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And the People Cried Out

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Many times in our history, the cries and groans of the people have helped shape policy and laws of the land. The Women’s Suffrage movement led to the Nineteenth Amendment. Cries, shouts, and mass protests from the Civil Rights era gave people of color the right to vote with the signing of Voting Rights Act of 1965. The outrage from many in the late sixties and early seventies helped end our participation in the Vietnam War. The voice of the people will always be heard.


The calls to Congress to vote against the Wall Street bailout are from people crying out “enough” with lies and trickery. I have seen one polly after another admit that they really do not understand what is being asked of them in the bailout package. If the people had not rebelled, our foolish pollies in Washington would have signed a blank check that our unborn children’s children know will bounce. We would have given our country away, again, without accountability and transparency. The Secretary of Treasury emerged from a cave to ask us for money that sounded like a gazillion dollars. We are still trying to get our minds around the amount. Had we given in to his demands, that would have been truly naive on the part of Congress and the people. Because we did not give in to his demands, we are being blamed for the huge loss of market value on Wall Street this week. I am not buying what is being sold and seems like many others are thinking the same way.


We have overstretched our military and bankrupted our future trying to save the people of Iraq and constantly justifying the cost of a war that we should never have started. We did not ask enough questions and accepted what we were told as the absolute truth. Our shock from 9/11 allowed our emotions to be used and common sense was thrown out the window. Not this time. The backlash from the misinformation and outright lies that led up to the Iraq war has created a country of skeptics who distrust our elected officials. The cost of the funding of the war is rarely mentioned when we discuss the financial mess we are in. Our pollies have developed amnesia about the daily cost of the war and all of our financial problems are now being blamed on people of color who became homeowners. Please, give me a break. $10 billion a month to fund the Iraq war. Are we forgetting that many of the people who are losing their homes are over in Iraq or wounded veterans who cannot go back to work?


The cries on Capital Hill that the sky was falling, only on Wall Street by the way, were met by a public that demanded more information and more accountability than we asked for when we were presented the same blank sheet of facts for Iraq. As a country, we are smarter, angrier, and tired of the mind games that are played with taxpayers’ money. Our money. We are demanding facts and have realized that the fact presenters are not very good fact checkers.


Honestly, I do not know if the sky is falling. I do know we were told that if Wall Street was not bailed out sixteen days ago, we would lose out country. Yet, we still own the country and the President is still residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Do I believe that we are in serious financial trouble? Yes. Do I believe giving billions upon billions to one neighborhood street is going to solve our crisis? No.


We bailed out the airlines after 9/11 and we are now being charged for a pillow to fly. We bailed out the automotive industry at one point and we are having more recalls than ever before. Bailing out large industries for the sake of our country rarely benefits the country. The airlines and the automotive industries are going belly up, jobs are disappearing overseas, and workers are being forced out with early retirement options to save the executives at the top.


I called my Senators and Congressional representatives. I am not happy about the financial crisis. I want our country to be safe and financially strong. I suggested that the financial experts do what I do at my home and in business when things are tight—I get on a budget and stick to it. Sounds elementary, but it does work.


I left my money in the bank but I am asking more questions of my financial advisers than ever before. I am becoming more educated about my retirement investments and if it does not sound right to me or my kids, then you need to keep explaining. If that is too much to ask, I can always go elsewhere with my money.


I am against the bailout as presented the first, second, and third time. I do not understand the bigger picture because it did not make sense. I do agree that something must be done but what, I cannot answer at the moment. How it will affect my children’s children children, that I do not know either. Hopefully and prayerfully we will get through this crisis, our country is strong and resilient. In 2009, we will have new elected officials with a different mindset on how to handle a crisis and taxpayers’ money. Prayerfully. Some of the financial advisers from Wall Street would now make excellent pollies. They would be able to explain to us what happened to all our money when they were working on Wall Street. Then our country will have pollies who can read our country’s financial portfolio and understand hogwash from the Secretary of Treasury when it is heard the first time. Hopefully, this will help hold up the sky when it starts to fall again.

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