Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Peeking under the TARP

Remember when Congress passed that outrageous corporate-bailout bill? It's being called the "Troubled Asset Relief Program," or TARP, the greatest act of socialized capitalism in American history.

Well, if the mere mention of "$700 billion" spikes your blood pressure, you might want to stop reading here.

The folks over at Bloomberg, like many of us, noticed that each day seems to bring news of yet another corporation benefiting from our government's ad hoc largesse, so reporters Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry decided to add up the numbers. Here's what they came up with: $7.76 trillion.

That's not a misprint. It is, in fact, more than ten times what Congress approved, an amount equivalent to 50% of everything that the U.S. produces in a year. It's also more than 25 times what it would take to pay off every red cent of individual Americans' bad mortgages and consumer debt.

Most important, it's nearly eight trillion dollars of our money, yours and mine. And this scatter-shot "fix" won't fix a damned thing.

Our elected representatives defied the will of The People in approving the original TARP, and now the Treasury and the Fed are defying an oblivious Congress as they throw billions upon borrowed billions at companies deemed "too big to fail."

It's time for this nation's biggest corporation to rise up and assert its own defiance. As citizens and voters, consumers and debtors, policyholders and shareholders, we have the power to redirect benefits paid for by The People, to The People.

Our inept government can no longer be allowed to be confident in our consent. Barons and bastions of corporate greed must be made to groan under a burden that we apply.

We, The People, can change the rules of American commerce and governance -- to be more accurate, we have the power to restore the rules. In doing so, we can reclaim our economy and our nation.

We must choose, we must act and we must persevere -- no blinking.