By T. L. Farlow
~ Guest Columnist ~
Mr. and Mrs. American Citizen are about to get shafted by the very corrupt government that is supposed to be working for them. Instead, the government is doing their best to work against the citizens of this country. Although that is not unusual, it is significantly important now because of the vast burden that is presently being placed onto the backs of every citizen.
The President of the United States came on television and informed everyone about the importance and gravity of financial circumstances that now face our nation. Normally, during political speeches, my mind wanders a bit and I tend to filter much of what is being said. Below is what I heard our President say and my thoughts that occurred at the same time.
Bush’s Address to the Nation on September 24, 2008
Good evening. (“Good Evening Comrades.”) This is an extraordinary period for America ’s economy. (“Washington has failed miserably and we are getting ready to really stick it to you again. But be assured that this will not be the last time.”)
Over the past few weeks, many Americans have felt anxiety about their finances and their future. I understand their worry and their frustration. ("Yes, we are worried that you politicians will take everything we have.")
We’ve seen triple-digit swings in the stock market. Major financial institutions have teetered on the edge of collapse, and some have failed. As uncertainty has grown, many banks have restricted lending, credit markets have frozen, and families and businesses have found it harder to borrow money. ("And whose fault is that? Certainly not Mr. and Mrs. American Citizen!")
We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive action. (“Our Wall Street banking buddies are in a pickle right now, and the federal government is gonna mess it up more by taxing all citizens to pay for this mess.”)
We boosted confidence in money market mutual funds and acted to prevent major investors from intentionally driving down stocks for their own personal gain. (“We keep trying to buy our way out of this and it ain’t working.”)
Most importantly, my administration is working with Congress to address the root cause behind much of the instability in our markets. (“Most importantly, my administration is working with Congress to put the final nail in the coffin for America.”)
Financial assets related to home mortgages have lost value during the house decline, and the banks holding these assets have restricted credit. As a result, our entire economy is in danger. (“Even though the banks made some extremely bad decisions, we still like our Wall Street banking buddies more than we like you regular tax paying citizens and we are going to do whatever we can to save them, even though it is really their fault.”)
So I propose that the federal government reduce the risk posed by these troubled assets and supply urgently needed money so banks and other financial institutions can avoid collapse and resume lending. (“So, I propose that the federal government take every single penny that each of you citizens have and give it to our Wall Street banking buddies.”)
This rescue effort is not aimed at preserving any individual company or industry. It is aimed at preserving America’s overall economy. (“This illegal rescue effort is aimed at completely enslaving American citizens.”)
It will help American consumers and businesses get credit to meet their daily needs and create jobs. And it will help send a signal to markets around the world that America’s financial system is back on track. (“We are confident that we can bluff the rest of the world while really screwing up our own economy.”)
I know many Americans have questions tonight: How did we reach this point in our economy? How will the solution I propose work? And what does this mean for your financial future? ("Yeah…. Americans want to know how they will be screwed again by Washington.")
These are good questions, and they deserve clear answers. ("You bet you they do!")
First, how did our economy reach this point? ("Could it be that government policies, over the last several decades, got us into this mess?") Well, most economists agree that the problems we’re witnessing today developed over a long period of time. ("Your economists, not mine!") For more than a decade, a massive amount of money flowed into the United States from investors abroad because our country is an attractive and secure place to do business. ("Yep, for awhile investors around the world were really taken in. ")
This large influx of money to U.S. banks and financial institutions, along with low interest rates, made it easier for Americans to get credit. ("Artificially, lowered interest rates.") These developments allowed more families to borrow money for cars, and homes, and college tuition, some for the first time. (“This allowed more families to create unnatural conditions of enormous debt.”) They allowed more entrepreneurs to get loans to start new businesses and create jobs.
Unfortunately, there were also some serious negative consequences, particularly in the housing market. (“Unfortunately, the house of cards came crumbling down, particularly the bogus fiduciary tools created by Wall Street with the blessings of corrupt politicians.”) Easy credit, combined with the faulty assumption that home values would continue to rise, led to excesses and bad decisions. (“$@!+ happens!”)
Many mortgage lenders approved loans for borrowers without carefully examining their ability to pay. ("Federal government rules, crafted by greedy and corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, paved the way for these people to get unobstructed access to money.") Many borrowers took out loans larger than they could afford, assuming that they could sell or refinance their homes at a higher price later on. (“They were encouraged to borrow more money, because everyone just knew that the housing bubble would never burst.”)
