Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What needs to be done NOW

It’s clear at this point that things are bad and getting worse in our economy. The bail-out package that was touted by The White House and Congress as the way to fix our economy has had little, if any effect. While we have been told that it will open credit markets, the evidence we have right now is that, for individuals, it did nothing of the sort. Last week mortgage rates increased by 0.75 points. That is what we call a tightening of the credit market, not an opening of it.

So, giving hundreds of billions of dollars to big corporations and rich people didn’t trickle down. Who would have expected that? Considering roughly 75% of the U.S. population was against this bail-out package, I’d say most people.

Here’s the rough spot in all of this. We are right at the end of an election cycle. Politicians really don’t want to pay attention to any of this until late January, after the break and the inauguration of the new President. However, there is more than enough time between now and inauguration day for a person to lose their home through foreclosure. Actually, there’s more than enough time for quite a few people to lose their homes this way, possibly tens of thousands. So Congress just wants the kids to wait while the grown-ups take care of business-as-usual. But this is at the same time that the Democrats, whom I consider the good guys, are in position to win a veto-proof, filibuster-proof, majority in both houses. I would like to see this happen.

I just don’t want to see this happen at the same time they let a whole lot of people get thrown out in the street. In the interest of full disclosure, my family could be included in with those who lose their homes.

We need to get the attention of those in Congress and get them on this issue right now. We really can’t wait until a new President is in office. We let the Bush White House have their bail-out of the rich, and it’s not helping. We need to get a bail-out of the middle-class going now. This probably means we need to get in a foreclosure freeze while we debate the best way to help out people with these kinds of mortgages. But we must debate it and get it passed quickly. We can’t simply freeze the foreclosures and let it stay that way until Congress can get around to debating it in January. That will only push more banks into failure. If the Republicans refuse to let this happen, make sure everyone in the known universe knows that they won’t let it happen. Scream it to the hills, let them suffer and lose their seats in Congress.

In order to get their attention on this issue, we are going to have to call and email our Congressional Representatives and Senators pretty much constantly. We should also be calling up our news organizations, including local and national TV and newspapers. We can’t let them think that this news cycle is over, or nobody will pay attention to it until it is too late.

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