Friday, October 03, 2008

An Open Letter to Congress

Dear Elected Officials:

I acknowledge the need for an economic recovery plan with the implicit understanding that some drastic action needed to be taken, as well as therecognition that what happens on Wall Street affects what happens on Main Street.

That said, the provision which boosts FDIC coverage on individual, and small business, bank accounts is little more than a placebo, and a dangerous one at that when considering that the U.S. Treasury will have to make good on any default over the roughly $45 billion currently in theFDIC fund. Thanks to the Iraq war which costs, in 5 months, what the FDIC now has in its fund, the Treasury is depleted, and we are experiencing record deficits.

As far as I understand the proposal, now passed, which is designed to impact executives' golden parachutes, it appears to me to be little more than a slap on the wrist in that executive severance packages will merely be deferred, and not denied.

Most importantly of all, it's time for our government to overcome its addiction to the concept of immunity which is implicit in the bailout. The idea that banks and mortgage companies, stock brokers, and entrepreneurs, should be saved from the same dire fate as the average working family who lose their home when they default on a bank loan is one that is offensive to those who still hold to the illusion of economic opportunity in America.

That a plan like this, which won such ardent support from a President who insists that he supports what he calls "free enterprise," was allowed to pass Congress shows just how high octane fear can be. Indeed, this President does not support "free enterprise." Enterprise under George W. Bush has been a very costly affair. Is it any wonder that three quarters of Americans disapprove of leadership that rewards what Franklin D. Roosevelt called the "banksters" while, at the same time, turning the working class into the working poor.

Financial security is a crucial issue in this age of global instability, but economic equity will prove to be the core issue of our era. It's time that Congress, and our leaders, rescue the American Dream which is currently on life support.

Never trust anyone who tells you that greed comes with an expiration date.