Saturday, October 4, 2008

Who got the Bailout's short end of the stick?

The Bailout

While the bright minds in Washington trampled over each other discussing the terms of a 700 Billion bailout and took positions over what pork they can extract from the loot, we lost THREE TRILLION DOLLARS in corporate value in just one week. The evaporated value decimated the savings and retirement nest eggs of millions of hard working americans.

To add insult to the injury, the victims this bailout is supposed to help are getting the short end of the stick.

A historic national disgrace no less.

On Monday, the people rose up and Congress backed down, sending the bailout to defeat. But then the lobbyists rushed in with a brinks truck of bribes, and this afternoon Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson got $700 billion dollars to save the system that his crowd on Wall Street had exploited to enrich themselves while plunging the country to the edge of catastrophe.

The bailout offers almost no help for homeowners, or equity for taxpayers in banks that are being thrown a turns our Secretary of the Treasury into Caesar Augustus and plunders democracy with tax breaks for Hollywood studios, Samoan sweat shops, Alaskan fishermen, rum merchants, makers of toy arrows and giveaways to big oil. All this on the very day the government reports that another 160,000 people lost their jobs last month — that's the most in five and a half years.

No wonder that Congress today resembled Monty Python's ministry of silly walks — one palm open to the lobbyists, the other holding their nose against the stinking odor of a bill everyone said they didn't want — while rushing for the airport to go home and tell the voters how important it is for them to be re-elected — so they can come back and clean up the mess they just made.

Here for a post mortem is Emma Coleman Jordan. She teaches commercial law and economic justice at Georgetown University. She's a former White House Fellow and assistant to the Attorney General, and has served as president of both The Association of American Law Schools and the Society of American Law Teachers. One of her latest books is "Economic Justice: Race, Gender, Identity and Economics." She's now editing a book to be published early next year, called "The Short End of the Stick."

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