Optimism about housing values also led to a boom in home construction. Eventually, the number of new houses exceeded the number of people willing to buy them. ("Here again, erroneous investments were made with no thoughts of ‘what if?’") And with supply exceeding demand, housing prices fell, and this created a problem.
Borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages, who had been planning to sell or refinance their homes at a higher price, were stuck with homes worth less than expected, along with mortgage payments they could not afford. ("Could it be that they made a bad investment decision?")
As a result, many mortgage-holders began to default. These widespread defaults had effects far beyond the housing market. ("Oh, what a surprise!")
See, in today’s mortgage industry, home loans are often packaged together and converted into financial products called mortgage-backed securities. These securities were sold to investors around the world. ("What ever happened to buy American, invest in America?")
Many investors assumed these securities were trustworthy and asked few questions about their actual value. ("And because of their poor decisions to invest in these this affects how and why?") Two of the leading purchasers of mortgage-backed securities were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. ("Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac consistently purchased politicians to ensure that events happening today will keep their necks off the chopping block if the house of cards they created ever came crumbling down.")
Because these companies were chartered by Congress, many believed they were guaranteed by the federal government. ("Did they read the fine print?") This allowed them to borrow enormous sums of money, fuel the market for questionable investments, and put our financial system at risk. (“So the scam worked really well.”)
The decline in the housing market set off a domino effect across our economy. When home values declined, borrowers defaulted on their mortgages, and investors holding mortgage-backed securities began to incur serious losses. ("So they pulled out their ‘ace in the hole’ and now politicians are again turning tricks for their banking buddies.")
Before long, these securities became so unreliable that they were not being bought or sold. Investment banks, such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, found themselves saddled with large amounts of assets they could not sell. ("If I make a bad decision, there is no one there to pick up the pieces. If an entrepreneur purchases, with no guarantees, some bad products that do not sell, he has the responsibility of losses, since he was the one taking the risk. So, why should I have to pick up the pieces for those who have practiced thievery their entire lives?") They ran out of money needed to meet their immediate obligations, and they faced imminent collapse. ("Tough Luck ….. get over it!")
Other banks found themselves in severe financial trouble. These banks began holding on to their money, and lending dried up, and the gears of the American financial system began grinding to a halt. ("Which is what happens when those greedy little ba$tards stop trusting anyone!")
With the situation becoming more precarious by the day, I faced a choice, to step in with dramatic government action or to stand back and allow the irresponsible actions of some to undermine the financial security of all.
I’m a strong believer in free enterprise, ("Liar…if so then you would not have taken such a grossly socialistic move of nationalizing financial institutions and saddling the people with the responsibility of paying for others mistakes"). so my natural instinct is to oppose government intervention. I believe companies that make bad decisions should be allowed to go out of business. ("So, why didn’t you let nature take its natural course?")
Under normal circumstances, I would have followed this course. But these are not normal circumstances. ("No they are not. Your banking buddies got into deep doodoo and now you are trying to pull their butts out of the ditch.") The market is not functioning properly. ("Never does when greed is so widespread and rampant.) There has been a widespread loss of confidence, and major sectors of America’s financial system are at risk of shutting down. ("Not my problem. I have prepared myself and my family for these contingencies. The problem is never solved by government intervention.")
The government’s top economic experts warn that, without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold. ("First of all, I don’t believe a single word that a government economic expert has to say. Their words are always cleverly crafted to screw someone out of something.")
More banks could fail, including some in your community. The stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. ("Let it come! Not for one moment did I believe that government could actually manage some of my money, especially the vast amounts of money that was placed into Social Security accounts that I would eventually need to draw upon. Not once was I deceived into thinking that I could rely upon the generosity of government, funded and government, managed programs so that I could retire in peace. I knew long ago that I was never going to see one red cent of that money that you guys in government squandered so frivolously.") The value of your home could plummet. Foreclosures would rise dramatically. ("Easy come… easy go.")
And if you own a business or a farm, you would find it harder and more expensive to get credit. More businesses would close their doors, and millions of Americans could lose their jobs. ("Then perhaps the 50 million illegal aliens will go home????? Please, please promise me that this will happen. Americans will be much stronger after weathering such a financial storm of tremendous proportion. Perhaps, they will again have a renewed skepticism of governments and banking.")
Even if you have good credit history, it would be more difficult for you to get the loans you need to buy a car or send your children to college. ("Perhaps now, the prices will come down from their bloated and exorbitant levels to levels where the common folk can afford.") And, ultimately, our country could experience a long and painful recession.
