THE GREAT COMPROMISE A COMEDIAN’S PLAN TO BAILOUT OUR ECONOMY By Ben Gleib. . HOW DOES IT MAKE ANY SENSE TO ALLOW THE BIGGEST INFUSION OF GOVERNMENT INFLUENCE IN THE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY TO PASS AND ONLY ATTEND TO ONE SIDE OF THE CRISIS? It doesn’t. And it is emblematic of what is wrong . We have not been using common sense to make smart decisions. We haven’t been using simple common sense to do what’s right for both Wall Street AND Main Street AT THE SAME TIME. To take care of our short-term problems AND our long-term prosperity. In our own lives we know we must satisfy both for a decision to be sound. So why do we not apply the same logic to our economy? We know in our lives that to satisfy two opposing sides, we simply have to compromise. As we stand teetering on the precipice of financial meltdown, we of course must come to the aid of Wall Street, and save our financial institutions. But not without using this rare leverage to finally also stand up for the middle class! The hard working, tax paying people who would not otherwise be helped in this time of need, as the rich and greedy, (and in some cases corrupt,) are immediately bailed out using those very tax dollars! (That certainly won’t make mortgages any easier to meet.) It’s not certain that a massive bailout is the best way for us to go. Perhaps taking one on the chin now and suffering through a tough spell is smarter than further impetuousness that could have more serious long-term consequences. (Not to mention that it’s not exactly in fitting with a free market, capitalist system.) But if we are set on a bailout, if we are going to gamble, and bet that we as a nation can recover SO STRONGLY that we can climb out of a hole that’s about to get a trilliondollars deeper, then it must come in a form that sets us ALL up to PROSPER. Because to climb out of this hole we are going to need to experience AN ECONOMIC BOOM. And to have a true boom all sectors will have to be invigorated. If we all begin to succeed that is the only way America can truly get back on top, and start to create and innovate at a rate that can shoot us right past this mess. SO HERE IS MY PLAN: HALF THE MONEY GOES DIRECTLY TO THE TOP, AND HALF GOES TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY FROM THE BOTTOM UP. GIVING A MUCH NEEDED INJECTION TO THE TWO SIDES THAT CREATED THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE. We pass legislation to allow unfair or unreasonable mortgage rates to be re-negotiated, and when necessary, directly assisted by the government, so well-intentioned people can stay in their homes, and banks can still get paid back. If we can spring into action creating out of thin air nearly a TRILLLION DOLLARS, a bailout of never-before-seen size and magnitude, then we can also pull out of thin air
legislation to help homeowners in a never-before-seen way. Especially since Secretary Paulson doesn’t even claim the 700 billion number to be scientific! He says he just needed something huge! So then, for argument sake, why can’t we make it 350 billion for the banks, and use the other 350 billion to directly help from the other end? Because if people defaulting on bad mortgages are a big part of what caused this, why can’t we use some of the money to make sure they don’t default? This would give the same liquidity to the banks that they would receive if the government gave them all the money directly, in stages, as they currently plan. But it would also help the homeowners, therefore infusing our economy on both ends with the same funds! We’d get double the benefit for those dollars while also shielding the housing market from further collapse, in a way that actually helps all sides. Again, just with HALF of the bailout! The other half can be top down, as is on the table now, giving financial institutions, WITH STRONG OVERSIGHT, the immediate ability to reinvigorate the markets, prioritizing as they see fit, and creating new, RESPONSIBLE CREDIT to get the markets flowing again. I guess what I’m literally suggesting is that we meet in the middle. WE COMPROMISE. How’s that for a novel idea for government?
September 30, 2008