Thoughts on Bailout and election

I still don’t understand why they folks in Washington don’t go straight to the heart of the matter which is houses and mortgages.  They are helping out all the wrong people.   I don’t care a tinker’s toot about the companies or individuals who bought those crazy bundled “securities” backed by mortgages.   It is not the mortgages themselves that are going to be bought by the Government but the securities issued by high flying investors and brokers around the world.   As far as I am concerned they can reap what they sowed.   We would get a much bigger bang for the buck if we went right to the bad mortgages themselves and re worked those for folks who can make a sensible payout on the value of the mortgage and underlying  home value.  It should be limited of course to only those who occupy the home as their principle place of residence so as to exclude the investor types who bought several homes on cheap credit to try and flip them for a quick profit.  They made a bad investment and should have the same pain as the rest of us.   Bear in mind that the overwhelming majority of mortgages are current and valid and that some 30%  plus of homeowners have no mortgage at all but have paid their’s off over years of hard work and sacrifice.    Those who can’t pay a re worked loan should be foreclosed because they never should have bought the house in the first place.   That was their mistake, not mine.

Changing that crazy mark to market rule would also offer immediate help along with a mortgage insurance program backed by a Government guarantee.  The insurance should be paid for by the homeowners needing the help, not the rest of us.   Upping the FDIC limits would not cost any initial outlay and would be mor efficient and  economical and definitely would calm the money scare for many.  I don’t really prefer any of the above but I am trying to be reasonable in the political envoirnment.   Of course we can all feel so much better about everything knowing that the domestic supply of wooden arrows has been assured with the Senate bill, along with other appalliing add ons.   Thanks to those two Democratic Senators from Oregon.   Was there ever a more classic case of the abuse of the earmark system.  We face very serious problems with our financial market and economy and yet those folks can’t keep their hands out of the public cookie jar.  It is not the amount of money but the reflection of an attitude.  One that we must make sure Washington finally learns we don’t like.  If they would only spend the public money with the same thought and consideration they use when they spend their own money we would all benefit.  I rather doubt they would have invested in wooden arrows with their own money.

If I hear one more time that Obama is going to give a “tax break” to 95% of the people I will be apoplytic.   I only want truth in advertising.  It is not a tax cut at all.  It is a simple wealth redistribution program.   It will take money from those who pay taxes and literally give money to those deemed worthy.   It is a welfare program, pure and simple.  Forty per cent of the folks pay no income taxes at all.   They will get a check from the Government.   The money comes from those who do pay taxes.   If that welfare program is something that the majority really wants to do then so be it.  But let’s call a duck a duck.  I do wish that the debate would be on the truth.  Those “refundable tax credits” in the Obama plan are nothing but welfare payments.   Let’s have an honest discussion on that and not use smoke and mirrors to obfuscate what is NOT a tax cut.  We should not be using the tax code as a disguise for a gigantic welfare program.   Is a cash payment to some really the best way to keep the American dream alive?   Are those seeking power pandering or worse outright buying votes with a promise of cash in your pocket?  I bet you want to be rich some day.  Many sure do.  If you do hope to be “rich” some day why would you want to punish exactly what you want to become yourself.    Talk about hitting yourself on the toe with your own hammer.

I saw one of those elevator signs today with factoids displayed.  It gave the definition of “keelhaul” and said it meant to severely rebuke.   Well, that is generally ok but the history of the word is much more interesting than that.  In  the days of the sailing ships the sailors who plied those waters were a tough and rowdy bunch.  Discipline was harsh.  Sometimes over the edge like in “Billy Budd” or “Mutiny on the Bounty” but truth is more often than not some punishment was deserved.   There were many punishments meted out at sea.  As recently as the second world war it was common to throw a rowdy sailor in the brig on bread and water for several days or even lash them to the mainmast for a couple of days exposed to the elements.   In the days of the tall ships (sailing ships), when a seaman got badly out of hand the sternest punishment a captain could dish out was to keelhaul him.  It was worse than giving lashes.  Those lashes were dreadful but rarely caused death.  To keelhaul meant to take a man and tie him with to two connecting ropes around his waist and then throw him over board at the prow of the ship.  Then the sailors would drag each rope from the prow to the stern on each side of the beam of the ship.  This meant that the miscreant was literally pulled along underneath the keel of the ship from stem to stern.  Those ships were encrusted with barnacles that could cut like a knife.  The length of time under the ship depended on the skill of the sailors pulling the ropes and the luck of the man underneath the keel.  If he survived the dragging and was not drowned when he was finally pulled aboard then he was sure a mess from all the cuts and abraisons and the sting of the salt water.   It was the ultimate punishment short of hanging or walking the plank.    You had a chance to live.   So you can see that the word certainly does mean to severely rebuke and a bit more.   Hope you found that of some interest.  The true story behind words I find fascinating. 

Danke.

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Filed under Economics, government, history, Politics

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