Bailout, welfare for Wall Street. Part II. Getting the finger from your representatives.

Ok so I got my official canned response from Saxby Chambliss. I'll include the whole response below but first here is the part that makes me want to scream....

I know that my vote in favor of this package was not the politically popular thing to do, but this is not a popularity contest. This is about the future of our country and the future that my children and grandchildren will inherit. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind or my heart that my vote in support of this measure was the right thing for our economy, for Georgians, and for our country.

Hi Mr. Chambliss, maybe you don't understand democracy or a democratic republic or how it works. It is a consensus of the opinions of the people you represent that you are supposed to present in Washington DC. Not go against what the many who put you into office said.

Ok there is the intellectual part, now comes the hothead part.

When our country was founded based on the Constitution and Bill of Rights and comments made by the creators of those documents it is very clear to me that our forefathers wanted to make sure of one thing.

That the people run the government, not the government run the people. Have you looked around lately?

The Government says that it can listen in to your phone calls.

The Government says if you conduct too large a financial transaction (such as paying off a credit card balance) then it needs to be reported to them for further investigation.

The Government says if you cross our borders then everything you have data wise is subject to search and if they want they can keep those electronic devices indefinitely. They can also photocopy any paper documents and keep the copies.

The Government says if you get fed up and decide you no longer want to be a part of this country then you have to pay additional taxes on the items you own and have already paid for with previously taxed dollars.

The Government says we need to bailout the stupid fucks who put too much risk in their portfolio and are now on the verge of going bankrupt because they were unable to see the problems coming. They want us, the hard workers of America 'Joe six-pack' as we have been termed, to provide the stability that the financial morons were unable to do. This despite the fact that overall Americans are against the bailout. In some areas by as much as a 6 to 1 margin.

We are steadily loosing the liberties and freedoms afforded to us by the founding fathers. We no longer govern ourselves but are governed by a bunch of men and women who have shown blatant disregard for what their constituents want. Regardless of the side of the political spectrum you are on, these points are all in the news and available for you to think about. The only problem is, as you can see, our representatives no longer care what we think they will simply do what they think is right. If that means taking pay from the working class to give it to the rich, and their failed business endeavors then so be it. Of course how many poor politicians are there, oh wait so you mean this bailout could be more of a personal bailout as well?!?

Here is the body of Mr Chambliss's response. My fellow Georgians, we need to decide quickly if Georgia wants this man in office next term. Remember the message he is sending you can be bluntly translated to;

You're too stupid to know what you want.
You will get in line and do what we say is best.
What your opinion is doesn't matter if I (meaning any government representative) think differently.
Your income belongs to us, and you are most fortunate that we are choosing to take the money that you work hard for to feed your family with, and make a risky investment that may never be fully paid back in companies failing for their risky investments. After all risk investments have nothing to do with this whole situation.

Note that despite all the protections flaunted, at no time is your wallet protected from being raped in order to keep these businesses who made bad decisions afloat. I would much rather pay to prop up the country after these corporations FAIL than pay them to stay in business.

Dear Mr. [name redacted]:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the turmoil in our financial markets and the actions taken by the United States Treasury as they pertain to several leading financial institutions. It is good to hear from you.

This is the most serious and critical domestic issue I have dealt with in my 14 years in Congress. We have been betrayed by many people and by abuse of the system. Now we have two significant choices to make - do nothing or take action.

I strongly believe that doing nothing will destroy the financial security of millions of Americans and possibly lead us into a depression. I just as strongly believe the bill as now negotiated will arrest the crisis and begin to turn our economy around.

The bill that I voted for is not a bailout. H.R. 1424, "The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act," is crafted to address the crisis; restore security for the American taxpayer; and return our nation to the strongest economic power in the world. And in the process this bill enables us to root out and punish those who cheated us all.

I know that my vote in favor of this package was not the politically popular thing to do, but this is not a popularity contest. This is about the future of our country and the future that my children and grandchildren will inherit. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind or my heart that my vote in support of this measure was the right thing for our economy, for Georgians, and for our country.

My first reaction was one of anger and frustration. How could this happen in the strongest economy in the world? How could the best financial system in the world fail? After calming down, I realized the seriousness of the situation and the consequences of Congress failing to act.

The Treasury Department submitted a proposal to Congress requesting authority to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions. This program was intended to address the root cause of the market stresses by removing these assets from the financial system.

I did not support the original proposal submitted by the Administration because it did not address the critical needs of the American taxpayer, community banks, retirees, and small businesses and it concentrated too much power in a small group to administer the plan.

As the conversations in Washington and across the nation continued over how to address the challenge before us and as the details of the problems in our financial sector were revealed daily, I became convinced that something had to be done and done soon.

