Banks, Steak and Mac-n-Cheese

Alright look- I’m all in favor of saving the nation’s banks.

I understand that as long as the credit markets remain frozen, there will be no lending- not to individuals, not to businesses, not to anyone. If people and corporations cannot get the credit they need, the economy will grind to a screeching halt.

Which is a bad thing.

Yes.

I get all that.

What I am having a tough time grasping is all the arguing between the GOP and the Democrats on how this thing should actually operate.

I mean, intellectually I get it. I know why they’re fighting. Personally, however, I’m pretty damn frustrated with the whole thing.

Why, why, why should we, as tax payers, bail these banks out and get no personal relief or mortgage/debt assistance in return?

These banks will be able to sell off their bad debt to me– Little Miss Broke Ass Taxpayer- but when I (or you) need a little assistance from them to keep my home from being foreclosed on, I get…

Nada.

Nothing.

Not a damn thing.

It would be different if we, average tax payers, actually had the extra change to shell out to begin with…

… But dangit, we’re suffering pretty darn terribly ourselves right now…

And it’s about it get worse.

Shit- war is not cheap, you know- and quite frankly, neither is gas or anything else right now.

I’m not an economics girl… but I’m not stupid either… so I’ve done my best to wrap my brain around this mess, breaking it down into chunks of data that I can actually understand- as Lord knows good ol’ Chaze cannot grasp the magnitude of what 700 billion bucks really amounts to.

Damn.

That’s a lot of coin.

I’m trying to compare this bailout to my own real-life (if a bit meager) financial situation- to better understand this mess, you see.

So when I was but a broke young divorcee, I came into some money strife and had to call Maw and Paw to bail my butt out.

They helped me… God love ’em… and in doing so, saved me from a whole world of hurt.

I’m very grateful.

What they did not do, however, was go overboard…

Nor should they have.

They gave me what I needed to survive- rent, groceries, perhaps a car payment or two.

I was not able to live high on the hog (and no, for you over-sensitive types, I did not just call Sarah Palin a pig).

The parents gave me just enough to get by until I was able to help myself.

Basically, I lived a mac-n-cheese kind of existence, not a steak-n-lobster life.

Wait- Lived a mac-n-cheese kind of existence? As in past tense? Who am I kidding- I still live that life.

My point is this- why should things be any different for the banks? Why should we, the tax payers, the same people who are getting our very own houses foreclosed on, bail out the very companies that are doing all the foreclosing without insisting on a little help for ourselves as well?

Beyond that, why in the hell should they be able to sell off their rotten-egg debt… to me… and you… and walk away as well off- or better- than they were to start with?

Unfortunately, Bush’s bailout plan pretty much lets the banks off easy, moving the burden of their bad debt to the tax payers… the banks get out of this mess scott-free while… you and I have a ton of new debt in addition to the debt we already had… and no more help to pay it off than we had before.

Huh.

That sucks.

I say give ’em what they need to survive- and if that’s 700 billion buck-a-roos, so be it. But don’t give ’em so much that they get to keep eating lobster-n-steak… they need to live on mac-n-cheese until they can afford their own damn steak.

In the meantime, if I’m bailing their asses out, they can express their gratitude by throwing my brown butt a bone too (actually, I’m more of a caramel color… but you catch my drift).

Here’s what my proposal woul be, if I ruled the world:

I’d tell the banks- the tax-payers will help them… but they have to help the tax payers in return.

Let’s work something out to where the very people that are saving those fat-cat-bankers’ asses can at least keep their homes.

It’s that simple.

And hey- if that’s the way it’s handled, I bet none of us would mind eatin’ mac-n-cheese instead of steak for just a little bit longer.

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