Friday, October 3, 2008

Will The US House Of Representatives Succumb To Bribery?

A "YES" Vote In Exchange for Tax Breaks, Pet Projects and More Pork

The "Christmas Treed Bailout Bill", also known as the Reid-McConnell Bailout Bribe, is heading back to the House with all sorts of bribes and pork in it to sway House members who voted "NO" (earlier this week) to change their vote to a "YES" vote this time around. I would take that as an insult to my integrity if I were any one of them. Unfortunately the bribes they are being offered by the Senate to pass this bailout bill are very tempting. We will get to see who in the House of Representatives has any integrity, and any courage. (Text of the bill is here)

The pressure for legislators to grant the Treasury Secretary more power is enormous. Legislators are being threatened and coerced and sweet-talked to vote for this bailout bill, which now costs $150 billion dollars more!

I hope that each one of those House members would take a serious look at themselves in a mirror before they accept any part of this disgusting piece of legislation in return for favors. 228 elected Congressmen and women who last voted "NO" are now challenged to place good government before politics and partisanship. They will be challenged to maintain their integrity as well as remember their oaths of office, because it is the will of the people, whom they represent, that must be done. The American people so far, have rejected this bailout bill and are bombarding Congressional offices with calls, faxes and emails. Meanwhile, the American people are being fed scare tactics by the administration to get them to back off. If in fact these legislators vote against the will of the people and succumb instead to bribery and political gain, then we do indeed once more have taxation without representation.

Bribes are still that - bribes.

The American people are sick of it. We should all resolve to vote out of office (on Nov. 4) any Representative who votes in favor of this Senate bailout bill when it gets to a vote in the House, especially if their vote was in exchange for pork or pet projects.

Parts of this bill are targeted to specific Representatives.
For example (and these are just a few):
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), said she was switching her "NO" vote to a "YES" after the Senate added some $110 million in tax breaks and other sweeteners.

Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn) may switch to "Yes" because the Senate attached the bailout to legislation he spearheaded to give people with mental illnesses better health insurance coverage.

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), is lured by the $223 million package of tax benefits for fishermen and others whose livelihoods suffered as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) is being bribed by tax breaks for Arizona solar companies.

Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is being tempted by a tax deduction for bike commuters, since he is a bike advocate.

Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Brad Sherman (D-CA), both California Congressmen, are being wooed by tax breaks for movie producers.
Isn't this just disgusting? And it is so incredibly obvious!

Still other Congressmen are being blackmailed into voting for this bailout bill - because if they vote against the goodies in this bill, then they know that will be used against them in their campaigns back home. (i.e. Joe Congressman voted against insert pet project or tax break here )

As far as the alternative remedy for Wall Street and the financial markets, there have been other proposals offered up by leading economists and businessmen and women. (This article has excellent suggestions )

Make no mistake, the goal of this bill is not to "Rescue Wall Street", it is to give the Treasury Secretary more power without oversight and without consequence, and it will reward people who have trashed our financial markets as a result of very bad public lending practices initiated over a decade ago!

Joel Stein of the LA Times wrote this
On Sept. 18, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that if a bill wasn't passed that week, "we may not have an economy on Monday." Not only did we have one, but in the coming days some smart, conservative investors (JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Warren Buffett) scooped up some troubled banks (Washington Mutual, Wachovia, Goldman Sachs) and the crappy mortgages they held, and the government hardly did anything. The only thing we have to fear is the government making us scared.
Oh, and in case anyone forgot - appropriation bills like this have to originate in the House, not the Senate - but at this point procedure has been tossed to the wind. You might as well just burn any remaining copies of the US Constitution.

Isn't anyone out there angry about this? If you are, then you should be calling Congress today.
In his Communist Manifesto, published in 1848, Karl Marx proposed 10 measures to be implemented after the proletariat takes power, with the aim of centralizing all instruments of production in the hands of the state. Proposal Number Five was to bring about the ‘...centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.’ If he were to rise from the dead today, Marx might be delighted to discover that most economists and financial commentators, including many who claim to favor the free market, agree with him.” - Martin Masse, National Post
Many of Marx's goals have already been accomplished - and we are almost there folks.