Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why is Congress so Classist?

I simply do not understand. Congress had no problem handing Wall Street $700 BILLION with no questions asked just 2 months ago. They didn't make Wall Street CEOs work for $1.00. They didn't make Wall Street employees forgo bonuses or benefits or take cuts in salary. They let AIG have their spa weekends on my dime (hey Uncle Sam, I'd like a massage too!).

Yet the Big 3, which employs hundreds of thousands Americans directly and probably a couple million Americans in ancillary industries, can't get a measly $34 billion LOAN? The Big 3 asked for less than 5% of what Wall Street got handed to them on a silver platter and Congress refuses to give it to them.

Until a few minutes ago, Congress seemed to be willing to give them about $15 billion (less than 1/2 of what they asked for), but that seems to have just fallen apart thanks to some asshole GOPers. If they'd been able to reach an agreement to give the American automobile industry a loan, there were going to be all kinds of stipulations - CEOs working for $1, employees receive huge salary and benefits cuts, and more.

Call me crazy, but this feels very classist to me. Wall Street is white collar while the Big 3 is blue collar. Just one more example of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer under George W. Bush. Why are we so willing to save Wall Street, but not Main Street?

Update 10:47pm: I'm watching CNN and they're reporting about how AIG is giving "retention payments" to employees earning between $160,000 - $3 million and the payments are up to $1 million! Now you may be wondering what these "retention payments" are. Well, they're BONUSES. And yet Congress is letting the Big 3 die. Nice. I don't think I've ever been so ashamed of my government and I've got a lot to be embarrassed by given that I live in Illinois.


  1. I can't even tell you how furious this makes me.

  2. It's all about busting the Unions. I think Repugs have been waiting for this for years. I, too, am disgusted with my government. The change in leadership can't happen soon enough.

    And bonuses?!?!??! Wrong, wrong, just wrong! One of their damn bonuses would keep me housed, clothed and fed for a decade!

  3. Notice that the senators who voted to further the destruction of our economy are from states that take the biggest chunk of federal tax money. This money is used to keep those states afloat because they aren't able to generate enough local funds to do it. Maybe if the autoworkers for the foreign owned companies operating in these states were able to bring home the same amount as UAW members, there'd be a bump in tax revenue for these states.

    Oh, Harry Reid voted for the up/down vote which shut down debate on the bailout. If the cloture vote had failed, the republicans would have been forced to filibuster (I learn so much from fellow blogger Chris).

    I hope the rust belt Senators remember this when these guys come looking for their state's annual bailout.


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