Bailout seems to be the catchword of the day. This year, we’ve already seen billions of dollars spent on bailouts and now, the Bush administration’s Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is seeking – as “quickly and cleanly” as possible — $700 billion (yes, that is a b) in what would be the largest bailout in history. We are, it appears, fully engaged in bailout madness, complete bailout insanity, something that is going to affect every American, perhaps even for years to come.

The Year’s Most Impressive Bailouts (So Far)

On September 21, 2008, The International Herald Tribune published a list of government bailouts taking place during the past 100 years. There have been some very impressive bailouts this year, such as the $85 billion “emergency loan” for American International Group Inc., which garnered the government “a 79.9 percent stake in AIG,” the biggest insurance company in the world, according to the International Herald Tribune article.

Some of the other bailouts of 2008 on the International Herald Tribune published list, so far, include the Treasury Department taking over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, “temporarily putting them in a government conservatorship with plans to inject up to $100 billion into each,” and the Federal Reserve’s decision to “guarantee $29 billion of Bear Stearns’ assets in connection with the government-sponsored sale of the investment bank to JPMorgan Chase & Co.” And, now Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson wants a “quick and clean” $700 billion and the power to “buy up mortgage-related assets from American based companies and foreign firms with a big exposure to these illiquid assets,” according to a report published on CNNMoney.com on September 21, 2008.

The Paulson Plan For A Bailout Of Epic Proportions

“As we’ve said for some time, the root cause for the stress in the capital markets is the real estate correction and what’s going on in terms of the price declines in real estate,” said Paulson, according to a report published by CNBC on September 18, 2008. “We’re coming together to work on an expeditious solution, which is aimed right at the heart of this problem, which is illiquid assets on financial institutions’ balance sheets.”

At the center of this “expeditious solution” is $700 billion, which will, if the bill becomes law, be allotted for Paulson to, as reported by Bloomberg.com on September 21, 2008, “buy home loans, mortgage-backed securities, commercial mortgage- related assets and, after consultation with the Federal Reserve chairman, “other assets, as deemed necessary to effectively stabilize financial markets,” the Treasury said in a statement.”

In addition, according to Bloomberg.com, “the bill would prevent courts from reviewing actions taken under its authority.” Paulson would basically have “unchecked power from Congress to buy $700 billion in bad mortgage investments from financial companies in what would be an unprecedented government intrusion into the markets.”

Interestingly, according to a report published on Politico.com, and confirmed by Paulson in an appearance on “This Week” on ABC, foreign banks will be eligible for bailout assistance as well. “That’s a distinction without a difference to the American people. The key here is protecting the system,” said Paulson. “…The American people don’t care who owns the financial institution.”

If the Paulson plan becomes law, it will require a dramatic increase in the national debt ceiling to accommodate the amount that will be spent on this bailout. The current national debt is $10.615 trillion. Paulson’s plan will include raising it to $11.315 trillion.

What These Sorts Of Bailouts Mean To You

In an agency fact sheet about the proposed bill, Paulson states that this $700 billion bailout for the purpose of buying bad loans and other fiscal muck choking the financial industries is designed to “…to promote market stability, and help protect American families and the U.S. economy,” according to an article published on CommonDreams.org. That seems to be a seriously skewed perspective, particularly when considering the facts of the matter.

How protected will families feel, families already facing a myriad of economic pressures and problems, when they find out that this recent bout of bailout madness is going to cost them serious money? According to a recent Reuters report, this $700 billion bailout will cost “every man, woman and child in the United States” over $2,000. But, that’s not all. The article went on to point out that “The administration and Federal Reserve have already taken several other emergency steps to try to prevent growing credit strains from engulfing the entire financial system and economy. A $700 billion fund would push the total pledged to combat the crisis to $1.8 trillion, or $15,000 per U.S. household.”

The American dollar is already struggling, and has been dropping in value long before this round of bailouts. Trillions of dollars in debt already, many believe that there is only one way the US is going to be able to take on still more debt to fund yet another bailout, a bailout larger than any other in US history. The Christian Science Monitor, in an article dated September 23, 2008, made mention of an article written by Alex Patelis, a London-based economist at Merrill Lynch, with the headline “As the US printing press starts.”

Paris-based financial analyst Max Keiser, in an interview with Press TV, said that “To pay for all this insanity from Hank Paulson, they have two options. They can either raise taxes or they can inflate the money supply. They can destroy these things US dollars [waves a dollar bill at the camera]. Dollars 30 years ago used to be backed by this stuff – gold [waves a gold coin at the camera]. Now thanks to Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke US dollars are backed by these – bananas [waves a banana at the camera]. They’re absolutely worthless. Anyone buying US dollars today is going to lose money.”

Keiser, as have many other economists and financial experts, also stated that there is a significant chance of an inflationary depression. Because of the degree to which the money supply will have to be expanded to come up with the means of funding these bailouts, there’s even the potential for hyperinflation. Keiser also mentioned that food and oil prices can be expected to soar. Coincidently, or maybe not, according to a September 22, 2008, CNNMoney.com report, “Oil prices posted the biggest one-day dollar gain ever Monday as the dollar was punished by the government’s $700 billion Wall Street bailout plan and big investors scrambled to fill obligations as the October contract expired.”

The bottom line of all of this bailout madness is that, while you struggle to manage your own debts, mortgage, and other financial obligations and essentials, the government is going to take money away from you and your family to cover the losses of Wall Street and the biggest players and profiteers in the financial world. The government will run the risk of degrading the currency even further than their policies already have, adding considerably to the expenses of your day-to-day life. It will even run the risk of catapulting the US into a depression. This bill hardly seems as though it is designed to protect American families and the US economy upon which they rely, but rather seems to be all about what so many others have said – privatizing profit and socializing losses for the politically connected and financially elite classes.

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