Help. I need someone to bail me out. I live in middle class America. Our medical bills exceed our mortgage. We have two sons to get through college. We are over-budget on the necessary repairs to our new home. The price of gas and food has demolished our budget. In the midst of all this, our brainless president wants me to bail out his wealthy cronies on Wall Street. What is wrong with this picture? I need a bail out a lot more than the wealthy financiers. Trickle down does not appear to be trickling down. Below is an abridged version of an email message I received asking me to complain about footing the bill for this bail out.
If Wall Street firms can't meet a few basic conditions, they can get their money somewhere else.
Congress is on the brink of making a one-sided deal to give George W. Bush a blank check - offering a trillion taxpayer dollars to Wall Street to cover its bad debts. That works out to somewhere between $2000 and $5000 from every American family. So what do the taxpayers get in return?
Nothing. No new regulation or oversight to help avoid this kind of crisis in the future. No public interest givebacks to help people whose homes are in the hands of the banks. Perhaps most shockingly of all, the taxpayers get absolutely no share in the profits if and when these finance giants bounce back, even though we are now assuming a great deal of the risk.
This is a blank check to some of the richest companies in the world.
Congress doesn't have to agree to a blank check. Instead, it can choose to impose a few sensible conditions on the bailout to ensure that it will be used responsibly. Here are a few suggestions courtesy of Robert Reich:
1. If the taxpayers are shouldering the risk, the taxpayers should reap any eventual benefits.
2. If we're paying (more than) our fair share, the CEOs and executives should have to, too.
3. No more campaign contributions from Wall Street executives and PACs.
4. Better regulations start right now.
5. Bankruptcy judges get broader leeway to help homeowners.
Congress must take swift and prudent action to avoid making a burgeoning crisis that much worse. You can help by making your voice heard to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Finance Chair Barney Frank, Senate Banking Chair Chris Dodd, and the de facto leaders of the two parties: Senators Barack Obama and John McCain.
Go here to find out more and sign a petition: