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I watch the evening news and see our government officials talk about bailouts for various "cup in hand" beggars with unbelievable disgust, fear and outrage.
I worked some 40 years, served my tour in WWII, have always paid my debts, and tried to squirrel away enough money so my wife and I could retire with some degree of independence and dignity. (I might add that many of us have seen a precipitous decrease in this resource in recent weeks.)
In contrast, I see people on the other end of the moral spectrum who have traveled in the financial fast lane their entire career, making megamillions and who have played reckless Monopoly with other people’s money now pleading for more taxpayers’ money to continue to do the same. In doing so, they have the colossal arrogance to demand the combination to the vault because they are too big to fail.
Our public officials, who are sworn to guard our welfare and property, seem to be more than willing partners in this debacle, tossing around taxpayers’ billions like it is chump change. The absolute irony of this fiduciary fiasco is the fact that the very people who claim they have the ability to lead us out to higher ground are the Barney Frank and Chris Dodd types. Never mind that none of them have had enough business experience to make a profit operating a lemonade stand in the Sahara. They are also amazingly skillful at camouflaging their culpability and lack the moral courage to confess it. The essence of it all, as I perceive it, we are rewarding the culprits.
I was a Great Depression baby. We lost the family farm and struggled to survive. However, as a government created event, the Great Depression was an unqualified success from the standpoint of diversity and non-discrimination. From Wall Street to Main Street to the cotton fields of Mississippi, we were all put in the same sinking boat.
After we finally clawed our way out of the poverty pit, we were assured that this would never happen again. We had learned our lesson. We had safeguards, FDIC, regulations, etc. Guess what, it is becoming increasingly clear we have not learned our lesson. The evil alliance of greed, corruption and politics is still thriving and intent on pursuing its mission of havoc and misery. It is also my impression that Obama’s team of financial "wizards" will only speed the process because some of them are part of the problem, not the solution. (I certainly won’t be offended if I am proven wrong in the very near future.)
History reveals it is not the dumb wits like me who get us into wars and other disasters, but the so-called sophisticated intellects. The dumb wits are the ones who are saddled with paying for the blunders with their money and blood.
Money alone won’t solve traffic woes
The next session of the legislature will see an attempt to establish a new statewide tax to supply the transportation acronyms: ARC, GRTA, GDOT, RDC with more money to solve Atlanta’s transportation problems. It would appear that the plan is to collect the money and figure out what to do with it later. MARTA does not seem to be included.
It would be more palatable if; (1) a plan was on the table (2) a timetable for implementation was available and (3) consideration of major development or redevelopment (such as Atlantic Station) was a major component of the plan.
Perhaps if one and only one acronym had total responsibility for the plan and expenditure of the new tax revenue, some progress might be made. And that acronym would be responsible to taxpayers for performance. Also, if layer upon layer of government clerks were not required to have input or approval, the cost of the plan itself could be controlled.
But please, could we use one and just one of the acronyms already in place?
Bruce W. Hallowell