Thanks to our congressional leaders, you and I are now picking up the tab for a $700 billion package that will supposedly pull Wall Street back from financial ruin. I don't know about you, but I'm not too happy about that.
Yes, I've heard all the arguments. Without this financial bailout, banks and corporations wouldn't have been able to conduct business through credit and loans. If credit markets locked up, it would have made it difficult for corporations, and ultimately consumers, to get financing. And that would have pretty much led to end of business as we know it, experts say.
Having worked as a business news reporter, I understand all the essentials. I realize congress was in a bad position. But I can't help, but be a little bit jaundiced.
During the 90s, I spent money like a drunken sailor, hanging out with friends in New York City. Shopping trips? Check! Expensive vacations? Check! Partying at Manhattan night clubs? Check! Check! Check! Even though I was making a decent living covering the financial markets, I still racked up thousands of dollars in debt.
Through all that, I don't remember anyone offering me a bailout.
My inability to live within my means is no one's fault, but my own. And perhaps comparing my financial troubles to the future health of a nation's economy is a little simplistic. But why should CEOs whose failed leadership of these banks and corporations be able to keep double-digit billion dollar bonuses and sail away on their yachts while the average American funds this bailout? Why wasn't there a rush to help these failed mortgage holders, many of whom were first-time homeowners? And what relief, if any, will Congress give to these people caught up in the sub-prime mortgage mess?
These are questions that demand answers and as of yet, Congress has yet to explain any of it, despite begging us to pay for this bailout. Maybe the answers lie within this bailout bill that is now a whopping 451 pages. (See next week's blog on that!)
It's a bitter pill to swallow.