Friday, September 26, 2008

When You Consider the Alternatives...

Two days ago I wrote:

It's time for the legislative branch who has been far too minimized in recent years to reassert itself. This is their chance to show that the representatives of the people can work for the people.

This hasn't happened.

As someone who follows Congress closely, this is an utter mess.

The problem for us as citizens is that this is about a subject that makes our heads spin when it is explained to us. And it makes us angry when we think we are paying for corporate malfeasance.

I don't know if the revised 'Paulson Plan' will work or is right.

I have read the one page House Republican plan and don't quite understand how tax breaks and less regulations on Wall Street will work either, but am not going to criticize it either.

I know that a lot of Americans, myself included are furious that we are in this position. It's maddening that the public has to step in to bail out companies that's own greed and irresponsibility created this problem.

Yet, from everything that I read, not acting with a plan comparable to the Paulson plan,,, which has been improved a great deal to include the 'provisions' that both Senators Obama and McCain have asked for will free up the credit markets so that the economy can move as opposed to recess.

Both Republicans and Democrats are pissed at this plan because it requires taxpayers to take on a huge risk. $700billion for banks, insurance companies and investment houses is nuts.

They are both getting calls from angry constituents at a clip of 200 or 300-1 against.

This blog often quotes and references The West Wing and yet again a lesson from that show applies today. There was an episode that had to do the US signing a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Something that 82% of Americans were in favor of.

President Bartlet responded to that 90% number by saying (paraphrasing for now) official quote will be up tonight.

Honestly, this is one of those situations I could a damn what the people think. The complexities of a global arms treaty, the technological, military, diplomatic nuance,,, it's staggering Toby. 82% of the people can't possibly be inspected to make an informed opinion.
Aaron Sorkin through President Bartlett's words ring true in our current situation. You can replace the military and diplomatic nuance, with terms like derivative, illiquid assets, mortgage backed securities.

The result of this mess in Washington right now will cause many people to blast Washington and Congress,,, and it will be deserved.

But we all need to keep in mind that our system of a Democratic Republic. It's what makes us different.

In that same West Wing episode,, called ironically,, "The Lame Duck Congress", President Bartlet closed the episode by saying...

You know we forget sometimes, in all the talk about democracy, it's a Republic. People don't make the decisions, they choose the people who make the decisions. Could they do a better job choosing? Yeah. But when you consider the alternatives. . .

I plead with Congress again.

Rise above partisanship and Presidential politics and find something that works.

Because while it's 300-1 against right now, if the stock market falls 1000 points on Monday and no business can get credit,,, we'll be racing next week when we have a bigger gun to our head than we do right now.

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