Moreover, when the House rejected the plan, the economy suffered a $1.2 trillion dollar blow in the stock market, which only made more apparent the impact this credit crunch is having on Main Street . Specifically, in some cases, Georgia community banks are unable to make auto loans.

Below are details of the legislation:

TAXPAYERS ARE PROTECTED. In its current form, the legislation before the Senate protects taxpayers in many ways. Accountability, safeguards, and oversight measures are numerous. There will be transparency, public reports, and triggers to end the program if, for some reason, it is not effective or end the program early if it is more successful. Moreover, I worked to negotiate a mechanism to stop all transfers of taxpayer funds if necessary. That said , I believe this legislation will be effective.

NOT A BLANK CHECK. I opposed the President's initial request to simply give a blank check to Secretary Paulson. I also opposed the second version submitted by the President and Congressional Democrats that would have given taxpayer money to liberal groups such as ACORN. Let me be clear - this current bill, the bill in the Senate, is not a blank check for anyone. First, it allows the release of $250 billion to purchase these toxic loans. Then, Congress can release another $100 billion but only with Presidential involvement and certification that it is necessary. And only if absolutely necessary and again with Presidential certification and Congressional approval, the remaining $350 billion could be released. However, I do not believe the entire $700 billion authorized will be necessary or used.

NO GOLDEN PARACHUTES. CEOs and other executive officers who drove their companies into the ground will not be able to walk away with millions leaving taxpayers holding the bill. Those companies that choose to participate in the program will be subject to strict compensation limits.

NO NEW GOVERNMENT SPENDING. The language is clear - all revenue generated through the repayment of any assets purchased and any sold must be used to pay down the national debt. No money will go to pork projects, new government spending, or liberal groups such as ACORN.

HELP FOR MAIN STREET . As this crisis continues, community banks are being affected more and more. Car loans and home loans, even to those with good credit, are drying up. People are losing their retirement savings. Small businesses are now having difficulty getting loans to make payroll or grow their business to create new jobs. If we allow this to continue, jobs will be lost, more retirement accounts will be impacted, and credit will get even tighter.

PUNISH CRIMINALS. The Federal Government is actively investigating cases of fraud and abuse. Where wrongdoing is found, the perpetrators, including, if implicated, members of Congress will be brought to justice. We have already seen subpoenas issued for records at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This bill demands cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and I expect we will see more subpoenas and criminal prosecution.

ADDRESS THE UNDERLYING CAUSE WHILE WE TREAT THE SYMPTOMS. We are seeing the symptoms now - lack of trust in the banking industry, daily tightening of the credit markets, losses in personal retirement accounts - and while this legislation addresses those issues, it also goes further to treat the cancer that got us here. This legislation authorizes the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to modify the 'mark to market' accounting procedures that magnified this crisis by forcing banks to mark down the value of assets they had no intention of selling in the near future. This mark down of value caused a corresponding loss of value to the institutions. The SEC has already begun the process to modify this procedure.

RETURN TRUST IN THE BANKS. By increasing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) protection on bank accounts from the current $100,000 to $250,000, taxpayers and bank customers can once again trust that their money is safe in the bank of their choice.

DEBT REPAYMENT. Toxic loans will be purchased at a discount and 100% of the monies repaid to the government will go to reduce the debt we incur in this process. While we shouldn't expect full repayment, it is possible that all of the money expended will be repaid.

PROTECT OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. If we do not act and this crisis spreads like a cancer to every segment of our economy, it will destroy not only taxpayer savings but it will erode our ability to fund our military, supply our troops with the resources they need, and protect our homeland.

NO TIME FOR POLITICAL FINGER POINTING. There is plenty of blame to go around but now is not the time to throw stones, now is the time to address this crisis and get our economy moving again.

FOR THE COUNTRY; NOT POLITICAL POPULARITY. This is not a popularity contest, this is a crisis. And since this crisis began, I have had numerous conversations with economists, community bankers, small business owners, and taxpayers. I have weighed the costs of inaction versus the costs of unpopular action. I support this bill because it is good for the country, it is the right thing to do today for taxpayers and tomorrow for my children and grandchildren, and it is necessary to get our economy moving again.

Strong capital markets are vital to a prosperous U.S. economy and given the renewed focus of our regulators and market participants, I remain confident in our financial markets and our overall economy.

However, history warns us against inaction by hard lessons learned. Delaying to act would be a repeat of the mistakes of the 1920s, when thousands of banks failed before significant confidence was restored to our financial markets.

If you would like to receive timely email alerts regarding the latest congressional actions and my weekly e-newsletter, please sign up via my web site at: www.chambliss.senate.gov . Please let me know whenever I may be of assistance.