Texas Liberal

All People Matter

We All Merit A Bailout Of Some Kind In Life

I think everybody merits a bailout of some kind. People merit a bailout by the mere fact of existence in a tough world.

I don’t mean a financial bailout like we are seeing on Wall Street right now–though if you want to lend somebody in need a few dollars that would be fine—but just as a general matter. Everybody in life needs a break.  

A bailout need not imply anybody has done something wrong. It might simply suggest that for whatever reason, things are not going as well as they could and somebody needs help.

I’m not saying that bad behavior should go unpunished. Or even unremarked. I’m not calling for an amnesty. ( Though if you are in a forgiving mood, you might want to consider an amnesty for somebody in your life you feel has done you wrong.) 

A bailout could be emotional in the sense of reaching out to a person having a hard time. It could be about money. It could be helping a stranger in distress. It might involve forgiving somebody. It’s up to you to define. The kind of bailout I am talking about does not require an act of Congress.

The Wall Street Bailout is lousy. I think people both for and against the bailout feel it is regrettable we have come to this point.

But this does not mean that the larger concept of a bailout is bad. Use the idea of a bailout that we hear about in the news today as a starting point to a good act in your own life and in the lives of others.

We all need a bailout of some kind.

October 2, 2008 Posted by | Relationships | , , , | 3 Comments

Text Of Nancy Pelosi’s Speech On Bailout

Below is the text of the speech by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Above with Tip O’Neill) that Republicans have said hurt their feelings. It seems like a pretty good speech as far as I can tell.  

Here is the speech–

Madam Speaker, when was the last time someone asked you for $700bn?

It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush administration’s failed economic policies: policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything-goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system.

Democrats believe in the free market, which can and does create jobs, wealth, and capital. But left to its own devices, it has created chaos.

That chaos is the dismal picture painted by Treasury Secretary [Henry)] Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman [Ben] Bernanke a week and a half ago in the Capitol. As they pointed out, we confront a crisis of historic magnitude that has the ability to do serious injury not simply to our economy but to the American people; not just to Wall Street, but to everyday Americans on Main Street.

It is our responsibility today, to help avert that catastrophic outcome. Let us be clear: This is a crisis caused on Wall Street. But it is a crisis that reaches to Main Street in every city and town of the United States.

It is a crisis that freezes credit, causes families to lose their homes, cripples small businesses, and makes it harder to find jobs. It is a crisis that never had to happen. It is now the duty of every member of this body to recognise that the failure to act responsibly, with full protections for the American taxpayer, would compound the damage already done to the financial security of millions of American families.

Continue reading

October 1, 2008 Posted by | Politics, Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Quick Observations On Bailout Bill Failure

The House of Representatives has voted no on the Wall Street Bailout bill. Here are some quick observations I have on the subject.

I support this legislation.

1. If this nation ran on a parliamentary system, the government would collapse. 

2. While I am ideologue in many respects, this vote is being held hostage to ideologies of both the right and the left.

3. After the failures and lies of Iraq and this possible failure of our financial system, how can average people trust anything they are told?

4. Average people–the Main Street we keep hearing about—have some fault here. Many sought to live beyond their obvious means.

5. The flawed initial proposal from the White House, John McCain’s seemingly pointless suspend the campaign stunt, and the rabid free-market ideology of many House Republicans, show that Republicans are simply not competent to govern.

6. The idea that any speech by Nancy Pelosi killed the bill is silly. If House members felt this bill was good the country, why would a speech change people’s minds?

7. I understand that this bill came from the White House and that House Republicans are often very far to the right, but Democrats have a majority in the House. They have the obligation to make this work in the House.

8. Members of Congress had the right to vote as they saw fit. Even in crisis we have to keep our faith in democracy and move ahead to the next solution.

September 29, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Let’s Take The Lemon Of The Bailout And Make The Lemonade Of Greater Regulation And Universal Health Care

With the $700 billion Wall Street bailout moving towards a vote in Congress, let us no longer hear that government should stay out of our economy.

This proposal came from a far-right Republican President and has had the support of most Republican senators.

If we can do this, we can have universal health care. If an argument in favor of the bailout is that in time taxpayers will get the money back from the bailout, why not also invest in average Americans? Won’t we also get a return on an investment in average folks?  

(Here in Texas, many are making use of government programs to help recover from Hurricane Ike.  Even in Texas people are finding that stuff happens and that help is sometimes needed from government.)

It’s clear now that we can have more regulation of our economy and that government can take steps needed to protect Americans from the excesses of Wall Street and irresponsible banks and financial firms. 

Do you think your retirement is safe in the hands of an unregulated Wall Street? And in regard to health insurance, do you trust the private sector to ever deliver on the right that all have of access to health care?   

I understand the bailout is hard to accept in many respects. Who wants to bailout Wall Street?

It is conservatives from the White House and Senate who have made the case here for government intervention in the economy. We should take advantage of this unexpected support for a place for government in our economy. We should do this just as Franklin Roosevelt turned the Great Crash into something better. Let’s take this lemon and make lemonade.

September 29, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Taxes---Yes!, Texas | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

McCain Debate Delay Is A Stunt

Below is an example of a stunt–

 

And here is another example of a stunt—

As a final example of a stunt, below you see John McCain who wants to suspend his campaign and delay this Friday’s debate because of the financial crisis.

John McCain

If Mr. McCain were President and we had a financial crisis at the same time as a foreign crisis, would he suspend work on one of the issues to deal with the other? Is he just hoping two big things won’t happen at the same time?  

Maybe the real crisis Senator McCain is facing is that he is falling behind in the polls.

September 24, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | 4 Comments

Dry Cleaner Loses Three Days Wages Due To Hurricane—Where Is Her Bailout?

My dry cleaner told me that she a few days of wages after Hurricane Ike because her shop was closed due to a lack of power. And, also, because the owners of the shop decided not to pay her.

Many people in Houston and in other areas affected by Hurricane Ike have lost wages due to the storm.  ( Some benefits are in fact available to people in this circumstance. Though they will not make up all lost wages. Also, most people will not, in all likelihood, be aware of such benefits.)

The dry cleaner is a hard working employee who makes sure people’s clothes are clean. When she told me she was not being paid for missed hurricane days, I immediately thought of the giant Wall Street Bailout currently under debate in Washington.

I, regretfully, support the bailout is some form. Here is a liberal take on the issue from The American Prospect. And another liberal view from The Nation. Here is coverage of the bailout from The Huffington Post.

A big problem with it all, beyond the people we are bailing out, is that you can’t trust anything that comes from President Bush’s team and you can barely trust Democrats to protect the interests of average folks.

The whole thing is a big racket and people on every side of the ideological divide see it as such.  We might well save the global economy from collapse—so we are being told—but nothing here is going to make the lives of people across the country better than it was before this 700 billion dollar taxpayer financed deal.

We see that when the big guys fall they are picked up. When most working people take a fall they are not just left to pick themselves up, there is often somebody around kicking them while they are down.

September 23, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments