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How’s that Wall Street bailout going, you ask?
Well, several trillion tax dollars into it, treasury chief Timothy Geithner has told an oversight panel that “frankly, the results are mixed,” conceding that banks have “sharply reduced lending across the financial system,” thus holding back America’s economic recovery.
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The chairwoman of the panel then told Geithner that the public – ie, you and me – was not amused by this absurd lack of progress. “The [people’s] sense of fear and uncertainty has not gone away,” she noted, “but it’s been joined by a new sense of anger and frustration.”
She’s right about that! Good grief, they wreck our economy, take our money, still don’t make loans, and want even more of our money. Is there anything they could do to make us any angrier? Unfortunately, yes – and they’re doing it right now behind the scenes in Washington.
Senate Democrats have been pushing two sensible reform bills. One would give hard-hit homeowners a way to negotiate with banks to lower their monthly mortgage payment to an affordable level. This would let families keep their homes, help stabilize the housing market, and help our economy. The second bill would stop banks from gouging us with higher credit card fees, penalties, and interest rates.
But here comes – guess who? – the big banks, lobbying furiously to kill these two bills that would give us consumers a break from their greed. The weird part is this: despite Wall Street bankers being less popular than cancer, every single Republican in the senate – all 41 of them – have locked arms with the bankers in an all-out effort to kill the consumer bills.
It’s time to knock on the wooden heads of these Republicans – call the office of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and give him your two-cents worth: 202-224-2541.
“As bailout reserves dwindle results mixed, Geithner says,” Austin American Statesman, April 22, 2009.
“Banks Say Bills to Aid Consumers,” The New York Times, April 22, 2009.