I sent "my" Senator an email deploring the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and about a few days after the vote to pass it I got one of those insulting "automated" emails from Barbara Boxer(nothing from Fienstien), which really set me into a rage. In fact, I even sent an apologetic letter(which I assumed no one would read either of them) because my conscience doesn't allow me to be a crazy jerk without at least feeling bad about it. Then after all that, I received another less impersonal response that threw me for a loop. Apparently, we as citizens cannot imply unethical behavior about members of our government to any member of the Ethics Committee. Which makes no sense, but I am just so flabergasted that I had to share this with someone and get some feedback. These people are nuts!
Let's start with my first email and go from there:
Subject: NO BAILOUT FOR FANNIE/FREDDIE
It’s time to let things play out as they may. The banks and other lenders need to learn a lesson. The taxpayer should not bail these crooks out. Eventually you have to answer to your constituents. I know a lot of democrats and republicans and I have yet to speak to single person who thinks a bailout is what needs to be done. The People are tired of government bailouts. Enough is enough!
Short and too the point right. Since I figure their staffers only scan the subject lines anyways. Then I got this response after Boxer had already voted for the bailout. btw, I despise being talked too like an ignorant red neck(of the Brittany Spears variety) and this is exactly how I took this email response:
Subject: Responding to your message
Thank you very much for writing to me about the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).
As you know, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that were created to facilitate homeownership by buying mortgages from banks. Founded in 1938 and 1968 respectively, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have come to play a central role in the housing market and now hold or guarantee mortgages valued at more than $5 trillion -- about half the home loans in the United States .
The GSEs' charters limit them to buying single-family and multifamily home mortgages originated by other companies. This makes them more exposed to problems in the housing and mortgage markets than other financial institutions. Because of falling home values and rising foreclosure rates, the value of the GSEs' loan holdings has decreased drastically. Fears that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might not be able to cover these losses have caused stock market share prices of both companies to plummet, furthering concerns about their ability to remain solvent.
Although Fannie and Freddie are both stockholder-owned corporations and are not explicitly backed or funded by the U.S. government, there has always been a widely held belief that the federal government would step in if either company were threatened with failure.
Congress recently passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which was signed into law on July 30, 2008 as P.L. 110-289. To stabilize the housing finance market, and make sure that affordable home loans continue to be available, the new law grants temporary emergency authority to the Treasury Department to purchase debt securities or stock issued by both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This authority is the best way to boost market confidence in the GSEs and reduce the likelihood that the government will need to lend a hand. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have not tapped the assistance offered separately by the Federal Reserve, and regulators have stated that the companies have enough capital to continue their operations.
In addition, the legislation creates an independent regulator with increased authority to set strong capital standards so markets can count on the safety and soundness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and so that they can continue to provide our nation's families with affordable mortgages.
The future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is vital to the banks, savings and loans, and credit unions that own $1.3 trillion of securities issued or guaranteed by the two mortgage companies. The two GSEs are equally important to the foreign investors who own an additional $1.3 trillion in securities. Given the importance of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to both U.S. and foreign concerns, the failure of either company could have far-ranging consequences for the strength of the U.S. economy, faith in American markets, and the value of the dollar.
Again, thank you for writing to me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future on this or other issues that concern you.
United States Senator
I was so enraged at this apparent insult to my intelligence that I flew off the handle and responded with this strongly worded response:
Dear Senator Boxer:
As you must know, Fannie and Freddie were not intended to prop up an entire banking industry. The $5 Trillion in home loans is the biggest swindle of the American taxpayer in all of history. Originally, these two enterprises were intended to help lower income families regain home ownership after the Great Depression(Fannie), while Freddie was created to expand the original program instituted by FDR.
The fact of the matter is that these two enterprises had just a couple of hundred billion dollars in mortgages up until George W. Bush’s term in office. Since then, he and Alan Greenspan fueled the biggest bubble in American history, transferring most of the risk from banks like Countrywide and others to GSE’s like Fannie and Freddie. Hence the $5 Trillion in debt that has been run up on the American taxpayer. This bailout will put us(the taxpayer) on the hook for nearly $800 BILLION in bad debt that these banks should have been responsible for. It’s time you politicians start doing your homework before you start throwing mumbo jumbo bullcrap emails at us dumb rednecks.
By the way, this bailout is to protect the foolhardy investment of major government powers like China and Japan. The American people are not as under educated as you think and each day more and more of us are becoming aware of this corruption. The best course of action would have been to let these two insolvent institutions to fail. After all, they were forced by corrupt politicians(political pressure) to buy up all of these sub prime mortgages from the criminal banks that issued them. Instead, the American taxpayer gets punished for wrongdoing done by these banks. The cost of this measure will not be the laughable $25 billion number touted by the media and politicians when this bill was passed. Likely, it will run up to close to a $1 TRILLION in taxpayer money(Thank for giving a blank check to Goldman Sach’s…oh I mean Paulson). You all played a major part in bankrupting this country and there will be hell to pay for all of us.
Already banks have written down close to half a trillion dollars in bad debt, while the Fed Reserve has issues another half a trillion in easy money to save the banking industry and now taxpayers will be forced to foot the rest of the bill. Thank you Democrats. Thank you Republicans. Thank you Wall Street. It has become plain to me that I no longer have representation in Washington, you people are bought and paid for by the special interests in Wall Street.
Good day Senator,
Timothy ******* *****, angry taxpayer
PS Thank you for the impersonal auto generated email on the topic of the bailout bill.
