Sunday, March 15, 2009
Hey, Dana Perino, Stop Harshing My Sugar Buzz!
Since I've been watching what I eat and losing weight, I've become very protective of the moments when I do sit down to enjoy a sugary snack. This morning, I made the mistake of watching former Bush White House Press Secretary Dana Perino on C-SPAN's Washington Journal while merrily dipping donuts in hot chocolate. Perino was holding forth on the topics of the day: foreclosures, bailouts, helping individual homeowners and AIG's new gabillion dollar bonus plan for its executives. In between bites, I was snorting derisively and making odd noises about fairness and nonsense.
During this discussion, Perino made two contrasting statements that not only left me shaking my head, but also made me laugh a little because they so beautifully summed up and illustrated the current Republican way of approaching economics.
When asked about the bill that would help individual homeowners readjust their mortgages so they could stay in their homes instead of being foreclosed upon, Perino defended the idea of fairness. With a statement that was pretty much along the lines of "Well, what if you've been someone who's played by the rules, put twenty percent down, bought within your means and paid your bills on time and now you're being asked to subsidize your neighbor who did everything wrong and got into trouble. That doesn't seem fair......"
It's an argument we've heard before. The bottom line is that this fix isn't going to be fair. And what's more, if you're in a community with lots of foreclosures, it doesn't matter how straight up and fiscally perfect you've been. Your property values are going to suffer, your community is affected by a decrease in property tax receipts and who wants to live around a bunch of empty houses, anyway?
But back to Perino's point - it's about being fair. The fix has to be fair in order for Republicans to get on board with it and for it to be right.
Hmmmmmm. Next comments made by Perino? They involved the bonuses being planned for AIG executives. AIG has received $170 billion in taxpayer funds so far.
According to Perino, this is necessary because if AIG doesn't pay those executive bonuses, then those executives won't be inclined to help the company get out of its mess.
So, according to Perino, I should go into the office tomorrow and tell my boss J that unless I get a twenty-five million dollar bonus, I won't be so inclined to do my job and help our industry out of the mess it's in?
Dang, if I'd only known all those years ago that that's all it took.......
But I hope you get my point. Perino's statements illustrate one of the many things wrong with the way Republicans think. According to their current doctrine, it's fine to hand unspeakable amounts of taxpayer cash (with no accountability) to a very small number of people because you fear they won't do what you've hired them to do if you don't reward them for failure and thievery.
Well, I tell you, People of the Internets, I've looked and looked, but I don't see the fairness in that. Not even one tiny little bit.
So it's wrong to ask taxpayers to help their neighbors, family and friends keep a roof over their heads by adjusting what were, in may cases, unregulated, hokey scam mortgages, in turn helping out the whole community and benefiting the many, and not just the fabulously wealthy few.
The Republicans are pretty clear and consistent on this.....
Lots of help for the few = good
Some help for all = unfair
I'd heard enough. I asked MathMan to hand me the remote and we switched to some music. We're going through the foreclosure process right now and we know what it's like to try to work with a lender who is more interested in playing games than actually reaching some kind of reasonable solution that will keep you in your home and still get them the lion's share of the money you owe them.
Now I remember why I've pretty much forsaken political television. It makes my donut eating experience less pleasing..........