Will the GOP allow taxpayers to lose another few trillion in retirement?

I never realized what a bunch of delicate flowers the Republicans were. Apparently a few wilted under the heat of the Democrats and were quite satisfied with dragging down the retirement plans of the entire US because they suffered a little boo-boo to their egos. It’s hard to imagine that they are in chaos with such self-centered actions yesterday. The real problem with vote yesterday was cowardice. Representatives in swing districts voted against the bailout because they feared losing their reelection campaign due to the unpopular vote. The end result was what Rob and John detailed below, a massive $1.1 trillion loss in the market.

The problem is understandable because who really likes the idea of their hard earned cash (and future) going to prop up the mistakes of Wall Street who rubbed our collective noses in their high flying lifestyle? I have no sympathy for Wall Street – not even a drop – and quite frankly, I hope they rot in hell for eternity. However, I do care about retirement plans. I do care about money being available in banks and money being available for friends and family who do the right thing and want to purchase a house. I do give a damn about retirees like my mother who is living on money packed away over forty years of scrimping and saving. I do care about businesses – small businesses, especially – that employ friends, family, myself and who are looking for responsible loans to grow and hire people. I also care about business around the world who buy goods and sell goods based on the success or failure of the US economy. At the moment and thanks to the cowardice of the Republican leadership, all of this is being damaged because the Republicans want to make a point similar to a three year old having a temper tantrum.

The original Paulson plan was clearly unacceptable. It was a giveaway without restrictions to Lord Paulson. Democrats added language that scaled back executive bonuses, added the checks and balances and gives taxpayers some of the financial upside, should upside ever happen. It is perfect? Of course not. Are there flaws? Sure. I wouldn’t mind seeing more pain on Wall Street for the crowd that dragged us into this crisis and I hope that next year Congress revisits the tax code to address that. Adding common sense regulation and locking down the loopholes that enable Wall Street gamblers to pay less taxes than everyone else have to be modernized or would that be retro-ized, since much of that used to exist?

Regardless, the first point of interest is to make sure that the credit market starts to move again because today, it’s locked up. Without the credit market – the legitimate credit market – lending money, the US (and world) economic system will shut down whether we like the bill or not. If anyone in the US thinks they can survive without any credit for their personal life or work life, they are sadly mistaken.

The GOP needs to figure out how bad off they want Americans on Main Street because at the moment, they seem happy to sacrifice everyone’s future because they’re too afraid of losing their comfortable lifestyle in Congress. Republicans may be hurting Wall Street but the impact will be much larger for everyone else unless they start to get serious about this problem.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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