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06 April 2009

The Business of Bailouts

I know, you’re thinking “Here we go again.” and you are right. I love different opinions and welcome opposite views because it makes life interesting. Besides, what would we talk about if we all agreed? However, what really annoys me is misinformation, distortion of facts, or just plain ignorance due to being too lazy to check facts.

So for all my dear friends who may not be up to speed on the history of private business bailouts in the United States, below is a little information (with source links). I’ve been around long enough that I remember each and every one of these big business bailouts. I don’t recall the good right wing raising the specter of Socialism way back in the day.

As you examine the data provided here, ponder this opinion:

“In the United States the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.” Alexis de Tocqueville


1970 Railroad $676 M 1971 Lockeed $1.4 B 1974 Franklin Bank $1.75 B 1975 New York City $9.4 B 1980 Chrysler $1.5 B 1984 Continental Bank $4.5 B 1989 Savings & Loan Industry $293 B 2001 Airline Industry $15.0 B

SOURCE SOURCE

Last year of Bush Administration March 2008 – December 2008

Bear Sterns $29 B Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac $200 B AIG Group $150 B Auto Industry $25 B

SOURCE SOURCE

Since President Obama took office, Citigroup has received $20 B more from a previously approved bail out package, and the Auto Industry has its hands out again. Before jumping on that Blame Obama Bandwagon, some readers may want to do a little fact checking. The USA government has been pumping money into private business for almost 40 years.


Now just for fun, let’s see what party each president belonged to for the years that big business received bailouts:

1970 Richard Nixon Republican 1971 Richard Nixon Republican 1974 Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford Republican 1975 Gerald Ford Republican 1980 James Carter Democrat 1984 Ronald Regan Republican 1989 George H. W. Bush Republican 2001 George W. Bush Republican 2008 George W. Bush Republican

SOURCE

I am not pleased with the government taking my tax dollars and handing them over to big business. But I am also well aware that while then Senator Obama pushed for a rescue plan for big business and the banks, I can not hold him alone responsible for the bailouts. We have to put this in an historical context and discuss the issue of bailouts from a position of facts - not emotional responses. The facts are that in all prior bailouts, all but one President (Jimmie Carter) was a Republican. Bailouts of big business are not a new invention and the results (which by the way have had positive results over all) can not be blamed solely on liberals and Democrats. Our government, Senate, House, and Presidents, should be held accountable for their waste of our money. The way we do this is to exercise our ability to throw them out of office by electing someone else. The power of the voter frustrated and dissatisfied with its current government was demonstrated well by the last election of a majority of more liberal members of both House and Senate as well as a Progressive Democrat for President. May I ask you a few rhetorical questions? These bailouts were being planned well before the election (beginning in March 2008) and were given to financial institutions and big business prior to President Obama taking office on 20 January 2009. (1) Where was the conservative/Republican opposition to the bailouts prior to 20 January 2009? (2) Why are the conservative/Republican bloggers and others holding President Obama accountable for bailouts planned and executed under direction of the Bush Administration with the support of Republican Senators and Congress members? (3) Why were conservatives/Republicans so opposed to helping the auto industry and the workers (100% of them voted "NO"), but offered practically no opposition to bank bailouts just a few weeks earlier? I already know the answers to these questions. They are offered only for consideration of ideological differences. I opposed the bailout of AIG, Feddy Mac, Fanny Mae, and all the bailouts in all the years prior. IF our Republican Presidents truly believed in Capitalism, there would have been no bailouts during their administrations - they have the power of the VETO, yet signed those bailout bills into law. For the non- American looking beyond the rhetoric, and examining historical facts, it would seem that Capitalism is a myth, the American economy is a mixed economy with government handing out money to subsidize big business when Capitalism fails and individual greed is the rule.

1974 New York City was included because they received tax payer dollars like big business

1974 Richard Nixon ( R ) resigned following a Senate vote for impeachment and Gerald Ford ( R ) his Vice President took office in August 1974

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