No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

By: Ken Hughes

In October 2008 Ben Bernanke the chairman of the Fed arranged for funds from the FDIC to be used to shore up the wavering banking community. This was a decision approved in principle by George Bush however Bernanke didn’t need the president or congresses approval since taxpayer money wasn’t used. The FDIC is an insurance fund contributed to by member banks. In the years it’s been inexistence it hasn’t been used much therefore its very well funded, well enough to cover the bailout. Normally this would have been business as usual had it not been for a serious case of congressional panic or political opportunities. Hillary Clinton recently said, “Never waste good crises” or words to that effect. That seems to be what congress thought when they learned of a potential problem looming in the future.

This situation will undoubtedly be the largest problem Obama will face dealing with domestic issues in his first four years. I’m not sure Obama can be held totally accountable for the financial meltdown. First he isn’t that smart nor does he have the experience around Washington to understand how these things work. Congress took full advantage of Obama’s inexperience knowing he would eventually be held accountable. Obama’s been duped by congress a group of Clintonistas he chose as advisors and several Wall Street Sharks. To bureaucrats, congress, political advisors and Wall Street executives investments aren’t real money they’re merely numbers to play with. It doesn’t become real money until it gets down to yours and my retirement accounts, interest rates on mortgages and credit card accounts. Once it leaves Washington it becomes something that has an impact of the average American and not before or at least in the eyes of the professional and political grafters.

We are a nation of slightly more than 300 million citizens, and we’ve been able to produce 75 % of the world’s modern technologies. America is second to none in every category we want for very little and have always been willing to share with others. Those people who think otherwise aren’t looking in the right direction. America is the only nation on earth where outsiders are willing to swim with sharks, cross deserts to get to the land of true freedom and opportunity. It’s also those born in America who are ambivalent to all it has to offer. It’s one of the very few countries were free speech has no limitations. If there’s a flaw in the American character it’s in the arrogance of our politicians. The men and women who are elected to serve the people have assumed a persona of the people’s masters. This is primarily due to the ambivalence of voters when making their choices for presidents and congress.

It’s entirely probable the original Bernanke bailout would have been enough to save the banks and possible avoided the real estate melt down if congress and the president had stayed out of the problem and allowed the situation to play it’s self out. That’s the way a market economy is supposed to work not with government interference.

There are a number of theories why congress acted without knowing the facts first and why they were so willing to bury the taxpayers in more debt. I’ve read several pages of stimulus reports on where this money is going beyond the banks. Much of the money is going for things Obama said were off limits to stimulus funding. Mike Huckabee may have had the best explanation why congress was so willing to accommodate the wish lists of every large city and small town in America. The next election Congress man X and Senator Z will be able to stand in front of one of these projects and take credit for bringing home the pork. Pork our grandchildren and great grandchildren will be paying for long after the Senator and Representative are long gone and forgotten. All across America there’s a distrust of everything Washingtonian, the question is when is that distrust going to boil over into demands for change, [We’re waiting!]

One example of wasted funds, the rural area of Cidra Puerto Rico, population 4880 has requested 500 million dollars of stimulus money for solar water heaters that will supposedly provide 14 new jobs. The last time I visited Cidra they already had solar water heaters, 55 gallon steel drums on platforms using the suns heat that have been adequate since steel drums were invented. 500 million dollars would provide a water heater for every home in Puerto Rico. The same Cidra PR is requesting an additional 17.5 billion [that’s with a B] to construct a green energy facility that will employee 1628 persons. Why am I skeptical, because I’ve been the Cidra it’s in the center of the island miles from any significant population? 17.5 billion dollars would buy more than half the rural real estate in Puerto Rico.

Stimulus Watch lists hundreds of items by city, state, projected job numbers and cost to the taxpayers. In addition they’re sub listed by items of interest there are literally thousands of requests. My question is this stimulus package was passed by congress in such a hurry no one had time to read it, how did these thousands of requests get in the bill before it was presented to congress unless of course the stimulus package was in the works and written long before it was needed. It makes us wonder if this wasn’t a vehicle created to assure a congressional victory in 2010 and 2012 using Huckabees theory. There’s nothing like a good old Hog Bar-B-Que that’s free to attract voters, no one understands that better than a Democratic Congress politician.

The next election when that politician comes around bragging what he was able to bring back to the community ask where the money came from, ask how much personal money he / she contributed. Governments can only give to a community what they take from the community. When a politician says your community receives more from the government than they contribute ask them to prove it, that’s an unrealistic claim politicians have been making for decades.

Look around your community there has to be something better you can send to Washington. It’s your America to keep or lose the choice is in your next vote.


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