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it is still a lot of money…

$700 Billion, $700 Billion, $700 Billion.  Now matter how often I say it, that is still a lot of money.  Maybe if I try $.7 Trillion, $.7 Trillion, $.7 Trillion. Yeah, that’s not as bad, but it is still a lot of money.

Let’s see, about a week ago the Bush administration proposed buying up a lot of ‘toxic’ debt from various institutions to help free up the engine of the US economy. We, the American People, are being asked to bail out a bunch of de-regulated institutions who went and did what the lapsed regulations were meant to prevent.  $700 Billion. And we are being asked to blindly follow the dictates of the very people who created this mess and to decide very quickly, like by tomorrow, before we even know what the full scope of the problem is.  $700 Billion. I don’t think so.

But let’s say the idiots in Congress decide to further mortgage the future and attempt some sort of bailout. I would suggest that we don’t pay more that $.10 on the $1, and that we don’t buy any derivatives*. This purchase should only limited to base mortgage securities.  With Fannie Mae, et. al. we already have half the mortgages in the country.  Then once we have all these sub-prime mortgages, we can renegotiate with the original mortgage holder for $.50 on the $1.  And We, The People, can make a bit of profit and maybe let folks keep their homes.  Of course, the drawback is that it will take 30+ years to close the books on this.  Maybe once we have restructured all these mortgages from sub-prime to prime, we can bundle them up as security instruments and sell them back to the free marketplace?

And we will take our national debt from $9.7 Trillion to $10.4 Trillion. When you say it that way, maybe it isn’t a lot of money. Oh, but wait, don’t we still have another $400 billion to add to the debt in the next budget? $10.8 Trillion – let’s round it out to $11 Trillion –  we can live with that.

Or maybe the institutions that are going to sell these securities to us at $.10 on the $1 can avoid the middle-man, take the write-offs and renegotiate with the mortgage holders directly for $.50 on the $1.

*Whatever we do, we should not buy derivatives, at least not until a majority of the country has passed an introductory calculus course.

“The Four Freedoms”

The essential human freedoms don’t change over time, driven by partisan politics. They are a constant basic foundation of our social fabric.

Please don’t forget them.

American Rhetoric: Franklin D. Roosevelt — “The Four Freedoms”

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called “new order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

To that new order we oppose the greater conception — the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.