Responding to the Financial Bailout

If you know me, you know that I don’t get involved in politics all that much. Part of that is frustration, part is apathy, part is a ignorance of a lot of the smaller behind-the-scenes issues. However, I’m pretty worked up about the proposed $700 billion “bailout” bill. I’m against it. I tried to read it [all 451 pages here], and to be honest, I didn’t get through it, and didn’t understand much of it. But to me, it strikes of socialism and is costing every tax payer about $2,300. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want $2,300 of my hard-earned money going to save companies who have made poor business decisions. Further, I think it’s ridiculous that they seemingly pulled the $700 billion figure out of thin air:

“In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

‘It’s not based on any particular data point,’ a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. ‘We just wanted to choose a really large number.‘” [Source: Forbes.com article]

I also read that $700 billion represents over $100 billion more than the government has spent in Iraq…in five years. McCain has built his campaign around cutting spending in Washington, and yet he (and Obama) support this bill. Doesn’t make sense to me.

As such, I actually wrote my representative to voice my opposition to the bill. You can find out who your representative is here, and go to their website to contact them. Since the House email servers are being overloaded, I faxed it to her. My letter is below [many thanks to Momper, whose email I relied upon heavily in this letter]:

Congresswoman Drake,
I was glad to see the House vote down the first “bailout” bill the other day, but appalled to see the Senate pass it.

I wanted to write to voice my desire for you to vote “no” on the bill, as I vehemently oppose it. It’s not the government’s place to ‘bail’ a company out. If a business has made poor decisions and done a bad job allocating their limited resources, they should cut their losses, go under, and allow those resources and capital to move elsewhere to more productive ends. It is appalling that this is the country’s solution to the problem of bad business practices. What kind of message does this send to other lenders? They will engage in riskier activity because the government will rescue them if things turn sour.

Nearly every poll I have seen shows that Americans are against this bill. Last time I checked, America is a representative democracy. How does a bill that the majority of Americans disagree with pass the Senate 74-25? It’s insulting.

I implore you to vote against this bill. My wife and I will absolutely not be voting for you come November if you vote for this bill.

Sincerely,
Joel Victor Pearce

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