Disgusted. Worried. Out of control. Fed up. I feel all of these the day after the people we voted into office passed the largest bail-out in American history; almost a trillion dollars laden with pork. I won't debate the merits of passing this repugnant bill, or whether more palatable alternatives could have been sought. It is a Done Deal, and we, the taxpayers, and our children, and our children's children, have been burdened with something the size and ramifications of which we cannot even begin to comprehend. No, my focus is on holding accountable those who caused this mess in the first place.
There are many villains whose actions resulted in this debacle, a Perfect Storm of corruption, greed, and utter denial. There are the Wall Street Fat Cats, who enriched themselves at the cost of their shareholders, and who are still sitting pretty on their huge piles of cash. There are the leaders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who changed the rules determining their compensation packages so that the more mortgage business they pulled in, whether good or bad, the bigger their personal pay load. There are ordinary Americans, who lived in denial, above their means, and bought houses and cars and flat screen TV's that they simply could not afford, and thought the band would continue to play on and on. And there are our Representatives in the House and Senate, who went to Washington to serve us, and instead, continously betrayed us, their constituents. The corruption and back room deals, the lobbying and pork, and the arrogance of the "We know better than you" attitude. It is unconsionable, and we do our best trying to get though our hectic days as they trample all over us, confident in the fact that we are not paying attention. Until it hits us head-on like a Mack Truck, as it has these past few weeks.
What can we do? We are left feeling powerless . We cannot control Wall Street or CEO greed. We cannot control our neighbors' fiscal irresponsibility. We cannot demand that the FBI investigate who did what and when. The web of responsibilty for this mess is unspeakably tangled. Congress promises to investigate, but guess who will be in charge of the investigations? The very Congressional leaders who benefited most from the crooks with whom they danced our futures away. Do you think it is likely that the most egregious parties will be held responsible? I think not. Not while the Inmates are running the Asylum.
A recent poll showed that 98% of Americans feel that Congress needs to be reformed. The last group of people to unite Americans so resoundingly flew planes into our buildings. Then, with One Voice, we said "Enough!". We went after the criminals with military weapons, and the fight goes on. We are once again faced with an unimaginably frightening challenge, the soundness of our economy and futures of our families, but this time, the criminals come from within. Once again, with One Voice, we must say "Enough!". Only this time, our weapon of choice is the most powerful one of all, the one which our founding fathers bestowed upon us; our Vote.
As Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans or Independents, we need to root out the corruption at its source. Congress has become a den of thieves, and make no mistake, ALL parties bear responsibilty. We must Send Them a Message with this election and VOTE OUT EVERY INCUMBENT in Washington. No partisanship. No "But I like my guy" or "He's been in office for many years and does good things for our state". If he's been in office for a long time, he had plenty of time to Stop the Nonsense, and he did not. He became part of the problem. If you cost your company 8% of it's gross earnings for the year through incompetence or corruption, you would be fired. Period. That's approximately the amount of our GDP that the bailout equals. These people will not take us, their constituents, seriously, until we tell them, "You're fired!". Perhaps then, the remaining Representatives and Senators will recognize that they must look out for OUR interests, not their own. History tells us that rampant, uncontrolled government corruption preceded the fall of the Roman Empire, whose principles our founding fathers used to forge our democracy. Use the power of your vote to say "Enough!" and save us and this country from the snakes lying within.