Thursday, September 25, 2008
A Closer Look At... Shame On America Sunday, $18 Bucks a Second.
Just this past Sunday, I pointed out that Bill Gates can spend $18 per second for 100 years, and have money left over. I also pointed out that if you took all but $1 billion away from each person on the Forbes 400 list this year, you'd have $1.1 trillion to do some good with -- and each person on that list would still have $1,000,000,000 dollars.
Little did I know that the $1.1 trillion figure would become even bigger news this week, as the government continues robbing the poor to pay the rich. The Bush Administration, which has officially become the Worst Presidency Ever -- seriously, if Bush had set out to deliberately destroy this country, and I'm not so sure he didn't, he could not have possibly damaged the country more -- the Worst Presidency Ever proposes to write a check for $1 trillion-- that's $1,000,000,000,000 -- and give it to the Bush Administration to hand to investment bankers.
Now, first of all, that will do nothing for average people. Nothing nothing nothing nothing. If you do not work for an investment bank, mortgage security house, or other high-finance institution, then this proposal will not help you in the slightest. So if you are in favor of the Worst Presidency Ever's proposal and you do not work for an investment bank, mortgage security house, or other high-finance institution, then you are a fool. The proposal being talked about so far would not give struggling homeowners any money; it would simply buy up 'securities,' meaning that the government would hold your mortgage. You would keep paying.
But second of all, the plan will be financed not by money we have now and not by taxes to raise that money; it will be financed by borrowing. Borrowing money means issuing government savings bonds, and that means paying interest on those government savings bonds, and that means that borrowing $700 million now (the initial price tag) requires paying back much much more than that over time.
The current interest rate on a 30-year treasury bond is 4.36 percent. I'm not even going to do the math. You do it. Figure out what 4.36% interest on $700,000,000,000 is.
That money will be paid back, if at all, by taxes. It will have to be paid back by taxes. Taxes that you and I will not pay. Those are taxes that our kids will pay, taxes they will pay on top of the taxes they are already paying.
Take the income tax you paid last year, and then add to that the amount equal to pay back $700,000,000,000 plus 4.36% interest for 30 years.
Run to Canada, boys -- then the Worst Presidency
ever can't pickpocket you.
Then go hug your children and tell that you're sorry we're going to do that to them, and you're ashamed of America, too.
The Fix: Either (a) let the companies weather the storm, which would encourage banks to deal realistically with the problem they've created by reworking problematic mortgages and reducing exorbitant interest rates, and would avoid this trouble in the future by punishing not only the people who took out mortgages they should not have but also punishing the banks that should have refused to lend the money, or (b) institute a one-time luxury tax on all holdings over $1 billion and use that to fund the bailout; the bailout money will be paid to companies in which the billionaires hold stakes, anyway, so the government is in effect using the billionaires' money to pay off the billionaires' mistakes.
Oh, and (c) rue the day we elected George W. Bush. At least I never voted for him. I don't have to apologize to my kids for that.
What you can do until the fix is in? Contact your congressperson and tell them that you are AGAINST using your children's money to bailout corporations. You can do it easily, and here's how: This link will take you to a map of the US. Click your state and you'll see a list of your congressional representatives-- emails and phone numbers. Call and email them now and tell them:
I don't want my children's money used to bail out billionaires.