I am no economist. I don't pretend to be. In fact, I don't fully understand the implications of this "financial crisis". Sure I semi, quasi understand the root causes, how we got where we are...but I don't understand how we arrive at the conclusion that the nation will fail if we don't hand this money over to Wall Street. Economics aren't my strong suit.
In all truth, I am better off right now during this down turn than I have been at any other point in time. (Knock on wood). I have about enough money saved to pay a month's bills if something happened to me. Granted, that isn't a lot--but it is more than I have ever had in my bank account at one time since college and overage checks. My credit card balances are down, and most of them are nearly paid off. In fact COULD be paid off if I wanted to spend my "cushion" on them. I know a lot of people are not in my situation, though. I know the struggle to pay bills, feed and clothe yourself, buy gas and get to work. I am not that far removed. I also know how easy it could be to manipulate someone who lives in constant stress over paying the bills.
This is a disaster.
This is the economic Pearl Harbor.
Life as we know it is in danger.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
My big concern with being thrown a $700 billion tax bill without thorough explanation is that the government is trying to scare us into going along with its erroneous plans one more time. If they use enough scary language, big words, negative associations, Americans will be too frightened of the consequences of NOT going along with this plan to question it. I am tired of the use of fear for controlling purposes. Americans have gradually been trained to turn off their brains, be patriotic, don't ask questions--do what we say "Or else...(insert something terrible)..."
When it comes to money and finances, when will we stop supporting the top-down idea? Why do the people who make the most money always get the most benefit? If I wracked up $700 billion dollars of debt and couldn't fix my finances, my life was going to crash and burn, and I would no longer be able to lend lunch money to Geneva--would the government swoop in and bail me out, too? I know my personal finances don't have the overarching effect that the current crisis does, but seriously...why is it my responsibility to pay $2,000 in extra taxes to purchase someone else's foreclosed home? Again, I am probably missing the point or details, but at least I am thinking.
I have proposed my own solution. I will establish a taxpayer bailout fund. Let's gather the assets of the top ten executives of every single one of these failing companies. Tax everything they own, all their investments, all their savings, everything...at a rate of 99%. Divert funding from faith based initiatives into the taxpayer bailout fund. Divert funding from the war on drugs into my new account. Suspend the president's salary, take back the last 8 years of it and tax his investments, too--just because he has been in denial. Put those pennies in the fund. Tax all the oil profits of the last 5 years at a rate of 80% and send that to the fund. Bring home the troops and send the money for the Iraq war into the taxpayer bail out fund. After we have accumulated the money we have lost due to lies, abuse, price gouging, and corporate greed...redistribute it amongst all of the Americans who make less than $250,000/year. Pay off half the debt (or whatever number can feasibly be paid) of every one of these people--starting with those who are having trouble with their mortgage. Give the American people a check, with the only restriction that is has to be used toward existing debt. Voila! Suddenly every middle class American has the ability to spend more money per month when they don't have to worry so much about the bills. All this extra money will stimulate the economy. The perpetrators of the entire mess will now see what it is like to scrape by and worry about how you will pay for your home, the troops will be home and out of danger (at least for now), and useless spending on fruitless activities will be reduced. This plan works in my fantasy world.
I would have no problem paying extra taxes if it were for the benefit of the people. An extra two grand to fund healthcare for everyone, improve infrastructure, better our education system, develop alternative energy sources and make them affordable, make college education more accessible, or any number of social programs to make life easier and less stressful. I just have an issue paying for a problem that I didn't create and that may not even benefit me if this solution doesn't work.
Maybe I need a greater understanding or more education on why this is the best course of action. Really though, I just feel like it's another doom and gloom scheme designed to beat us into total submission.