Financial Rescue and the House Vote

Yesterday vote must have been difficult for each of our representatives. Do they listen to their constituents or not? Do they follow their political ideology or not? Do they buy into or ignore the politics of fear? Do they vote to protect or jeopardize their upcoming re-election? Let’s face it, our representatives are politicians, they were between a rock and a hard place, and they don’t want ever to take a hit.

There’s also the American public. The majority hasn’t taken any economics class beyond high school (and some didn’t have that much). Those that took it in college didn’t have more than a course or two. Most of us don’t understand financial systems, especially the nature of today’s global markets – and none of us want to take a hit.

Many citizens were quick to focus on the word “bailout” and assume it simply meant to keep failing businesses in business – and of course, fund those CEO payments. Did they understand the issue? Others demanded a taxpayer foreclosure protection over the rescue plan. Are they placing individual needs over the needs of our nation? Was the public sufficiently informed about the situation, the pros and cons of the proposal, and possible consequences of passing and failing the proposal?

Yesterday, the market not only took a hit as the vote was unfolding, but the effect rippled throughout the global financial sector. Will today bring more of the same? Our individual finances plunged. Credit has tightened to business and individuals. I wondered how many people who called their representatives to vote “no” also whined about their personal financial loss. I wonder how many representatives regretted their vote as the market tanked. I wonder how many representatives boasted about “that’s how the free market works.”

I’m not an economics guru by any means, but I do understand that one role of government is to assist the economy when necessary – and yes – get out of its way when all is well. This plan was about creating a prop for the troubled financial credit sector. Ah yes, the original three-page proposal needed many amendments; but that’s the role of our elected officials.

  • So to the representatives saying greed is to blame and they were against bailing out financial foolishness on Wall Street, I say thank you for promoting the deregulated environment that encouraged such behavior.
  • To the representatives saying they were protecting the taxpayer’s financial interest, thank you for decreasing the value of my portfolio.
  • Thank you for tightening the door to the credit vaults for the financially prudent public.
  • Thank you for keeping credit away from financially responsible companies and their use of credit to promote business and employee people.
  • Thank you Speaker Pelosi for your ill-timed remarks.
  • Thanks to all for demonstrating bipartisanship.
  • Thank you Rep. Virginia Fox (R-N.C.) for protecting the Constitution as I’m sure it was in trouble.

The market may be down, but the Constitution is up!

Where do we go from here? President Bush is unpopular and somewhat powerless. House leaders of both parties were on the losing side. The public is fickle, and our elected government officials are sensitive to their personal election needs. Good or bad, something will happen – and we’ll discover if this situation was the politics of fear or reality. Time will tell. After all, it can’t be that serious as our representatives are off for two days. And many probably returned home at taxpayer expense.

I love Jay Leno’s line of wondering if help from a failing president and a failing congress seeking funds to help failing businesses would work. Meanwhile, let’s re-elect our 435 representatives who cast a country-first vote over personal convictions, political ideology, and special interests. Hmmm – I wonder which special interests would benefit from the proposal and which would benefit from its defeat.