Web Letters | The Nation

Backward Bailout > Letters

Web Letter

Once again, a big thanks to all those who represent us American taxpayers in Washington. Is there a "Check Your Brains" sign at the door up there? These companies have taken their profits, lived high on the hog, parachuted out of jobs with more money than most Americans will ever see. A trillion-dollar bailout amounts to over $4,000 for every American alive today. I teach where some families have never had $4,000 at one time their entire lives. My sixty students, age 12, will now owe $240,000 as a group to bail out these selfish, yet well-thought-of swindlers. How can I explain to my class that in bailing them out we're not taking their companies, we're just taking the part they can't make any money off of? It wouldn't make sense to a 12- year-old. Does it to you?

Barbara Hardy

Cherryvale, KS

Sep 21 2008 - 6:04pm

Web Letter

Dear Secretary Paulson, please stop bailing out failed companies Fannie May, Freddie Mac, and American International General. Let the chips fall where they may. I am tired of hearing about taxpayers having to foot the bill for bad decisions made by CEOs and financial experts who should have used better judgment. I would like some straight answers to what is driving these decisions to bail out one company vs. another. Why AIG? AIG is a Berkshire Hathaway company run by Warren Buffett. Let Warren Buffet figure out where to come up with $100 billion to shore up the corporate balance sheet.

Tom Falk

Centennial, CO

Sep 16 2008 - 9:36pm

Web Letter

You can acquire Fanny and Freddie under eminent domain, but you would have to compensate the private investors. If the government owns a controlling interest in these agencies/banks, it would have the same effect. It would be easier to bring back the "New Deal" regulatory acts concerning business practices and Wall Street in general. However, in order to completely fix the economy, we, as a nation, would have to control it. This means we have to pull out of the World Trade Organization and NAFTA-like treaties. Also, we would need tariff walls, behind which we could rebuild our industrial structures and the jobs that go with them. There is no American economy without well-paying American jobs that create disposable incomes to buy American products. Let's not forget protecting and supporting American agriculture. This not new stuff, but it is how we, as a nation, became an industrial nation and a world power. "Free trade" had nothing to do with it. This is the model for economic development in every country.

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Sep 15 2008 - 1:14pm

Web Letter

As Congress ceded its power to the administrative branch and deregulated and encouraged fast-track trade, even graduates in economics from East Overshoe University with a 2.0 average could tell that we were on our way down the tube. The man on the street who had just lost his job in manufacturing and was competing for a greeter job at Wal-Mart knew that we were on a fast track to disaster. Mario Cuomo--remember him?--told us that the Larry Kudlow economics was a joke, voodoo economics. We didn't listen and elected Reagan and Clinton, thinking we could all become neurosurgeons. We were sold a bill of goods by such illustrious names as Madeleine Albright, Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin and, my hero, Robert Reich. I recently watched an interview with Warren Buffett, another of my heroes, as he flew back from China after a multibillion-dollar deal for cheap labor. It is hard to feel sorry for the working poor at 40,000 feet in your private jet. Washington, DC, is broken, Wall Street is broken, and we will probably elect two administrators who are about to give us more of the same, just so we can all yell "amen" in church.


Caribou, ME

Sep 15 2008 - 9:16am

Web Letter

As America falls economically, politically and spiritually, the inherently corrupt ruling elite bleeds the middle class and crushes the under class, especially the long-suffering slave descendants who have suffered from centuries of ethnocide and forced assimilation. Neither liberals nor radicals have any viable strategy for healing the imploding American political economy, which Howard Zinn acknowledges as a "crumbling" empire. Neither will the installation of Obama as the new President salvage the new Titanic. If he deviates even slightly from the deranged ruling class's agenda, they will remove him.

The United States of America is simply reaping what she has sown throughout her entire life span, and coming face to face with the fears Thomas Jefferson expressed in his memoirs: "I tremble for my countrymen when I reflect that God is just." When millions of American voters allowed Bush to steal the presidency in 2000, they confirmed what Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois verified long ago: The USA is not the land of the free and the home of the brave; it is the land of the thief and the home of the slave. The sharpening conflict between the US government and Venezuela/Bolivia is just the prelude to a broader confrontation between a rapdily decaying empire and a rising nationalism in the Western Hemisphere, which has both the leverage and consciousness to help push the chief imperialist power into a very small, dark corner.

Malik Al-Arkam

Chicago, IL

Sep 13 2008 - 3:57pm

Web Letter

Oh, my aching ass.

"Instead of rescuing financial losers, the government ought to be devoting its heaviest resources to jump-starting the real economy."

The real economy contains a void, one where either the stolen money or else the nice newly purchased homes should be.

If we were examining the nation's economy as regards the war's effect upon it, the void would be the places where our returning soldiers' feet should be.

Cameron Jones

Indiana, PA

Sep 12 2008 - 9:35am

Web Letter

As a libertarian, I frequent this website to see what my sometimes better half (liberals) are thinking (I also frequent National Review to see what they are thinking as well). Typicall I halfway agree with most that is written on this site, but the writer of this article misses key points as to why the bailout needed to happen.

Primary reason: local communities will go buck-ass-naked bankrupt without the bailout. Here in Texas, all local taxes are financed through property tax. Lets say the current value of a county is 3,000 lots times a median value of $100,000 per lot for a total value of $300 million. Property tax is 3 percent, so the local budget is $9 million dollars. Without the bailout, reduced credit causes the property values to absolutely plummet; current estimates put the fall anywhere from 30 to 50 percent. Lets say they fall 50 percent; that reduces a local budget from $9 million to $4.5 million. That is a recipe for disaster.

Also, viewpoints range widely on the extent of the bailout. The CBO puts the bailout at $25 billion, I believe (then again, the CBO bailout is beyond ridiculous, because it doesn't take into account the fall of property values). The nightmare is the 50 percent drop. Two trillion dollars, according to one economist I've read. The short version is that we don't have any clue how big the bailout will be.

As to how to stimulate the economy, that's "above my paygrade." But to label the bailout irresponsible shows a lack of understanding of the true situation.

Jeffrey Davis

Dallas, TX

Sep 12 2008 - 2:07am

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.