September 30, 2008

What Happened in Congress and What Should They do? - Plus Explaining the "Bailout"

It is a sad day we live in when our elected representatives to Congress cannot vote "appropriately" to help our country. As educators, I would hope that this could be a good lesson for your students.

When you are in a leadership position, you sometimes need to put the organization in front of yourself. The problem that I see with Congress (or at least the House of Representatives) is the constant need to put their reelection efforts in front of the country's interest. Not advocating anyone here, but isn't one of McCain's slogans "Country First"? Shouldn't the entire House of Representatives think about this?

I watched most of the debate this morning on C-Span prior to the vote on the financial bill, and I could not have been more embarrassed. Most of the Democrats came to the podium for their two minutes of face time to complain about the Bush administration, and the Republicans followed suit by complaining about the bill the Democrats had brought forward. Luckily, there were a few from both sides of the aisle that actually asked everyone to vote for the bill. They explained that it was not perfect, but the bill was much better than doing nothing.

Unfortunately, our Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, decided this was a great time to rant against the Bush administration and the Republicans...not the right time if you ask me. The Republicans are not without blame though, as 2/3 of them voted no. Final Tally - 205 to 228. Is this really the time to take a stand on principles?

I do understand wanting to defend your constituents and make sure that you are doing the right thing, but did the 777 point fall on the Dow maybe wake you up?

My Plan

My quick and easy plan is this...

  1. Get all the Representatives and Senators in one room - no media, no cameras, no recordings
  2. Explain it all - get to the basics - forget the extras - hammer out the details
  3. Write the bill - it could not be more than 10-15 pages
  4. Take it to the floor of the House, forget the debate, call a vote
  6. Take it immediately to the Senate
  7. No debate, call a vote
  9. Send it to the President and have it signed immediately

Man, look at that... From a bill to an act in just a few short steps. One to two days to get the whole thing done. I can just imagine the "I'm Just a Bill" song playing in the background.

If every single Representative and Senator votes "yea" for the bill, how are they really going to be chastised at home at reelection? "I put the good of the country first. There were 534 other members that also voted yes from all states and both parties. It may not be popular, but it was the right thing for the good of the country."

How is this so easy that they cannot understand it?

How the Bill Works

The absolute basic principle of the plan is simple. Here is a quick example using eBay -

I have $100 to spend. I go on-line to eBay searching for a baseball card. There are ten of the cards I want, and I buy the lowest priced one for $100 (the guy I pay can now go buy more cards). I get the card, and I contact 5 card dealers.

Option 1 - The highest price I get is $85. I just decide to hold it. Five years later, the guy is going in the Hall of Fame, and I sell it for $130. Now I made $30...

Option 2 - The highest price I get is $85. I need the cash, so I sell it. I lost $15, but I did get the $85.

This whole thing about how we are just adding $700 billion to the debt is ridiculous. Do you think we are going to buy $700 billion in mortgages that are backed by real property and not recover anything? The housing market will recover, the percentage of loans that default will remain low, and assets will appreciate.

I do not like the thought of "big government", but if it is for the good of the nation and economy, I can support it. I simply hold on to the historic principles of our founding fathers and believe that putting country before self is necessary.

Our elected officials promised us leadership and accountability in Congress - where is it?

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