On a sunny normal day in middle America, a moving van pulls into the driveway of a nice home in a peaceful neighborhood. Only a couple of stay-at-home neighbors even notice the van, and they’re only mildly curious about why it’s there.
In less than an hour, virtually everything of any value excepting easy-to-replace furniture and rugs has been removed, and the van is driven away.
Dad is at work, the kids are at school and Mom is away, first at an exercise class, and then picking up food at the supermarket. As she pulls into the driveway, Mom is puzzled to see the front door slightly ajar, wondering which of her brood left without checking the lock.
When she walks into the front hall, her arms full of groceries, she can see immediately that something is terribly different. In just a couple of moments of horrific discovery, she realizes what has happened. She runs back to the front door, and screams …
“WE’VE BEEN ROBBED! CALL THE POLICE – WE’VE BEEN ROBBED!”
In the last year or so, I’ve read about this very thing happening more than once across our land. A couple of criminals watch a neighborhood, make notes on the come-and-go habits of a family and then calmly drive up in a moving van and clean the house out, in broad daylight and full view of anyone who might see.
Because of its very audacity and boldness, almost no neighbors question the van or what its occupants are doing, right before their eyes. And so far, I haven’t read of any of the perpetrators being caught.
Dear fellow citizen: Do you not realize this is exactly what has been happening to all of us, while we seem paralyzed to stop it?
While we’ve been going about our workaday lives, trusting Congress to protect and represent our interests as we elected them to do, Barney Frank and a coalition of Democrats and Republicans have fostered this whole economic nightmare by strongly “influencing” the execs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make loans to low income families, virtually ignoring their ability to sustain the mortgages. Since they’d been given the green light, a virtual mandate, to make impractical and high risk loans, the agencies did just that and then “bundled” huge numbers of them into “packages” and sold them to investment companies – who in turn, knowing how risky the “bundles” were, bought insurance policies against the likely failure of millions of them.
Then, when the economy slowed and huge numbers of the loans began to falter and default, all the players – including the insurance companies (like AIG), huge banks and mortgage lenders, and of course Congress itself, controlled by Democrats – realized they had built castles of sand and the tide of recompense was rolling in. Even fabled guru Warren Buffett, who had written predictions that crazed, irresponsible gambles on the part of great banks and lenders would inevitablycause a huge international collapse, decided to get in on the action, and made decisions that he now admits caused billions in losses to his shareholders.
Almost overnight—and in plain sight—huge companies went bankrupt. Like dominoes, the reverberations went in every direction, bringing down or severely threatening our biggest financial institutions and the national economy as a whole. Had you, or any of us, been aware that all this shell game was going on?
Well, this was just our “front hall” awareness.
In the midst of the chaos, we elected a new president who acted as if he understood the problems and “had a plan” to correct them. And what was the “plan” that he, his advisors, and a largely paralyzed and frightened Congress inflicted on us?
There was already a 700 billion dollar “bailout” to the lenders who had fomented the whole mess, a rushed-together “plan” that placed no requirements on the bankers, just the expectation they would turn around and make their faulty loans more manageable to their unknowing victims. But to our amazement, the lenders essentially froze the billions, shored up their own cash reserves, and became unresponsive to ordinary folks – including the taxpayers who would have to fund this whole “bailout.”
But then, the new president and his team cobbled together a 750-page, 800 billion dollar “stimulus package” that he swore would put people back to work and rebuild our structure and revive the economy. Democrats and most Republicans, too dazed and intimidated to even read the proposal, rubberstamped it. And we taxpayers were suddenly on the hook for a trillion and a half dollars of debt!
Now the administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress were warming up. Swiftly, and over some Republican protests, another 800 billion dollar “appropriation bill,” containing 9000 earmarks (pork projects) was railroaded through. And there’s already ominous talk about another huge “stimulus package” and more “bailouts” still needed in coming months!
Newsweek Magazine, on one recent cover, “welcomed” us to the new Socialist America … and the March 23 issue shows Uncle Sam pointing his bony finger at us, ordering, “I want YOU to start spending! Invest in America—before it’s too late.”
What in the heck does editor Jon Meacham think we citizens have been doing? Without our approval, and over our shouted protests, this president and Congress have obligated American taxpayers to spend over two trillion dollars paying off the debts forced on us! You put your salary and all future compensation and retirement funds into the pot, Mr. Meacham!
And on top of it all, President Obama has announced a 3.6 trillion dollar agenda for the next three years. And a massive, trillion dollar tax hike plan! And supposedly to make us feel more confident, the government announced it will “buy” another trillion of our funds and government bonds.
Where does the government get “its” money? Two places: either from us already raked and pillaged taxpayers or from the printing presses down the street from Fed Chairman Bernanke. 60 Minutes, just this last Sunday, interviewed the eerily calm chairman, and then cut to printing presses churning out millions of pieces of paper – paper backed by nothing but empty promises and the hoped for integrity and industry of us taxpayers.
Next week, I intend to detail some concrete, practical, and effective things we can do about this carnage, this theft. But for now, join me on the rooftop, shouting, “WE’VE BEEN ROBBED!”