Ok, then I started to feel bad because I am normally a pretty nice guy and even tempered. So in order to placate my conscience, I sent this apologetic email out to her a few minutes after. Note too that I am still not totally polite, truth can hurt sometimes:
I must apologize for my previous email. I was harsh and rude, which is not how I like to conduct myself. I just can’t help but be infuriated over how this banking bailout has proceeded. I was angry at the Fed Reserve for handing out money like it was candy in a schoolyard. I was angry over the transferring of bad debt to our GSE’s over the past year and I am angry over this fake housing bailout which really only helps out the foreign investors who got screwed over by the banks who loaded the sub prime crap onto the GSE’s in the first place.
All around this whole process stinks to high heaven. Why can’t we get some politicians in Washington who will stand up for us voters??? Certainly, not in California.
Here is the final response that has truly befuddled me. What the hell does she mean? Is this an admission of corruption at the highest levels? In any case, I think I will not waste my time responding to this letter and I am all around disgusted with the way things are in Washington(sounds like a cliche nowadays doesn't it?):
Thank you for writing to me regarding ethical standards for members of the U.S. Senate. I believe the Senate should follow a very high ethical standard.
As you may know, I am serving as the Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee for the 110 th Congress. Senate rules require that I cannot comment on any matter that could come before the Committee. But please know that I take my duties very seriously.
Again, thank you for writing to me.
United States Senator
A special thank you to a new friend for sending me the link to this video.
NOTE: I read a few upsetting articles today. The following is mostly just an angry rant.
The problem with trying to convince people that the situation in America is precarious at best is that people are still largely left alone by their benign leaders. When you tell them that they are electing de facto fascists, they laugh at you and go on to think your a nut job. I've found that I cannot compare our current government to the Nazis, no matter how much evidence I produce. No one wants to believe it, therefore, no one will. And the truth is, I am wrong to even make the comparison.
The Nazi form of government was all about government control. It was a merger of the corporation and the government, except that the government was the power behind the merger. Hitler and his minions forcibly took control of all the corporations in Germany and turned them into state owned organizations. In that way, he was able to exert total control over all aspects of life for the German people. This is decidedly not what is going on in America.
What is going on in our beloved country is a slow yet steady takeover of the American Government by the corporations themselves. It is the corporation that has grown more powerful than the government. This is not new in American history either.
In the years after the Civil War, corporate power was extended far beyond anything that the Founders had ever intended. They owned almost all the politicians and many of the Presidents during the period between 1877-1907. This was the era of the Robber Baron. Students of history would know that America's first mega wealthy aristocratic families came to be. They nearly succeeded in totally transforming America into a corporation. The corporation was even granted personhood by the Supreme Court during this period. The law still remains on the books in spite of its obvious discrepancies.
Aside from the people revolting en masse through unions and demonstrations, the reforms of one President brought the Corporatocracy to a grinding halt. That man was Theodore Roosevelt. Though he was ultimately destroyed by the corporate elite, he was wildly popular when he was first elected President. Our children's text books will refer to him only in passing reference as the President who created our National Park System. They will not tell of how he brought the Corporatocracy to its knees by being the first President in decades to be solidly for The People and unable to be bought by the moneyed class.
In the end, he was destroyed and publicly humiliated. By 1913, he was completely discredited and the moneyed class was back in control. Though the rioting and unionization of the working class continued, which forced these groups to change tactics. This is ultimately why the Federal Reserve Bank, Internal Revenue Service, and the Income Tax was created. The real power behind the Corporatocracy is the international banks and their obsession with wealth and power.
Fast forward to today's world. The moneyed interests are faltering. They are the ones losing wealth. This cannot be allowed. At all costs, this must not happen. The Federal Reserve, via the IRS, via the Income Tax as pulled all the stops to rescue the wealthiest Americans from losing any wealth. From this website: http://biz.yahoo.com/cnbc/080725/25851253.html?ref=patrick.net, I found someone who finally tallied up all of the taxpayer money spent on rescuing these criminals. Keep in mind that these numbers do not reflect the bailout for Fannie and Freddie that was just passed by the Senate. That bailout has the potential to cost taxpayers over $800 Billion.
The Federal Reserve = $446 Billion
Federal Home Loan Banks = $274 Billion
Fannie & Freddie = $621 Billion
Federal Housing Admin = $90 Billion
Total losses so far are astronomical. $1.43 Trillion, which is 1,430 Billion, which is 14,300 Million, which is 1,430,000,000,000 dollars. These are conservative numbers. Going through the list of "conservative" estimations of what will be on the books as early as Q3 of next year and the number jumps from $1.43 Trillion to $3.48 Trillion. Now that number includes the current "bailout" plan. Which, by the way, gives Treasury Secretary a blank check until the end of 2009 to fix any problems he deems needs fixing. A BLANK CHECK to the former CEO of Goldman Sachs!
Which brings me back to my point. This is not fascism in the form of Nazism. This is a new kind of fascism. A fascism that has the Corporatocracy in full control of "elected" representatives. On top of that, over half of the nation votes on computer controlled voting machines sold by one of those corporations. Soon, we as voters will need to send lobbyists to Congress to have our voice heard. Have any of you ever tried to get a hold of your Congressperson? It's not easy to get a response. It's damn near impossible to get a response from your Senator. These people do not give a rats ass about their constituents with few exceptions.
I prefer the term Corporatocracy over Fascism, even though Fascism is a more accurate term for what is happening in our government, it brings up comparisons to Nazism that isn't warranted in today's real world. The true enemies of our liberty isn't some paranoid, racist madman. Rather, it is the profit whoring greed of the Corporatocracy that is eroding the very foundations of our great nation.