Economy: Git Your Mad On!
Step right up! Git yer Mad on right here, folks, two for a dollar, step right UP!
Yeah, I know. I said I'd chillax. But you know what, the Walking Stupid out there, they just never give a body a minute's rest. C'mon, you know you're tearing your hair out with rage five or ten times a day. I just write about it more.
So, you probably just got laid off, or your partner, parent, kid, neighbour, or friend did, and you're sitting there watching the unemployment numbers climb, listening to the dismal reports on the economy, worrying as you see the big shots in your company meeting behind closed doors and sending out email about meeting the most recent quarterly targets (as in, NOT) and remembering the good old days when ordinary working people got bonuses. And wondering why in the fuckety fucking fuck our Republican Senators have their heads crammed up each others' asses crowing about how they're winning a victory against President Obama's Stimulus bill*. You know, the bill that was going to fund state and county level firefighters, police, food stamps, construction projects, and the like.
And then the paper/TV/radio or media of your choice decides to up and tell you that Wells Fargo, BofA, and Citibank just bought full-page ad space in the Sunday edition of the NYT and the WahPoo!, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars (the last time we looked, after a discount, such space would cost between $75K and $140K or more) just to reassure us dumb customers and taxpayers that those junkets and parties and freebies the banks are giving themselves with our money are
not junkets, but employee recognition events to thank and inspire team members who have worked very hard, like "our terrific mortgage team who helped us originate $230 billion in mortgages in the last year." Stumpf went on to say that the money for the recognition events would have come from company profits and not from the taxpayer financed bailout and he said canceling the events hurt not only his employees, "but the workers who depend on their business, the hospitality industry, hotel housekeepers, restaurant servers, the airlines." The CEO closed by saying "since we aren't thanking our award winners in person this year, we'll have to do it this way."Now the right wingnut yammerati have been squawking fit to beat hell about how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and housing loans for working class and poor people is what broke the bank, but those of us who actually read occasionally know quite well that the real cause of the problem is toxic securities and financial instruments that you need a PhD to understand, that largely came about as a result of individual private banks deciding to cash in on the housing bubble and the house flippers by giving what they used to call Liar Loans, or NINJAs (No Income, No Job or Assets).
Wouldn't YOU worry if you got this loan?
Those of us who actually bought or refinanced a home within the last ten years remember quite well sitting down with the banks to discuss terms and having them offer to have their appraisers inspect the premises, instead of using third-party independent appraisers; the fudging of the comps they pulled; the rewording of applications to create the illusion of more house for the return of more money; their insistence on HELOCs (Home Equity Line of Credit, for those not in the know); their securing of jumbo loans and wraparounds and how they all but twisted our arms to get us to pull out increasing equity, until it seemed that people were refinancing annually. So Mr. Stumpf (of Wells) and his celebration of the mortgage-floggers seems a mite — discomfiting, in light of the fact that he and his ilk are being hauled before Congress forthwith to answer to Barney Frank exactly what the fuck they thought they were doing with their taxpayer-generated largesse that will bind our children in debt slavery unto the nth generation.
Not that that will stop the dumb motherfuckers. President Obama had to kick a little ass in public to keep one bunch of greedbags from buying themselves a nice expensive 12-seater jet with their ill-gotten gains recently. Ctulhu alone knows what he'll have to do to keep these assholes' fat sweaty fingers out of our pockets this time around. Considering that all these father-raping buttlicks have MBAs or have been in the industry for longer than Methusaleh, you'd think they would have realized by now the REAL problem, i.e., PR.
Anybody with two working neurons knows that the public has, at best, a very limited attention span, which means you can rape their daughters, sodomize their sons, sell off their wives, burn their houses, and steal their cows, so long as you do not APPEAR to be doing any of the above. With a tear in your eye and a piously-clasped Bible and handkerchief, you can personally assault the lot of them, one before the other, so long as you remember to wear a nice black worsted and weep copiously about your trials and sufferings. Even as we speak, the pinhead wingnuts of the rightosphere are sobbing aloud at the terrible injustice that the Democrats are committing upon the uber-wealthy engineers of our current fiscal fiasco, in attempting to limit corporate CEO emoluments to a mere half-a-million in salary and bonuses if they're taking public money.
The fact that none of these ninnyhammers has ever seen half a million dollars in their own lives bothers them not a whit. They will fight for the right of the greedy to plunder us at will before they acknowledge that we, the people, have a right to a return on our investment in bailouts for the bankers.
And while they're doing their Walrus and Carpenter act on behalf of the bankers, they're whooping and cheering about how the defeat of the Stimulus bill really means a revival of the Republican party, and their return to power. Can human beings possibly be so deluded, you ask yourself. Regretfully, they can. Instead of doing their part in jumpstarting the economy, they're doing their best to slice from the bill anything that will support the common people. Schools? Cut. Hospitals? Cut. Food for the hungry? Cut. And they're shamelessly calling it pork, conveniently forgetting the decades of pork and porkers that they have supported at every turn. Think Ted Stevens. Think Tom DeLay. Think Bush tax cuts that hugely increased the income of the top one-half of one per cent of the taxpayers, while giving nothing to the working people.
Meanwhile, working people everywhere, especially those who've been laid off or are getting their guts eaten out from the inside from the stress and worry of coming unemployment, are really really really eager to see the goddamned bill pass. People, what can I tell you? If you elected a Republican to office, or your neighbours did, man, you got screwed! What can you do about it? A hella lot if you got laid off. Go to their offices and sit down there and refuse to leave until they talk to you. Call them on the phone (use THEIR office phone if you need to call Washington, or get THEIR staffers to contact the asshole for you) and tell them you NEED that stimulus. You need those 150,000 jobs in your city or your county or your state. Go to your local library and get on the internet and send them email. Draft your kids into the effort as well. Take their pictures, make a postcard of them, and mail it to your Congresscritter, and let the kids write the message. "My Daddy got laid off, please pass the stimulus." Or whatever.
Because these assholes are all making six-figure salaries, and they have friends who wine them and dine them and fly them around in private jets, yaknow? They have no idea what it's like to not be able to make your car payment. They probably haven't had to make a car payment for over 20 years. The last time they were looking for a car and actually had to fork out money to buy one, cars cost, like $15K or less.
The Republicans will do everything they can to turn this bill into a useless pile of steaming bullcrap. It's up to us to put the heat on all our lawmakers. They can't do this to us. I'm sick of hearing of one person after another out of work, run out of benefits, underemployed, looking for shitwork to stay alive, moving back to Mom and Dad's with the kids. It's so not OK.
Our President is going on the road to talk to the American people, and all over the country, people are so excited that he might show up in their town. Because the people support their President, and he supports us, you know? He's doing his best to make sure we have enough money to keep our police force up to a safe level, to keep our firefighters employed, to keep us safe, and in our homes, and he knows that we really want this stimulus bill.
So let's not let the media lie their asses off as usual about how this is some kind of illusory "battle" between our President and Lush Rimbowl. It's not. The media is doing their song and dance because they think their job is to sell papers or generate hits for their sites, rather than to keep the American people informed. Enough already, you sods. Bugger off. And as for the Republican Party? If you want ANY seats left in Congress, get off your goddamn asses and vote for the Stimulus bill NOW.
*Note: PDF of full text of the Senate Bill, best viewed in Internet Exploiter or Safari.
Bonus gratifying news: It appears that the Powers That Be might be getting their listen on. Timothy Geithner is flying coach to his job, for a change. Let's see when the remaining members of the Congressional Swine do likewise. (Except Nancy Pelosi - she's third in line for the Presidency and has to fly with top security.) Stumble It!