You Can Call Me Ray wrote: So why is it OK for government officials to profit from the mess, but not OK for private business to do the same?
At least government officials, for the most part, are now trying to repair the damage and set things right.
Wow, Ryan. Either you are underinformed on this particular topic, or you are purposefully ignoring or minimizing all the shenanigans that go on in Congress. Let me start by asking if you have read Campbell Brown's article on this very topic?http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/05/ ... index.html
Yes, while our representatives have been jumping up and down screaming about the excesses of Wall Street, condemning those corporate boondoggle trips to luxurious resorts, what do they do?
They all go away on retreat together to a luxurious resort.
First it was Republicans, who last week decamped to the lovely Homestead Resort, famous for its golf, fly-fishing, and luxurious accommodations, with its own golf course and five star amenities.
Now, in fairness, members do pay for lodging with personal funds or their campaign accounts. But yes, taxpayers do foot the bill for some of the expenses.
For example, according to Politico.com, we all paid about $70,000 for Democrats to take the train down to last year's getaway.
Then they racked up phone and Internet bills of more than $40,000 on our dime. Not to mention the enormous security costs, which are even higher this year with the president and vice president both stopping by.
And again please notice: It is Dems and Repubs who are picking OUR pockets, Ryan. So now could you please explain to me why this kind of crap is OK for Congress to do (with taxpayer money), but why it is not OK for private companies? One standard, please, not two. There is a huge amount of excess in Congress, and that does not even count for the fact that folks in Congress work fewer days than the average American, get paid a higher base pay than the average middle class American, and they continue to recieve their pay when they are out on the campaign trail worrying about themselves instead of doing the country's business!
Now let us move on to people who not only helped create the subprime meltdown mess by FIGHTING attempts to regulate Fannie and Freddie, but who also BENEFITIED from these same organizations: Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd, and yes, Barack Obama. You wish to commend them for "trying to make it right" and I laugh at that. Had they done their job we might have never been in this mess! So not only did they NOT do their job, but they profited from it by getting lobbying money to add to their campaign chests. That's effed up, sir, and I cannot possibly see how a person like you could defend that atrocious behavior.
And the third and final point I would like you to address is the one you sloughed-off earlier saying we "just had to accept it". You claim above that some in Congress are just trying to "repair things and set things right". How is sneaking in all kinds of pork barrel, earmark spending that has NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO with fixing our economy "repairing things and setting things right"? They are irresponsibly spending OUR money on b.s. pet projects that they know they can sneak in because people like you will give them a kitchen pass with twisted logic like "we just have to accept some pork to do the right thing." Let me put a hypothetical to you, Ryan: Let's say (God forbid) you lost your job. And things are so tough that even your kids are going hungry. So while you are cutting costs and trying to "make things right", let's also say that your wife sneaks in some spending on those new shoes she has wanted. Are you going to take the same attitude that "well, we just have to accept some irresponsible spending along with doing the right thing for our kids?"
I reject your idea that we have to accept that irresponsible spending of money this country does not have right now. For far too long Congress has had TOO MUCH POWER to be able to spend, spend, spend, and spend some more (both parties). And Presidents could do nothing about it because special interest groups pay for lawyers to continuously fight a line item veto... not that I think Obama would use a line item veto to strike down some of the irresponsible Porkulus that his Democratic buddies have packed into this "stimulus package".
What are financial executives doing? They're adding erroneous "finance charges" and doubling minimum payments in order to extort members into giving up promotional, reasonable low-interest rates for the higher "purchase" rates. I've got an upcoming investigative article into Chase doing just that....and I'm really ticked off about it.
And I am just as ticked off at Congress for all the reasons I mentioned above. And you don't score any points with me by being willing to give greedy and irresponsible politicians a pass while focusing only on the tactics companies use to fatten their profits. They are both equally bad, and I think it is HIGH TIME to cut wages and cap pay for Congress. MAKE THEM FEEL THE PAIN OF AVERAGE AMERICANS! What is good for the banks is good for our Congress.
Someone needs to stick it back to them...if not our elected officials, then who?
Because that makes our elected officials hypocrites, for one, which you don't seem to care about. Moreover, if more people in this country were intelligent about how free markets work, the American people would be the ones who "stick it to them" by taking their business elsewhere, en masse, and giving these companies pain where they least like to feel pain. The problem is, people don't want to smarten up and stop patronizing companies that do this. Instead, they want Congress to "stick it to them" but meanwhile Congress gets off scot-free.
Actually, everything I've seen so far has given me very, very positive feelings about this administration. He's already reversed a whole list of failed Bush efforts, he's already extended a diplomatic (but firm) hand to foreign countries who hate us because of the Bush foreign policy, and he's now going after the fat, arrogant financial leaders. I can't imagine anyone having a problem with him except the fat-cat executives who have something to lose (for a change).
This is the sort of "change" I was hoping for, and I'm very happy to see it after suffering through the last 8 years of idiocy and self-serving policies.
But you ignore the things that remain "politics as usual" and "political paybacks", eh? If Obama was REALLY about change, and REALLY concerned more about the economy than his political bedfellows, he would be fighting TOOTH and NAIL against his own party members to get ALL PORK out of this stimulus bill. If he were REALLY about REAL change (and not just swinging the pendulum from bad Repub policies to bad Dem policies) he would be floating veto warnings for ANYTHING in this bill that the average American would clearly see as pork... things like the following:http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/02/ ... newssearch
• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.
• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.
• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).
• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.
• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.
• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD's.
• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.
• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.
• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.
• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.
• $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service.
• $75 million to construct a "security training" facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.
• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.
1) I didn't know it was the responsibility of the Federal Government (nee American Taxpayer) to pay for motion picture film for Hollywood!!! OUTRAGEOUS!!
2) Same goes for offsetting costs (or paying for outright) digital TV converters. I didn't know TV was such an essential utility (I guess it is like home heating oil). WTF!?!?!
3) The census money is blatant political money for political reasons. As we know, the census is the basis for how political boundaries are drawn. So anyone who is already a Congressman has a vested interest in making sure the census goes off without ANY reductions... so they can hopefully redraw their political boundaries to ensure their re-election.
I am serious, Ryan... we have had our disagreements on things before, but your attitude on this one really offends me as an American taxpayer. It seems to me any conservative principles (NOT Republican) that you claimed you had have been usurped by Democratic effed-up logic that seems to say we can spend our way out of this when spending is what got us into this problem.