As I write this, Bernie Madoff is getting comfortable in a jail cell, where he’ll spend the rest of his life. His crime? A $50 billion Ponzi scheme, which wreaked havoc in the finances of hundreds of people and cost some aged and formerly wealthy clients their entire life savings.
How could this have happened? How could knowledgeable and well-connected people like Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg and heads of corporations and investment firms be swindled so massively, for so long?
And what is a “Ponzi scheme” anyway? Drawing its name from an Italian money manipulator in 1920, it’s a kind of pyramid scheme in which many invest money on promises of big returns, and as new investors come aboard, their money (or part of it) goes into “profits” for earlier investors. As the first investors brag about their profits, and the manipulator documents these to show more investors, the scheme takes on the aura of a very safe and profitable enterprise. Even if the core business is spurious and couldn’t succeed on its own, everybody is deliriously happy while the gains are coming in.
The manipulator, like Madoff or the original Charles Ponzi, is seen as a wizard and entitled to the lavish lifestyle he has earned … with the investors’ money. The whole house of cards implodes when the overall economy slows down and too many investors start wanting to take their money out all at once.
So, Madoff is bundled off to jail. And our whole nation is embarked on a similar scheme – one that makes Madoff and Ponzi look like penny-ante street hustlers.
Yes, America woke up to find its banks and mortgage and insurance companies – in cahoots with certain elements in Congress, supposedly helping modest-income families buy homes with very doubtful or nonexistent credit – were experiencing a gigantic run on their reserves and facing possible insolvency. Bad problem. So two overlapping administrations, again with a dazed and stampeded Congress, came up with a solution.
“Hey,” they said, “American taxpayers have lots of money, and even more credit. Let’s use that to fix this problem! Let’s come up with ‘bailouts’ and ‘stimulus packages,’ shovel them out the door with few if any instructions to the troubled institutions, and sign the taxpayers’ names to their credit card! We’ll say this is the only way to save our economy, they’ll buy into it (they don’t understand finance anyway), and we’ll look like the good guys. And while they’re swallowing a trillion and a half debt, we’ll ram through an $800 billion ‘appropriation bill’ with 9,000 earmarks and pork projects, like we always do, and we’ll do a massive snow job, telling them we’re building a bright new future and saving the planet. Sure, it’ll be tough on all those taxpayers, but they’ll work their butts off and come up with the money somehow, in time, and maybe it’ll all turn out all right.”
That’s what they did, but then they realized there literally would not be enough money from anywhere to do all this. So Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Fed, said on “60 Minutes,” in effect: “We’ll have to just print up trillions of dollars of paper money – we’re actually doing it down the street at the mint – and hope other countries will lend us trillions of their money to make good on all these programs and promises.”
And Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff, was actually quoted saying, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.” So, in service to long-sought agenda items like “green” energy, gigantic health care programs, Planned Parenthood worldwide, rebuilding the structure of roads and bridges and creating “millions” of new jobs, he and the president have announced a $10 trillion dollar agenda for his first term, and into the next!
And what’s to stop this insanity, with a Democrat-controlled House and Senate, and even many Republicans stampeded into compliance?
ONLY AN AROUSED AND ACTIVE CITIZENRY CAN STOP IT!
As we were when President Bush and Congress almost unanimously approved a lopsided, ruinous immigration bill – and an aroused citizenry bombarded all our representatives in outrage – we are our own last and only hope!
Many, including me, have already called for a “new Boston Tea Party,” and will be sending an avalanche of tea bags to President Obama, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, D.C., starting April 1 and continuing till changes occur. The first two weeks of April, right upon us, should find millions of tea bags cascading out of mailbags near the Oval office.
This is a symbolic but powerful indication to the president that we citizens are not the hapless, ignorant peons he thinks we are, and that we’re not going to take on these trillions in debt willingly!
Either with the tea bags, or separately – or both – we need to write, write, write, every representative and senator and the president himself, letting all of them know we can read and count. We’re aware the Chinese are already questioning our currency and the European Union heads are calling our trillion-dollar schemes “the way to hell.” Even leftist socialists recognize our folly!
And every one of us needs to log on to FreedomWorks.org and see what Vice Chairman Steve Forbes and a grass-roots army of hundreds of thousands, with volunteers in every state, are doing to rouse overwhelming public resistance to this gigantic Ponzi scheme. If Forbes had been elected president several years ago, we would not be in this horrendous mess.
And then go to FreeStrongAmerica.com powerful and growing PAC created and run by Mitt Romney. Though in its virtual infancy, this PAC has contributed over $425,000 in more than 150 state and federal campaigns aimed at real change – changing the makeup of a hapless and socialist-leaning Congress.
Fellow citizens, we still have substantial leaders like Forbes and Romney and Gingrich, who collectively know more about our economy and how to truly right it than the pointy heads huddled in the White House, planning to take this country into a “New World Order,” with a common world currency and governance, with Big Brother government controlling – and owning – our lives.
I, for one, am not willing to be a part of this $10,000,000,000,000 Ponzi scheme. Are you?