Fellow citizens, we must not let this happen. I appreciate the work of leaders from both parties in both houses of Congress to address this problem and to make improvements to the proposal my administration sent to them. (Editor’s thought: “What? We have leaders in Congress? You mean like those Senators that lead in who received the most political contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?”)
There is a spirit of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans and between Congress and this administration. (“In other words, all government entities have banded together to rape and pillage the common citizens in massive proportions.”) In that spirit, I’ve invited Senators McCain and Obama to join congressional leaders of both parties at the White House tomorrow to help speed our discussions toward a bipartisan bill. ("...that will take about 5 full generations to be paid off.")
I know that an economic rescue package will present a tough vote for many members of Congress. It is difficult to pass a bill that commits so much of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. ("Surprise… surprise… You may think there is more money left over out here in middle America . You are sooooo wrong, Mr. Bush. There is nothing left. You have taken it all. Now if you want to take our homes, our cars, our retirement accounts, our savings accounts, then say so. At least that would be honest of you.")
I also understand the frustration of responsible Americans who pay their mortgages on time, file their tax returns every April 15th, and are reluctant to pay the cost of excesses on Wall Street. ("Frustration? Not the right word. How about rage? How about total disgust at this impossible condition that you are trying to hang around our necks? How about displaying leadership here pal? How about you, Mr. President and all other politicians and your government bureaucrats take all of your salaries that are currently draining the hard-earned monies that have been illegally stolen from the tax-payers and you guys give everything you have and then come back to us and see if that makes a difference? How about you stop all other spending on unnecessary government programs and use that to stem the tide of this tidal wave of retribution from decades of abusive governmental waste and idiotic governmental policies?")
But given the situation we are facing, not passing a bill now would cost these Americans much more later. ("Awww… you’re just saying that to scare us into believing your lies.")
Many Americans are asking, how would a rescue plan work? ("No we are not. We are saying that it won’t work. There is no way that the government can pull this one out of the hat… It is the government after all.") After much discussion, there’s now widespread agreement on the principles such a plan would include. ("Widespread agreement among politicians, government bureaucrats and bankers who found themselves in a bind! Did you actually go out and ask how the common man feels about having his income reduced just because of your stupid banking friends made some really dumb mistakes?")
It would remove the risk posed by the troubled assets, including mortgage-backed securities, now clogging the financial system. ("And you are throwing the risks into our laps!!!!") This would free banks to resume the flow of credit to American families and businesses. (“This will free banks up to resume the thievery, once more, of American families and businesses.”)
Any rescue plan should also be designed to ensure that taxpayers are protected. ("How can you say that? I wasn’t born yesterday. I know a tax is a tax. Just how stupid do you really think we are?") It should welcome the participation of financial institutions, large and small. It should make certain that failed executives do not receive a windfall from your tax dollars. ("Can you guarantee that? But, then again, when can the government really guarantee anything?")
It should establish a bipartisan board to oversee the plan’s implementation, and it should be enacted as soon as possible. (“Open up your wallets America ! Give us all your remaining cash!”)
In close consultation with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson ("Former CEO of Goldman Sachs"), Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke ("criminal mastermind of the Big Heist of 2008"), and SEC Chairman Chris Cox ("willing accomplice to the Big Heist of 2008"), I announced a plan on Friday. ("It’s a good thing that you gave us advance warning to pre-position ourselves and get ready for the pain that is forthcoming.")
First, the plan is big enough to solve a serious problem. ("…and big enough to sink a nation into permanent debt.") Under our proposal, the federal government would put up to $700 billion taxpayer dollars on the line to purchase troubled assets that are clogging the financial system.
In the short term, this will free up banks to resume the flow of credit to American families and businesses, and this will help our economy grow. (“In the short term, full scale greed will resume to unimpeded levels once more.”)
Second, as markets have lost confidence in mortgage-backed securities, their prices have dropped sharply, yet the value of many of these assets will likely be higher than their current price, because the vast majority of Americans will ultimately pay off their mortgages. ("…in about 30 years, this process of paying off mortgages may begin. ")
The government is the one institution with the patience and resources to buy these assets at their current low prices and hold them until markets return to normal. (“The government is the one institution that can forcefully hijack the taxpayers’ money to fund such a boondoggle.”)
And when that happens, money will flow back to the Treasury as these assets are sold, and we expect that much, if not all, of the tax dollars we invest will be paid back. (“But don’t expect that any of the citizens will get their money back. The government will certainly re-invest any monies received from this heist to fund other governmental entitlements…. if there is any left over.”)
