Friday, February 27, 2009

The Gospel According to Barack

I thought the quotation: "As ye sow, so shall ye reap" was from the Bible. So much for my Biblical scholarship. Turns out this is not a direct quote from the Bible (I looked it up) but the idea appears in two places: "They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same" (Job 4:8, kjv). and "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7, kjv). By the way, my smart wife knew that the abbreviation "kjv" referenced above stands for "King James Version"; I had no clue. You get the idea of the quote though... what you do in life comes back to you. Now that I've seen the Obama bailout plan, I think we need to revise the quote as follows: "As they sow, so shall you reap!"

This misguided plan punishes the prudent citizens of the country, who denied themselves luxuries they couldn't afford, who saved for a rainy day, and who used credit wisely, only to have to pay for the mistakes of those citizens who lived extravagant lifestyles they could never afford! This flies in the face of every concept of fairness I ever heard. It's one thing to extend a helping hand to families who were legitimately victimized by the collapse of the economy, those who lived within their means and still got hit with the risk of foreclosure. I am OK with some of my tax dollars going into a fund to help them keep their homes. But this bailout plan is Socialism; wealth redistribution plain and simple.

The wholesale bailout of every person who took out mortgages way beyond what their incomes could reasonably justify makes me furious. Do the banks share in the blame? Yes, but how much pressure was put on banks by liberal politicians to make loans well beyond the bounds of financial responsibility? The federal mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac decided to get into the dream business. Instead of underwriting prudent mortgage loans, they peddled the warm and fuzzy (but wrong-headed) notion that every family is entitled to the American dream. Lovely idea, but pure fiction. You are entitled to what your income can support, period.

The credit card companies are also at fault. Time was when you needed a good credit record to get a credit card, after all, credit is nothing more than deferred debt. Handing out credit cards with limits of five or ten grand to people with no demonstrated ability to pay back what they charge is like leaving a suicidal man in a room with a bottle of Vodka and a loaded gun. Especially reprehensible was the practice of collecting minimum payments while interest piled up at rates worse than those charged by the mob. These financial neophytes were strung along like heroin addicts, thinking all along that they were OK since they were making minimum payments, while in reality they were on the fast track to bankruptcy.

Someone tell me how a thief like Bernie Madoff steals $50 BILLION with no regulators getting wind of his scheme? He never invested a dollar of client monies in any securities, but instead paid off early investors from money paid in eagerly by newer investors; a classic Ponzi scheme. Where the hell were the regulators! Were no audits ever done in all the years he was screwing people out of their life savings? And what about all the smart people who gave good old Bernie their millions? Did their monumental greed keep them from wondering how Bernie was paying such ridiculously high returns while markets everywhere were in free fall?

This debacle has many villains. The rock solid brokerage houses who created investments so complicated and gossamer-like that even the most sophisticated regulators did not understand them. The insurance companies like AIG whose executives attended outrageously expensive "business outings" to party while their companies tanked. The auto industry led by some of the most incompetent, short-sighted executives in the history of American business, aided and abetted by greedy unions whose benefits were obscenely out of touch with reality.

To come full circle in this little rant, the biggest villains of all are the "I want it now" credit junkies, who never let a little thing like having no money stand in the way of buying fancy houses, gas-guzzling SUVs, plasma TVs and lavish vacations. THEY AND THEY ALONE fed the credit frenzy that emboldened the credit card pimps, that overextended the banks, that eventually toppled the crazy house of cards that the American economy has become. But, you say, as bad as all this is, these out-of-control spenders will now have to reap what they sowed, and hopefully learn a hard lesson in the process. Think again bunky. The "Obama Magical Bailout Bandwagon" is coming to town, and now YOU, the poor schmuck who watched his pennies and did all the right things, will be presented with the tab for this fiasco!!! I promised myself when he was elected that I would try to support our new President, but he is off to one hell of a bad start.

"As they sow, so shall you reap." (The Gospel according to Barack.)


LOOKING FOR A WORTHY CHARITY? TRY THESE FOLKS: Children's Craniofacial Association

No comments: