Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
The more I consider the implications of that horrific bill Congress passed last week the more worried I get about our future.
My wife is tapping me on the shoulder wanting to get to the computer so I have to wait for more writing on this subject but here is a letter I’m writing to Texas papers.
You have total permission to send this to your paper. I don’t care who you give credit for the letter as long as you keep the words intact.
After the letter I’ll post my raw notes on that bill. Later I’ll try to write more words.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. Congress passed the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008,” far more than a “bail out.” Did legislators actually read the bill? I did. Every American should. To say we’ve “given away the bank” is an understatement of enormous proportions.
Bush now has authority to buy ANY mortgage, security, or stock if the purchase “…promotes financial market stability.” It does NOT stipulate the item must be financially harmful to the holder. The administration can buy nearly a trillion dollars of American property, whatever it wants, with virtually no limitations! Consider the implications before reading further.
Oversight? Besides the Secretary himself the “oversight board” has the Fed chairman, SEC chairman, and director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Fox watching the hens! Congressional oversight is reduced to occasional reports to committees, like that will matter.
The Secretary has unlimited authority to hire employees, establish programs, contract with companies, designate financial institutions as federal agents and write regulations. In other words the Bush administration can hire or contract the very people who have caused this so-called crisis at premium federal rates and do whatever it wants with that $700 billion.
Besides the insanity of giving Bush these powers the bill has hundreds of pages Congressmen called “sweeteners.” Indeed. They’re mostly sweet to members of Congress, bitter for us. Some disturbing parts are not sweet at all, such as giving the IRS authority to conduct unlimited clandestine investigations and increasing the national debt from $10.5 to $11.3 TRILLION.
Congress has given the Bush administration one power after the other, beginning with the fantastically Orwellian Homeland Security bill. Where power wasn’t authorized the administration has simply taken it. Neither Congress, the Supreme Court nor the American people have had the guts to stand in his way. Now, at last, the administration has had the last bit of power handed to it through this bill. How bad will it get now that Bush/Cheney owns the bank? In the words of Bachman Turner Overdrive, “b-b-b-b-baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet!”
Here are my raw notes:
Notes on bail out bill
(9) TROUBLED ASSETS.—The term ‘‘troubled
(A) residential or commercial mortgages
and any securities, obligations, or other instruments
that are based on or related to such
mortgages, that in each case was originated or
issued on or before March 14, 2008, the purchase of which the Secretary determines promotes
financial market stability; and
(B) any other financial instrument that the
Secretary, after consultation with the Chairman
of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
System, determines the purchase of which
is necessary to promote financial market stability,
but only upon transmittal of such determination,
in writing, to the appropriate committees
8 Authorizes scty of treasury… buy troubled assets… any financial institution
10 actions authorized as deemed necessary
Entering into contracts for services (no mention of bids)
Designate financial institutions as agents of fed
** appears that the fed will be covering the ass of companies who made crappy loans by buying them up.
So much bullshit fluff
18 oversight board – fox over the hen house
Chairman of board of Fed reserve sys
Secty of treasury (wow, how about that)
Director of Fed Housing Finance Agency
25 contract procedures
Streamlined, Secretary may waive specific provisions of the
Federal Acquisition Regulation upon a determination that
urgent and compelling circumstances make compliance
with such provisions contrary to the public interest.
7 days to report to house
32-33… Executive compensation
Include: …limits on compensation that exclude incentives for senior executive officers of a financial institution to take unnecessary and excessive risks that threaten the value of the financial institution during the period that the Secretary holds an equity or debt position in the financial institution;
No Golden Parachutes
42 purchase authority
$350 billion with pres request to congress
43 jumps to $700 billion after pres request if not stopped by congress after 15 days
Lots of hoops, no debate in house
One time shot
49 Everything must be done within 15 day time frame, even if pres veto. Otherwise request is approved
51 Comptroller general oversight required – director of GAO, pres appointed
56 annual audits to Congress
70 Public Debt Limit
Raised from $10.5 tr in 08 to $11.3 tr
72 congressional oversight panel
74 5 members
2 congressmen, 2 senators, 1 between both
92 recoupment to recover fed debt – five years before pres submit proposal
93 FDIC insurance from $100, to $250k
94 FDIC borrowing limits lifted to end of 2009
95 above applied to credit union insurance
115 Division B Energy Improvement and Extension Act
116 Title V – Energy Production Incentives
Extends tax credits several years
168- Black Lung Fund refinance
180+- Carbon Sequestration
270 Division C Tax Extenders and alternative minimum tax relief
269 oil spill liability trust fund
277 alternative minimum tax exemption extension and increase
— whole load of tax incentives for all kinds of junk
293 SEC. 308. INCREASE IN LIMIT ON COVER OVER OF RUM EXCISE TAX TO PUERTO RICO AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS.
305 Katrina work opportunity tax credit extension
306 Tax incentives for investment in DC
307 charitable deductions for donation of food inventory
309 book inventory
310 wool duty reductions
311 IRS permanent authority for undercover operations
315 Wooden arrows used by children tax – WHY?
325 Mental health parity – insurance coverage
412 Hurricane Ike tax relief
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