The final question is, what does this mean for your economic future? (“DOOM!!!!! DESTRUCTION OF THE ECONOMY!!!! RECESSION!!! DEPRESSION!!!”) Well, the primary steps — purpose of the steps I’ve outlined tonight is to safeguard the financial security of American workers, and families, and small businesses. ("Not really. This is only to ensure that the bankers can get their money and the citizens will be permanently burdened with the results of their foolish and greedy criminal activities.") The federal government also continues to enforce laws and regulations protecting your money. (“The federal government continues to fashion and enact immoral and illegal laws that amount to ‘LEGAL PLUNDER’.”)
The Treasury Department recently offered government insurance for money market mutual funds. ("And now the FDIC has come to the government food trough to consume its fair share of the plundered loot… to the tune of another $150 billion.") And through the FDIC, every savings account, checking account, and certificate of deposit is insured by the federal government for up to $100,000. ("And the FDIC will guarantee that all these accounts will be refunded as stated in the fine print….. 99 YEARS!!!")
The FDIC has been in existence for 75 years, and no one has ever lost a penny on an insured deposit, and this will not change. ("…except for those who had more than the proposed levels, even though bankers usually twisted the facts to entice many citizens to store more of their money in the bank accounts.")
Once this crisis is resolved, there will be time to update our financial regulatory structures. (“This crisis will not be solved until everyone is broke. When everyone is penniless, homeless and waiting in bread lines at the nearest government run entitlement center, then and only then will this crisis be solved. Yes!!! When all citizens are fully enslaved, then the crisis will be deemed over.”) Our 21st-century global economy remains regulated largely by outdated 20th-century laws. (“Now we need new laws to more expeditiously and efficiently strip the citizens’ of their hard earned wages.”)
Recently, we’ve seen how one company can grow so large that its failure jeopardizes the entire financial system. ("‘Too big to fail’ was their ace-in-the-hole excuse to use. I say let them fail. It will serve them right.")
Earlier this year, Secretary Paulson ("former Goldman Sachs CEO and government mafia lieutenant") proposed a blueprint that would modernize our financial regulations. (“He hatched a plan to capture all the power.”) For example, the Federal Reserve would be authorized to take a closer look at the operations of companies across the financial spectrum and ensure that their practices do not threaten overall financial stability. "Big Brother is watching!")
There are other good ideas, and members of Congress should consider them. As they do, they must ensure that efforts to regulate Wall Street do not end up hampering our economy’s ability to grow. ("Once the Fed and the Treasury Dept. started orchestrating buy-outs on their nationalizing of industries, the die was cast we started down the slippery slope.")
In the long run, Americans have good reason to be confident in our economic strength. ("In the long run, Americans have good reason to distrust anything that the government does.") Despite corrections in the marketplace and instances of abuse, democratic capitalism is the best system ever devised. ("This is not democratic capitalism. This is SOCIALISM.. PURE AND SIMPLE SOCIALISM!")
It has unleashed the talents and the productivity and entrepreneurial spirit of our citizens. ("not to mention the loosing of the banking hounds to take more risky behavior knowing that they will be rewarded if they run into trouble.") It has made this country the best place in the world to invest and do business. ("As long as bad behavior is rewarded, bad behavior will continue and flourish. And it gives our economy the flexibility and resilience to absorb shocks, adjust, and bounce back. (“And it gives our economy the ability to die more readily… to die more permanently.”)
Our economy is facing a moment of great challenge, ("you bet ya it is") but we’ve overcome tough challenges before, and we will overcome this one. ("Are you sure George? Never in our history has such a burden been placed upon our society. Never in our history has such incompetence been demonstrated. Never in our history has the challenge.")
I know that Americans sometimes get discouraged by the tone in Washington and the seemingly endless partisan struggles, yet history has shown that, in times of real trial, elected officials rise to the occasion. ("Are you saying that they are really, really patriotic? Because if you are, then why do we want to march on Washington all other times with our pitchforks and baseball bats and want to chase them out of town?")
And together we will show the world once again what kind of country America is: a nation that tackles problems head on, where leaders come together to meet great tests, and where people of every background can work hard, develop their talents, and realize their dreams. ("...a nation that keeps putting bonehead, partisan, greedy and corrupt politicians back into positions of power because they are able to promise so much to so many unfortunate fools that believe that they are really going to be helped by these idiots.")
Thank you for listening. May God bless you.
... ("May God Help Us All!")
You can see all of T. L. Farlow's columns at The Farlow Journal.