Graham

Throw The Bums Out!

In Economic Crisis on October 3, 2008 at 7:52 pm

As I sit here watching the 19th rehash of the vice-presidential debates on CNN, I realize that I am not particularly surprised that there is corruption in Washington—that almost everyone lies, that we substitute personal attacks for campaign issues, and that virtually all of our representatives profit, many illegally, from their positions of public trust. What does surprise me is our business as usual approach to the global economic meltdown, literally while Rome burns.

The more we learn about this package, the more it looks like everyone got a piece of the pie, the result of which diverts 110 billion dollars away from the bailout. And for what? To pay for a stock car race track, wooden arrows for children, reduce taxes on the rum imported from the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and nearly 1/2 billion dollars to keep movie making in Hollywood—to name a few. From all indicators, it is nearly impossible to find anyone who has read the parts pertaining to the bailout.

While lawmakers were making sure they got theirs, another 159,000 jobs were lost in September (about 750,000 since the first of the year), and state governments were weighing in with more financial issues. California alone needs seven billion dollars just to continue essential services. And somewhere along the way we hear the stimulus package is actually aimed at credit markets. It all seems complicated, doesn’t it? How can anyone figure out what to do?

And then it happened. Larry King had had enough. “Anymore interrupting and I turn off the mike.” Suddenly, it was no longer acceptable for three people to get their three different sound-bites out simultaneously by shouting louder than anyone else. We had to take turns. It was really that simple: control of the mike was the only defense at Larry’s disposal to make people do the right thing, but it worked, it was simple and efficient, and it underscored what we already knew, that sometimes we just have to make an effective threat.

As voters, we also have one simple but effective means to alter the outcome. It would involve severe blood letting, which we may have felt was overkill—up until now. But the time has come: the only way we are going to get Washington to change is to fire nearly every incumbent up for reelection, with very few exceptions. It may sound draconian, but I am absolutely convinced that at least for a decade or two, we would have their attention. And just maybe we would get our country back in the process.

Copyrighted © 2008 by Tad Laury Graham

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