I find three things missing in all the talk about the financial bail-out. Although there is endless acknowledgement that we, the taxpayers, will be responsible for having to bail Wall Street out of a mess that they clearly made, there has not been one apology to us. Not in Bush's speech last night, nor in Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's, nor from any of the failing Wall Street firms', Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae's, CEO's. And none of the pundits even mentions this lack. Am I the only one who "hears" this gap as a silence that deafens? Am I the only one who thinks it's the epitome of boorishness and incivility to blame, blame, blame, yet never offer a whisper of apology to us, the people who will have to clean up the mess?
And in these words "have to," above. Isn't that the way it is? And yet suddenly we're hearing all kinds of talk as if it's up to us. Talk like: The American people should get some quid pro quo for their money. They should demand more oversight of financial markets, an investigation of who got us into this mess, and no more golden parachutes for executives of failing firms. So it seems there's another glaring omission, another elephant in the livingroom: that we have no choice. We will be taxed to clean up the mess, just like we were in the late '80's with the savings and loan debacle. And yet we're being advised on what we should demand of lawmakers. Hmmmm.
And another omission in all the talk of the financial meltdown is The Iraq War. Doesn't the fact that the U.S. treasury, after nationalizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and rescuing AIG, must now turn to the taxpayers to bail out the rest of Wall Street, have something to do with the billions of dollars that have been streaming out of this country since we invaded Iraq? Doesn't it stand to reason that we would have had some kind of a cushion against this bail-out if not for the war?
If I'm wrong, I'd love to know. Just let's talk about this possibility, get it out in the open.
And, as usual, it's not enough to rant and rave here on a blog. I've now got to write to my congresspeople, which is what I recommend to any of you who feel these and undoubtedly more glaring gaps in recent public discourse.