Did I miss something, but why do I have bail anyone out? Why am I responsible for irresponsible corporations and irresponsible homeowners? Why is it my job to help you refinance a house you couldn't afford? Why is it my job to help you refinance a company you can't run? Also it seems to me the credit rating agency for bonds (Moody's etc) really botched their analysis as this entire problem developed, yet they aren't out of business. How does that happen? Can anyone explain that to me, I have looked online and it seems to me to be a minor point but a critical one (people trusted their horrible ratings, they realized they were WAY off on their "analysis," dropped the ratings and companies suddenly didn't have equity and couldn't get credit - how are they NOT guilty of something, at least such poor business performance they should be bankrupt? Those people should be publicly flogged. Remember when some company was writing internal memos saying "Tech Stocks are a terrible investment" while at the same time recommending external clients buy them? Remember that? It wasn't that long ago. How are you going to legislate that? Remember how they were going to legislate that?)
I realize there were predatory lenders out there, and maybe there is some way to identify, tar, and feather these people and help those homeowners. But many homeowners just made stupid decisions based on what somebody told them about housing prices (always going up), refinancing (easy and always available), and their lives (happily ever after! nobody ever faces financial hardships!). Don't you have a brain? I am just incredibly angry at the lack of accountability in this country and how this is not going to change it. It won't change it for people. It won't change it for corporations. And I'll see this again in another 15 years no matter what bail out plan passes, who becomes president, whether or not another famous wall street fails (who cares, things change).
I realized that I am basically a fairly strict market supporter who believes in strong government oversight, but cynically believes the people in wall street are generally more incentivized to find ways around regulation (new products, lobbying, etc) than the regulators are to punish them. In no way do I believe Obama can fix this, although the obviousness of the fact he would be a strong step in the right direction barely needs to be mentioned. So to some degree, let the fucking market eat itself and the head of Goldman Sachs can dine on the carcass of other CEOs for thanksgiving, I don't care.
However, I also believe in strong social programs. The role of the government is strong and should extend beyond the defense of our borders, although that is important. It is also creating fair and equitable schools, providing housing, supporting community opportunity, and maintaining infrastructure. I think our military is strong but I'm not really sure about our ability to defend ourselves (army vs. army we win, but who is going to attack us army against army?), also a problem being that everyone seems to hate us right now. The rest I think we are pretty bad at, and everyone in congress and the white house are to blame for not having money for infrastructure and schools and community development but having lots and lots of money for this giant bailout. And the war. And still nobody will say my taxes are going to go up. How can they not go up? If I spend all my money now and pretend I had no idea taxes would go up, can i whine and get them to go down again until we just bankrupt our entire country?
This entire democracy is, in my sour northwest mood as I sit in a hotel bar outside seattle staring at a baseball game, a giant fucking failure. And from what I can tell, nobody has any idea how to fix it. Nobody. Anywhere. No idea. Or I haven't seen it.