26 June 2009

Sound Off Like You've Got A Pair

On 01 October 2008, the Senate rushed a new version of the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" to a vote (the original version being voted down in the House two days earlier). That passed the Senate, and on 03 October 2008 the House of Representatives accepted the Senate's ammendment, voted to sent it to the president, and President Bush signed the piece of legislation that gave us the TARP program (a.k.a. The $700 Billion Bailout). There was no time for members of Congress (or the American people) to read and fully digest the entire text of that legislation before it became law.

The DJIA closed at 10,325.38 on 03 October 2008, but that was the last time that it closed above 10,000 points; every single trading day in the nearly nine months since that legislation was signed has recorded a close below the 10,000 mark. It is ironic that the legislation, which was touted as necessary to rush through in order to save the U.S. econonmy, heralded the dawn of the sub-10,000 point Dow Jones Industrials.

In February of this year, Congress was going to save us again by rushing "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" to a vote. Again, there was no time before the vote for members of Congress or citizens to actually read the full text of the bill that eventually became law. One would have thought that our esteemed leaders in Washington, D.C. would have learned from the TARP fiasco that legislation that is deemed critical to the economic well-being of America should not be rushed into law without allowing everyone the opportunity to read the full text of the legislation.

The votes on this legislation, when compared to the votes by the same members in October of 2008, should have been an eye-opener to many Americans that Congress is more interested in political gamesmanship and being able to say that they provided a "gimme" to their district, than they are in actually doing what is right for the country.

For example, Congressman Pete Visclosky, a Democrat representing Indiana's 1st District, voted against the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008." Rep. Visclosky complained at the time that, "The Bush Administration is rushing us into spending $700 billion without stopping to think things through, because there just isn't time for thinking."

Fast forward to "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009." That bill had an even higher price tag on it than the TARP legislation did, and President Obama rushed the Congress into spending all that extra money without thinking it through by saying that the country could not "afford inaction or delay" on the economy at a time when people "are looking to Washington for action -- bold and swift." Did the esteemed Congressman from Indiana complain that the Obama Administration was rushing Congress into spending over $1 trillion dollars without stopping to think things through? No, he did not. Representative Visclosky voted for the bill.

Our legislators, Republicans and Democrats alike, seem to vote to appease either their party or special interests. Their votes rarely seem to be an attempt to advance what is in the best interest of the country as a whole.

Well, it appears that Congress is hell-bent on making that same mistake yet again. The amazing D.C. brain trust is now trying to rush through the "American Clean Energy and Security Act," once more allowing no time for anyone to read the entire text of the bill before it comes up for a vote. The environmental lobby wants their payback for political support, and Congress seems to be more than willing to screw the American people so that they can keep getting the cash from the greenies. The following is from The Sunlight Foundation:
This Friday, Congress plans to vote on a bill that could fundamentally alter the American economy, dramatically affect the climate, and have huge implications for our national security. But, right now no one knows what's in the bill or how it came to be.

Last week, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (the "Cap and Trade Energy Bill"), or H.R. 2454, was 946 pages long. Over the weekend, it ballooned to 1,201 pages with no explanation for how or why. It is currently only available online at the House Rules Committee, and is reported as "text of the bill to be introduced." This legislative maneuvering reminds us of the failure of Congress to make bills properly available before consideration. (More detailed explanation of this bill available via Sunlight's blog.) [...]

It's very likely that even many of those advocating for or against this legislation won't know what was inserted or what the final bill will be, since changes will be accepted right up until 9:30am on Thursday morning before an intended vote on Friday.
If the board of any company acted in the same rash and irresponsible manner that Congress does, and then that company started to falter and affect the livelihoods of many Americans, Congress would supeona those board members and hold hearings on the way that "big business" is hurting the ability of average Americans to provide for their families. Any member of the House that votes for this bill should be recalled, and put into forced labor for a term no less than the number of years that they have been milking the system by "serving" in the Congress.

We NEED to hold Congress accountable for their reckless actions, and to remind them that they work for us. Being a PUBLIC SERVANT should require them to actually SERVE the PUBLIC. See? It's right there in the title.

Get your heads wired to your tails, Congress, and actually do something in the service of the nation, not in the service of your own self-interests.

And the same goes for all of us, America. Get on the horn and let those dilettantes in Congress know that they are there to perform on our behalf, by our direction, and that they hold their positions in the halls of power only so long as we continue to permit them to do so.

I know that my patience, and the patience of most of the people that I know, is running extremely thin when in comes to the political leaders in our government. Time to make some noise so that Congress wakes the hell up and gets their act together.

I, for one, will not stand down, and I will not go quietly. Who is with me?


No comments: