The House of Representatives added to and otherwise modified 34 sections of H.R. 1424, the so-called bailout bill, passed by the Senate two days ago. They then voted on and passed it and the President signed it into law about two hours after that. It took $150 billion in earmarks to sweeten the deal enough for 59 Representatives to change their votes between Monday and Friday.
All told the Bush Administration and Congress have added roughly $1.4 trillion to the national debt since January. This does not include the 2008 budget deficit, which will add between $200 billion and $400 billion more. The Dow Jones responded with joy by only dropping another 157 points.
We have crossed the line from Capitalism to Socialism. Capitalism when the markets are adding to the coffers of the wealthiest institutions, Socialism when taxpayer-funded bailouts are needed to shore up those same institutions because of those markets. I notice that suddenly, no one is using the term Socialism, but there it is. Stan O’Neal is probably busting a gut on his yacht right now, laughing at all those Congressional patsies.
One must wonder that a bill, written in a few days with 170 sections and 450 pages, could possibly be cohesive and not swiss-cheesy. Do you think that big financial companies with leagues of lawyers and accountants will spend a lot of effort to find all those loopholes that will benefit them the most? I do.
They got their Christmas bonuses early this year. We got coal.