Archive for the ‘Economic Justice’ Category

It’s Time For Some Action

January 3, 2009

I downloaded the TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) application form the other day. For those who aren’t familiar, TARP was established following the passage of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which authorized the United States Department of the Treasury to dispense over 700 billion of our tax dollars to the nation’s banks & other financial institutions. The TARP form is TWO PAGES LONG. The first page requests the applicant’s contact info. The second basically asks, “Okay, how much money do you have & how much do you want?” I underwent more scrutiny when I filled out an application for my Blockbuster card.

Approximately $150 billion of this money has been distributed. A congressional audit revealed that the Bush administration hasn’t regulated the disbursement of the money. The Government Accountability Office blasted the Treasury for its failure to implement safeguards or a method for measuring TARP’s effectiveness. No application for funds has been denied. This sounds familiar; banks operating with no regulation…Isn’t this how the country got into this mess? Elizabeth Warren, who was appointed by Congress to oversee the bailout process, says that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson won’t explain how the money is being used nor will he divulge what his overall strategy is.

Our options at this point are quite simple. We can continue to watch the crooks who created this mess throw our tax money into an incinerator as folks lose their jobs & homes, or we can demand that the people receive relief from the recession that has engulfed this country. Ms. Warren stated in an MSNBC interview that the bailout isn’t going to help individuals whose houses are going into foreclosure & that one out of seven Americans will lose their homes within the next couple of years. She went on to say that a better use of the bailout money would be to assist homeowners directly by refinancing their loans.

We’ve got to do more than grumble to each other about how we’re getting the shaft. It’s time to hold Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell & state legislators accountable. Politicians work for us. We must tell them what they don’t want to hear, which is that human services should be spared from state budget cuts & Connecticut’s wealthy residents & corporations must be subjected to tax increases, in order to boost state revenue.
The middle class should receive a tax cut, so that folks will have more money to spend & consequently stimulate the economy. That’s our dough that they’re tossing around. It’s time for us to have a say about where it’s going.

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