The Financial Mess and the GOP

 

When we reflect on how we arrived at the current financial crisis, it is necessary to look back to the time of the Clinton Administration. Clinton admits he shouldn’t have signed the repeal of the Glass-Steagall regulation act proposed by the Republican Congress. The major Proponent for repealing legislation that regulated the financial markets was the bank lobbyist, campaign advisor and personal confidant for Senator John McCain; former Senator Phil Gramm of Texas.
This “Guy” Gramm is really a “wonder Boy” when it comes to helping out the “Big Boys”. In 2000 he was responsible for passage of “The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000”, also called
the “Enron Loophole Act”. Many critics blame this act for the “Enron scandal”. Gramm is the Vice chairman of UBS Investment Bank based in Switzerland. So many pension plans got robbed
by the Enron debacle.

We ordinary citizens do not get all the information we should about money and finance because
we are too busy just making a living. Some of
us are lucky enough to be able to save a “Buck” now and again. Most of us have to borrow and
pay out by the month. Therefore, we can’t keep up with the Gramm’s and the McCain’s because we can’t afford 13 Cars and 9 houses. It’s easy to
see how the Big Money Republicans, can lose sight of how the rest of us live. We don’t understand some of the fine print in the mortgage contracts and so we are easy prey for the unscrupulous banker, who’s only interested is
his bottom line.

Lobbyists walk the halls daily in our capitol buildings. Most are Lawyers and are paid handsomely for their efforts to influence legislation and regulations both in Washington and Jefferson City. Not all Lobbyists are “Shysters”. Some are very informed and do actually help to inform the Legislators and Congress about issues. The ones to watch are those that are passing out “Big Bucks”. Rest assured they will be back and want to own you and reap the favors they think you owe them.

The Republicans have campaigned for at least 28 years on deregulating the economy. Therefore, the GOP rightly deserves the blame for the majority of the financial problems and the “Depression” of today. The Republicans were in control of Congress from the second half of Clintons’ second term: from 1998 until

2006.  From 2000 for 6 consecutive years you had Bush and a Republican controlled Congress. The current Democrat controlled Congress still does not have a veto proof majority. In other words, if the Democrats try to fix the problems with legislation and Bush vetoes the bill they do not have the votes to override his veto. Without the votes any legislation they might pass is dead.

During this time the Republicans have amassed the largest US debt in history. The War in Iraq is costing the taxpayers $10 Billion per month (so we are told).
Our bail-out will cost a whopping $750 Billion; but some are saying over a Trillion. Our Great-Great Grand children will be paying the debt. I deplore passing this obscene record debt down to my descendents.

 

 

 

 

When we came to work today what did we see: more big corporations asking for taxpayer dollars. Now the “Big Three” Auto makers got a loan. Was it because of their stupidity? Why not get the money if everyone else is getting it? It didn’t take a genius to see we needed fuel efficient Hybrid cars. It also does not take a genius to line up for a corporate dole.

Some of the people in our own state running for office are the big spenders. Hulshof was in Congress when all the debt was being amassed. He wants to call himself a conservative; this is BS. The Republicans can claim conservatism no more.
Kinder, Jetton and Blunt and all the GOP Representatives and Senators also have their share of the blame too. In the last session of the Missouri Legislature, the Republican controlled Legislature (House and Senate) repealed campaign spending limits. Shortly after the limits were repealed, Kinder took $300,000.00 from three members of one family. What were they promised? Do they want a Missouri Bail-out? This year is not unique: the same thing happened four years ago. Missouri was bought by the GOP! They constantly talk about not raising taxes yet they take more money away from public schools and give it to private schools. All of us should recognize that any money taken from public schools will cause higher taxes. Our school districts are taxing districts. Your property taxes go to maintain your schools. If the public school money is continually taken away by these GOP private and charter school fanatics, your taxes will go up. Hulshof is part of this same crowd.
Regulatory agencies and departments receive money from the budgets. When departments fail to receive enough money to run their operations they add fees and hidden costs; we end up paying.
Missouri and the Nation need a return to civility, honesty and responsible leaders. I remember when Harry Truman coined the phrase “The buck stops here.” We must begin, as citizens, to take more interest in our government at all levels. We must
find the time to devote on behalf of our friends and neighbors. If we do not we could lose all our freedoms. We have already lost some of our freedoms promised under the Bill of Rights due to the Patriot Act. Politics affects our lives 24-7: politics affects the streets we drive on, the water we drink and the privileges we have like driving, boating etc. Ben Franklin was asked, as he emerged from the Constitutional Convention, “What kind of a government will we have”? He answered, “A Republic, if you can keep it”.

Should my grand children ever ask, “Grandfather, what did you do to prevent this mess”? I don’t want to have to answer, “Nothing”.

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Email reply to:  jthoward@jerryhoward.com


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FORMER STATE SENATOR
        JERRY T. HOWARD