Why Congress is not doing much (good)
Extremists outnumber Moderates.
Moderates are disappearing.
(2008 Nov blog post)
In response to the U.S. economic 'meltdown' that surfaced in no uncertain terms in mid-September 2008, via a $700 billion goverment 'bailout/rescue', I fired off a set of Letters to the Editor of a local newspaper.
This was after sending off a set of letters to members of the Senate Banking Committee -- the contents of which are posted in other 'economy' blog posts on this site.
The newspaper was being deluged with letters, so it was almost impossible to get a letter published.
A letter to this newspaper has a very limited potential audience anyway, and a letter published in the newspaper is not readily available for reference --- and has a very short life on their website.
So I post my letters in this blog.
SUBJECT: Why Congress is not doing much (good)
30 Sep 2008
Dear Editor, Daily Press:
The FIRST House vote on the 'Economic Stabilization' bill --- the 'bailout' --- REVEALS WHY it is repeatedly observed and reported that Congress has not been able to accomplish much in the past seven years or so.
Anyone who watched the vote on C-SPAN --- and the statements by Representatives before and after the vote --- would realize that the (more or less) MODERATE Democrats and Republicans voted FOR the legislation ... while the (more or less) EXTREME Democrats and Republicans voted AGAINST the legislation, and the LATTER (the Extremists) won out.
The Revelation: The EXTREME views, on either side of the middle views, have enough votes to vote down any moderate proposal.
That legislation is written, for the most part by EXTREME Democrats and Republicans (with considerable help from lobbyists).
NOW I see what has been evolving these many years --- and what has gotten really bad in the past seven years or so (2000-2008).
Thus we have a main source of the low ratings of Congress --- and the source of the perverted laws, motivating all the wrong behaviors, coming out of Congress.
P.S. I do not mean to imply that the extremists were wrong in voting against the 'bailout'.
I think the 'bailout' was probably NOT a good thing --- especially if it is not coupled with some breakup of 'too big to fail' institutions and coupled with proper staffing of regulatory agencies such as the SEC --- so that those agencies look out for the interests of the general citizen, instead of looking the other way as financial abuses rage on.
There are powerful negative forces at work in the economy. In addition to bad home mortgages --- there is bad credit card debt, bad auto loan debt, bad student loan debt, unregulated credit default swaps (CDS's) --- all taken on by irresponsible bankers, and underwritten by us taxpayers --- that will probably make the $700 billion capital infusion into the banking system end up as a failure in the long term.
The bad actors and the flaws in the financial system will still be there --- after the bailout.
My point is that the bail-out vote revealed why so many perverted laws have been passed in the past 7 years, and more.
It's due to an unholy alliance of extreme ends of the political spectrum.
A bailout bill was eventually passed
--- leaving the flaws and bad actors in place.
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Page was posted 2008 Nov 03.