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Community Forum: Congress puts itself above working class
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To Congress: I have always believed in my heart that we, as Americans in the greatest country in the world, could always rely on our elected officials to do the right thing.

I sit here sick at heart at the truths that have come to pass and the reality that you and your brethren care nothing for the American working class, but instead will now give our hard-earned tax dollars to the same thieves who have brought our current calamity down on us with your blessing.

I say your blessing because who were the wayward stewards who let these companies merge into the giant behemoths whose fall has shaken our economic foundation? How much PAC money and contributions greased the wheels for favorable legislation that allowed this nightmare to happen?

I have heard senators on television attempt to spin this into a positive, and it truly insults my intelligence. Nothing about the bailout or lack of a bailout is positive; just look at today's $1.2 trillion market value completely erased.

I hear talk of "limited executive" compensation when we both know these economic terrorist CEOs will take our money, declare bankruptcy and spit on working-class Americans simply because they can. They'll also find special loopholes for "incentive bonuses" that your assemblage will accidently leave open. They can because they own you and your kind!

I was pleasantly surprised when I heard John McCain admit about our government breaking their pact with the voters, but I am even more flabbergasted that you guys can live with yourselves for further kicking us for some better contributions from Wall Street for next election.

Watching my 401(k) balance drop 43 percent since last November due to the mortgage crisis and banking failures can mainly be blamed by your lack of regulation and checks and balances that you were elected to protect. A nearly 800-point drop on Wall Street only reinforces how much the partisan buffoonery has continued to kick the good citizens in the teeth one way or another.

As far as I'm concerned, everyone of you needs to be looking for another job come re-election time, as the people won't soon forget this herculean debacle.

As I sincerely doubt that this "rant" ever comes to your attention, I will not bother to write you any longer as you, like all people who break faith, are not worthy of a regular voter's regard!

Matthew Miller

Take another look at Democrats' record
I've always believed that a good, healthy debate can be such great fun. Hurtful comments, though, are not. So, lets just stick to the fun of a debate, shall we?

After reading Jack Price's letter (Sept. 22), I decided to do a bit more research to back up my previous comments. Have a look:

Franklin Roosevelt, while in residence in his "Little White House" in Warm Springs, spent a great deal of time driving around the area and visiting with many of his neighbors. He discovered, however, that a great many of the local farmers there had no electricity and he was appalled. More than appalled, he took action and started up the TVA to put people to work and to bring electricity to the area.

After the devastating tornado that ripped through Gainesville, he did a tremendous amount to help the city and people put the city back together and to this day is still a hero to all of us.

Jack Kennedy, while only in office for 1000 days, has some remarkable things in his presidential resumé. He was a strong advocate for the United States to go to the moon. The technology developed from the space program is still being enjoyed by all of us today. (How much time do you spend at your computer? How about listening to CDs or the radio? Watching TV? When was the last time you used a microwave oven?)

And let's not forget how he called the CEOs of all the steel companies to the White House to stop the ensuing price increases. Did the GOP stop oil companies from raising prices? Sure, Camelot was a myth, but it brought a joy and grace to our nation, which was tremendously uplifting to all of us.

On July 26, 1948, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, establishing the Presidents Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services. It was accompanied by Executive Order 9980, which created a Fair Employment Board to eliminate racial discrimination in federal employment.

His reputation increased in the years after leaving the White House. In the 1962 poll of historians on U.S. presidents, he was ranked as a near-great president and in subsequent polls has always figured in the list of the top 10 presidents. In the 1995 Chicago Sun-Times poll of presidential scholars he was ranked sixth, behind Thomas Jefferson and ahead of Woodrow Wilson. It was quite an achievement for the farm boy from Missouri.

Bill Clinton, while in office, attempted to overhaul health care and was the first president since Truman to attempt something like this. When he left office, he left with a surplus and reduction in debt. While you say the Republican Congress forced him to balance the budget, how about the number of years that George W. Bush had a Republican congress to work with and LOOK at the astronomical debt we have now! Hmm ...

Nancy Fahey

Let banks work out deal with homeowners
Legislators institute laws and set up regulators to oversee enforcement. The government wanted the banks and mortgage companies to provide loans so that more people could attain home ownership. In doing so, they created quotas that lenders had to meet.

Then when some of those loans were in trouble, the government sent in regulators to force the banks to foreclose and sell off the troubled loans at discounted rates. The foreclosures and discounted rates are what has devalued properties, which caused the loss of the good-paying homeowners' equity values and destruction of the housing construction industry.

With the lowered equity value in real estate and the loss of many jobs, the market has now spiraled out of control and continues to fall as the regulators and banks actions poison the market place. The bank stopped lending on much of the real estate and continued to sell off what is now made to be bad loans. Those with hard money have and can now buy homes and properties for 10 percent of the mortgage value, which only worsens the real estate problem by devaluing the market even further.

What the government did because of less than 1 percent of troubled mortgage loans has caused the entire real estate and financial markets to nearly collapse.

The real problem is that the government owns 80 percent of all American home mortgages through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, 80 percent of the world's largest insurance company, AIG, and now wants to purchase the discounted foreclosed or bad paper from the banks and resell them for a real price once markets stabilize, which could return trillions of dollars in profit.

What is the incentive for the government to stop making the banks foreclose when it is the beneficiary of the losses?

The problem is the government that created the laws and enforces them. If foreclosure and discounted selloffs are destroying the marketplace, then change the law and stop foreclosures by allowing the banks to work out the problems with their customers. In lieu of foreclosure, give the banks the authority and funding to partner with the customer and provide equity funding in an amount required to pay the monthly payments until the real estate can be resold into the market within a set percentage of appraised value and within a specified time.

The customer would be required to keep the property presentable for sale and maintain the utilities. If that is not complied with, the bank can take possession and hold it on the books until it sells. Once the real estate is sold, the bank would receive its money back, plus interest, and the customer would get what is left.

This would stop the destabilization of the marketplace, establish confident in the real values, encourage investment, allow the housing industry to rebound and would not require the government intervention currently proposed.

This problem was not because of lack of regulation, but because of government intervention in the marketplace that prevents the banks from being able to protect their communities and help their customers.

David A. Derusha