Friday, September 26, 2008

What 700 Billion Means...

I did not want this blog to become a forum for political issues; I started it for my own enjoyment, and place for friends and family to check in on what I am doing and thinking on a weekly basis.

This $700 Billion bailout has completely overtaken my ability to keep mum on current affairs. I am sitting at home today, wallowing in my sinus-infection misery and cannot escape CNN and the commentary on the financial crisis, so I am going to have to share my pain with you.

I have been trying to figure out a way to grasp the value of such a huge sum of money. In terms of raw cash, it adds up to $10,000 for every American. Or should I say, FROM every American. It would provide medical care free of charge to everyone who currently cannot afford it and have $600 billion to spare. You could rebuild all of the dilapidated and antiquated schools across the entire nation. You could fix every road and bridge in need of repair. You could send 5 million students to Public Universities. You could buy and build 7 Million Cusato Cottages ( including buying the land to put them on to house the homeless and take people out of unsafe living conditions. I could go on for days...

Each of the ideas mentioned above would provide jobs, services, education and wellness care for a substantial number of Americans who are currently doing without the basic tenants of the American Dream. We have spent TRILLIONS on the Iraq War, the Drug War, and the War on Terror. Whatever happened to the War on Poverty? Who will this bailout help? Unless the plan is to keep people in their homes (and what about the people who have already been thrown into the street), it would surprise me if this bailout touched the lives of those that need the most help. They do not own stock, or a home, or a 401k plan. What is there for them to lose?

Today in America there is hunger, homelessness, ignorance, and a lack of quality health care. How are we supposed to compete in the global economic market when our basic needs are unmet and our infrastructure is crumbling from the bottom up? When the great organization, RAM (, has now made a whole program to provide free basic medical care to Americans (they used to focus on only "Third World" Nations, but guess what...), and food pantries are now serving food to the same people that used to be their core donors, something must change.

Friends, we MUST take our country back. The leadership we elected has failed us. We must make our voices heard and we must "Act Now" (to steal a quote from our Treasury Secretary). Our taxes are being spent to wage wars, put non-violent people in jail (which takes them out of the economy AND costs us over $25,000 per incarcerated person per year), bail out failing businesses (Airlines, Auto Industry, Financial Industry, ad infinitum), provide tax benefits to those that do not need them (can you say "BIG OIL"), and cutting the budget of our fail-safe programs and infrastructure while continuing to give tax benefits and exemptions to developers and corporations.

Start doing something today. You can contact your representation so easily in this modern age:

Your Representative can be found here:

Your Senator can be found here:

Your Governor can be found here:

Take a minute to voice your opinion and tell them what you want YOUR Country to be. Then take more action: get to know your candidates, and get out and vote. Make sure your friends vote, too.

Finally, find an organization that supports a LOCAL social cause that you believe in, something that moves you. If you cannot volunteer for them then make a donation that you can afford to help them help others! Taking the time to do this pays you back in ways you cannot begin to enumerate, and puts your time and money to positive solutions to the problems around us.

Thanks for "listening"...

No comments: