UPDATED: Bail out bill agreement reached – Yipee! My tax money is going to work!
Important update: The comments in this post reflect my reaction to the content of the Washington post article released in the wee hours of Sunday morning. HotAir has a good fact check and should be referred to for detail of the bill as it stands. Some of the points discussed here, are irrelevant since they did not make it into the final draft – namely the fee on the financial services industry, which may or may not eventuate, the salary cap is modified (Ed Morrisey did not mention this, but I believe it is not quite as draconian as the WaPo article discussed). REGARDLESS, my rant still stands in my opinion of what the cronies on the Hill had wanted. Thankfully it appears they were cut back, due to the good work of the republican negotiators. It is amazing what a minority can do to the majorities policies, when the public is not on their side. We must remember this, and remind our conservative representatives of this, whenever they feel like caving.
Original Post –
Well the Washington Post just broke news that the bailout will happen. Why do I feel such joy in my heart and pride for my legislators? I mean, they took less than a week to craft a bill, that even now we as members of the public have precious detail about, and has been promised to become the law of the land by as early as Monday. They really have outdone themselves.
I also love how the Democrats have one tool in their toolkit: taxes.
Yesterday’s talks, conducted mainly in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s suite of offices on the second floor of the Capitol, were focused heavily on how to cover the cost of the program so taxpayers don’t get stuck with the bill.
Democrats pressed hard for further taxpayer protections, including a fee that would be imposed on the financial services industry if after five years the government had not fully recouped its money. The proposal, which did not surface in negotiations until yesterday, would help win the support of a fiscally conservative group of House Democrats known as the Blue Dogs, an important bloc of 47 votes.
Sounds benign… kinda, except when you consider that a ‘fee’ is merely a euphemism for taxes. In this case the financial services industry. Any guess who ends up ACTUALLY paying for those fees? Yep, us. You think we pay high fees now, wait until five years time.
“Oh, but that is ONLY if they do not fetch a profit.”
This is just the cynical side of me, but think this through with me. Government takes on these mortgages, administration costs eat the profits up of the sales (“oh but they wouldn’t compute it like that” – Oh really!? Have you seen the Bill? I haven’t, so how would we know? and at this point they could do whatever they wanted), then Government sees an opportunity to “stick it to the suits” in cooking the books to pose a loss on the sales, Government charges taxes “fees”, we get shafted by our financiers.
That might be a wee bit cynical: Government is wonderful, and is looking out for me. They are fully transparent. Just ask David Obey.
Also, why am I so happy and filled with confidence about the fact that congressmen called Warren Buffet for advice.
At one point, a senator sought advice from investor Warren Buffett, one of the world’s richest men, according to Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)
After all he is so impartial to the outcome of these negotiations.
Oh, and isn’t it wonderful that we are now going to see these financial companies being lead by sub par executives. What do I mean? Companies who participate in this bail out will have salary caps imposed (or have tax deduction eligibilities removed). What is the cap? A mere $400,000. To most average Joes like me, $400k looks just fine, and we would understandably say so what? Well $400k doesn’t buy an executive who can run a portfolio that runs into billions, to save themselves. Remember, these financial companies run our retirement fund accounts, stock investments, insurance and everything that has a “$” attached to it. The brightest talent does not operate on altruist motives. They go where the money is. Sorry liberals, but your socialist “look out for my comrade” ideals exist only in your head, and in Marx’s writing. The best CEO’s pack up there desk and move down the street, or even worse, they hop on a plane to work in London, Tokyo, Germany, or some other place where they can get paid justly for their extraordinary abilities. I guess this is the companies punishment for dealing bad deals, or alternatively for having shareholders who perceive weakness and would short the stocks into the ground. The Dem’s want these companies to suffer under fourth tier leadership for their sins.
A prediction I have is that we will see a “super class” of business consultant arise, who will be sub-contracted to these corporations to effectively run the company, with a figure head CEO taking orders. The company will pay millions in “consultation fees”, and the CEO gets his or her happy $400k, (actually with this plan they could have the janitor take the corner office, and bugger the $400K). Then again, maybe that too will be banned by Pelosi’s bill.
The Washington Post article has this to wrap up the report.
Pelosi said she hoped to publish the legislation on the Internet for almost an entire day before voting, meaning a vote could come tonight or tomorrow morning.
Oh happy day! On Sunday, on THE day when people go to the beach, play with the kids in the park, go to church, have friends over for dinner, and take their eyes off business and politics. I COULD choose to sit and read this bill, but will you? Oh, and I am sure by the end of the staffers meddling with it, it will end up being a nice size doorstop.
After this week, with the arrogance of this, and being yelled at to do this, and researching this, and nearly (?) being screwed by this, and this by Obey. I am a little jaded, and irate. An odd combination of temperaments, but I am at the verge of screaming at someone. Maybe I shouldn’t drive a car today. It might be safer for all of you.
A Politico report outlines in greater detail the events, and the current status. Article: Negotiators reach tentative rescue plan deal
With that, I have to go and find some crap around the house, and see if Paulson will buy it from me… don’t worry my salary is not over $400k so I will be okay afterwards.
THIS ARTICLE FREAKED ME OUT! – Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis
Bailout Package Almost Finished? – Kevin Drum seems pleased that it has Dem fingerprints all over it
The Daily Kos would want all executives to be salary capped (yeah! let’s drive all executive talent overseas) – Tentative Agreement Reached On Bailout
Breakthrough Reached in Negotiations on Bailout – Great photo of Harry Reid looking giddy , while Paulson’s face says, “Oh yay, yipee! I get to go and buy stuff, lot’s of stuff, enormous acres of stuff… fun! Fun! FUN!… Oh crap! Did that $400k exec ‘salary cap thingamy’ mean me too?” Pelosi’s face says, “We screwed the suits!”
Huffington Post – Congress, White House reach financial bailout deal
Americas News Daily (blog) has some of the background angst that the poli’s are (hopefully) feeling – US bailout fuels protests in streets, online
Filed under: Barack Obama, Election 2008, Politics | 7 Comments
Tags: Appropriations, Bail out, bailout, David Obey, Earmarks, Election 2008, executive salary caps, financial crisis, Harry Reid, House Appropriations Committee, John Boehner, John McCain, Read the Bill, salary caps, Secrecy, Transparency, wall street bailout, warren buffett