I’m writing this Sunday evening when the bailout package has been finalized but not yet voted on. I’ve been stunned by the speed that this bailout has rushed through Congress, much like the Iraq war rushed through. I stopped and imagined for a minute what would happen if we had an all-hands massive push combining the executive branch and both parties in both houses of the legislative branch to enact:
- Meaningful healthcare reform
- Decisive actions to achieve energy independence in ten years
- A comprehensive and complete revision of the tax code, eliminating loopholes for lobbyist-inspired deductions and adding good ones, like tax credits for hiring Americans (for example)
- A massive effort to audit and slash wasteful spending across the board for the federal government.
You get the idea. The frustration is enough to make you grind your teeth to the bone, isn’t it?
All of this furious rush to save Wall Street should demonstrate to everyone at least one small bit of absolute truth about life in America today: the rich and powerful watch out for their own. The rest of us should learn that lesson and watch out for ourselves. If your Congressman votes for the bailout and you don’t like what you see in the final package, make sure you remember it come Election Day. Take your business away from companies if you feel they unfairly benefit. Don’t be passive if you don’t want to be. Imagine for a minute what would happen if we all stood up to punish this kind of excess just once. It might not be the disaster they want you to think it will be.