration has passed during the past 8 years. Even Obama himself has said that should not be in the bill. He's made a case for it, and it is somewhat sound, but the fact is, if the American people are footing the bill for these banks, who cares if it fits within the confines of legislative manners! Damn the rules and the past precedents on this one Obama!
Basically, this whole bill, and I read a good majority of it early this morning, is simply a bailout for the rabid, greedy bastards who got us into this mess in the first place, otherwise known as speculators. They are the reason home prices became criminally over-valued, making the banks do whatever they had to in order to get more loans out to more people, so that they could collect more interest rates. By inflating the value of these homes on the market, they were able to loan more money with increasingly ridiculous interest rates that were "flexible." In the end, what this meant was lower to middle-income people deciding to take a risk by getting a "sub-prime" mortgage. There are only two reasons why a person with an income of like $40,000 made the silly choice to buy a $200,000 house: One, the bank pretty much guaranteed them they would get the loan, even though the payment would be nearly half of their take home pay every month. And they probably didn't say a damn thing about the bubble which they all knew was about to burst. Two, they were consistently reassured that real estate is the safest investment one can make. Usually, it was a combination of the two things that made folks want to buy when they shouldn't. Hell, we have been told for a century that real estate is the most solid investment. If you are a poor or lower-middle income person, you want in on that, because you might actually see something for your investment, something you can't say about anything else you spend money on, right?
Anyway, point is, we got had on a multitude of fronts. And we are about to bend over and take it again, unless enough Democrats and Republicans for that matter, decide to vote against this thing. Obama is wrong when he says "the consequence of doing nothing is more dangerous than the bill we have on the table." To hell with that logic. The reality is, there is nothing in this bill that MANDATES that the American tax payer is truly going to gain from this package. The only thing that is mandated is that the bankers, speculators, and fraudulent real estate investors are going to get out of this one just fine. Meanwhile, the American tax payer is going to enjoy the worst economic situation since the Great Depression.
In conclusion: This bill IS important. It is something that we should be negotiating. However, we should be utilizing these negotiations for a much larger effort: To completely reform the entire banking system in the United States. And while we are at, instituting some real controls on the capitalist market. The fact that we are even debating a bill like this is evidence that nothing but fraud "trickles down" and the dream of "free market capitalism" became a nightmare a long time ago. We are only seeing the effects now.
If Obama votes for this bill, he is simply saying to the American people that the fatally flawed economic premise under which we all suffer is more important to save than the soul of the American people. There is no guarantee, and in fact far from a guarantee, that this bill will keep us from entering a full-blown "depression". Multiple Nobel Prize winning economists have already come out and said we are there, and there is no turning back. We ought to listen to them, and in the meantime, rethink and rebuild the socioeconomic foundation on which this country operates.
If Obama loses this election as a result of folks like me refusing to vote for ANYONE who is in support of this bill, let it be a lesson to us all.
- Christopher R. Cox