Finding Out Bailout Details

Saturday, November 22, 2008, AM | Leave Comment

To reminisce – I always have problems with that word, English not being my first language. That means “to recollect and tell of past experiences or events” – you know the last couple of months, so much has happened. Treasury Secretary, Mr. Paulson asked Congress to give him $700,000,000,000.00. A part of that money, probably $350,000,000,000.00, give and take a few billions, was given to the banks.

Now, I think we all share the blame for some banks failure. The reason is that we kept spending “on things we didn’t need, with money we didn’t have and to impress people we never liked in the first place. – Mary Ellen Edmunds”

Mary said three things. The second one is we buy things with money we don’t have. So, most people borrowed that money from banks and kept borrowing it without ever thinking they had to return that money. If we, as individuals, keep lending money to others, a time will eventually come that we will say to the borrowers: “Hey! we ain’t got no more money.”

Borrowing is not something bad. It is just that we have to return it by a mutually agreed upon date. When we borrow money, we are renting it and everything we rent, we use it but one day we have to give it back to the owner.

Now, there is some $350 billion left over – whenever I hear the words “left over”, it reminds me of the turkey dinner left over. But $350 billion is no turkey. It looks like it’s all for grabs. GM wants a part of it, Ford wants a part of it, Chrysler wants a part of it. My neighbor wants a part of it.

But, the problem with that is that we didn’t have anything to do with the auto companies potential failures. Well! Maybe we did have something to do with it. We didn’t buy what they built.

The Detroit auto folks, the big shots, remind me of an engineer who said: “I will build a super-duper machine that will be the fastest, most powerful and most everything in the world.” The marketing guy, sitting next to him in the meeting, said: “Do you have anyone in mind who will buy it?” The engineer said: “People would buy it. If they don’t buy it, it’s their problem.”

So the big three auto executives’ attitude never changed. They had the same mentality as that of the engineer. They still do and looks like they always will.

I got carried away a little. My question is “Do we have to know about the bailout details?” They keep telling us, I don’t really know who “they” are, the bailout money is taxpayers’ money. I am a taxpayer. Is my money a part of the deal? Do I have the right to ask the government for details? Just what everyone is getting. You know the BIG picture.

And where is that money kept? Is $700 billion really somewhere in physical shape like dollar bills that people can touch and feel? Or is it just a number we so very often see on the screen? If it is in physical shape, then where did it come from? Is the Treasury busy printing that money?

What do you think?

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