As we've continued to monitor the bailout of banks, insurance companies, and now the automobile industry, it truly does make one wonder: where does it end?
I remain heartened by the voting of Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, South Dakota's at-large U.S. Representative, who seems to "get it" regarding proposed bailouts. In any event, she is smart enough to know that a huge number of her constituents are appalled at the notion of constantly going to the taxpayers to "solve" problems created largely by these industries themselves. Once again, she has wisely voted to reject a bailout, despite her colleagues passing the $14 billion package.
Consumers have not been entirely innocent in this nonsense. Many Americans have bought in to the notion that we are "entitled" to houses we can't afford, luxury cars that say more about who we want to be than who we are, and that personal responsibility is a cute notion -- but outdated.
We all share some responsibility for our national financial woes. Some more than others. I am amazed at how quickly the media has glossed over the conflicts of interest involving key politicians who've enjoyed cozy relationships and profitable perks from the industries they now want to bail out. That would be a cue for these two characters: U.S. Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who wields too much unchecked power as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.
While they feign making things tough for their wealthy friends in finance and the monied moguls back in Detroit, their own complicity with those screaming for bailouts is deafening.
Let us hope that the "plain folks" back in their Massachusetts and Connecticut districts will one day soon overcome the power and influence of monied interests and send these two bureaucrats packing. They've fed at the public trough -- without much accountablity -- far too long.
We remain hopeful that the Senate will do an about face from its previous position on bailouts and banish the idea of an auto industry bailout to where it belongs -- the auto junkyard.