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Oh, HELL, No!

Well, I'm still on the fence about the overall concept of a bailout package, but I've heard two details about it that are making me lean heavily against it.

The first is the notion of a cap on executives' compensation for those who sign up for the bailout. As I said earlier, this will radically limit the pool of potential new leaders in the banking industry, as the most successful people -- those with a track record of success in leading large, troubled corporations -- will have to take a substantial pay cut if they want to try turning around some on-the-ropes financial business. Further, I despise the notion of the government -- the home of some of the most inept managers in the world -- micromanaging things to this degree.

But that takes a far, far distant second place to another concern of mine: an attempt by the Democrats to demand that a portion of any profits that the government might make on the bailout be funneled to ACORN.

If that particular measure stays in the bill, then my opinion on the bailout -- no matter what other provisions stay in -- my answer is simple (language alert below):


At that point, I will make it my personal crusade to take down every single Senator and Representative who votes for the bailout measure.

The proposal from the Democrats is simple, as quoted by Ed Morrissey of Hot Air: If the bailout package eventually yields any profits, 80% will be applied to the national debt, and 20% will be diverted to the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund in a 65%-35% split.

The "Housing Trust Fund" is set up to help poor people buy houses. The last time I checked, "helping poor people buy houses" was one of the major causes of our current problem -- getting people of limited means into houses that they couldn't keep up the payments on. People aren't defaulting on their mortgages because they feel like it, but because they've allowed themselves to sign up for loans they simply can't repay as they promised. As harsh as it sounds, perhaps this would be a good time to raise the standards on mortgages and reduce the number of risky loans, not increase them.

But more importantly, if there is a single chance that some of this money might end up in the pockets of ACORN, I want this plan dead. I want a stake driven through its heart. I want its head on a pike. I want it skinned and the hide nailed up on the wall.

And I might be tempted to call for similar measures against those who push it through.

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now!, is rapidly becoming my political bete' noir. I can feel my blood boiling at their very mention. They wrap themselves in "helping the community" and call themselves a non-partisan horde of high-minded do-gooders, but every single election cycle more and more of their employees and volunteers end up getting caught in engaging in one of the most heinous crimes one can commit against democracy -- voter fraud.

It has gotten to the point where I think it would not only be a good idea, but damned near mandatory that concerned citizens ought to go anywhere ACORN holds one of its "voter registration drives" and offer peremptory challenges to every single registration they submit -- because they have such a lengthy track record of submitting fraudulent registration forms.

It's been a couple of years since I first started calling for a RICO investigation into ACORN's activities, and if anything, I think that it's more important than ever. And even more troubling for me is Barack Obama's long ties to the group.

ACORN is one of the most dangerous types of scum around. They wrap themselves in the banner of high-minded, lofty-sounding goals and intentions, but push their agenda with the most despicable and loathsome tactics. If you oppose them, or question them, or even simply don't agree with them sufficicently, then you obviously hate the poor and want to keep the underprivileged oppressed. They are thugs and swine who have taken the most downtrodden hostage for their own social-engineering goals, and don't give a damn about the actual results of their actions.

There is some doubt about whether or not any of the potential profits (a questionable presumption, anyway) of a bailout would actually end up in the coffers of ACORN or any of their affiliates or any other similar organizations, but even so the idea of pouring more money into the very same programs that helped trigger the crisis strikes me as slightly insane. The phrase "spraying gasoline on a fire" comes to mind, along with the image of the mythical Ouroboros (the snake swallowing its own tail), the archetypal image of the cyclical nature of the universe.

This notion, of funneling any potential profits from the bailout into even more funding for helping people who can't afford a house of their own get into one anyway, is a horrifically bad idea. Naturally, it's being pushed -- hard -- by the Democrats, who have even said that it is non-negotiable.

Fine with me. If it's a deal-breaker, let the deal be broken. "Fiat iusticia ruat caelum."


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Comments (28)

Don't be shy, Jay...tell us... (Below threshold)
Jim Jernigan:

Don't be shy, Jay...tell us what you REALLY think!

Agree with every word.... (Below threshold)

Agree with every word.

Funding ACORN reminds me of... (Below threshold)

Funding ACORN reminds me of something you'd see in a 3rd world country. The "ruling" party gets its party aparachiks funded by the government.

They're doing that in Nicaragua now under Ortega, so I guess our leftist are just following the Sandinistas. Arise, Poor of the World!!!

Agree re: Acorn.... (Below threshold)

Agree re: Acorn.

Disagree re: Executive Compensation.

One of the reasons we are where we are is this mess is because of Executive Compensation. Rewards in this category are usually for short term instead of long term results via the mechanism of stock options. Short term results is exactly one of the major reasons we got in this mess.

I see no reason for massive Golden Parachutes for those executives who have to go hat in hand to the Treasury to save their company. Look at the guy at WaMu - $20,000,000 for 17 days work.

I believe that new executives will stand in line to take over companies who need a change (most) in the same way that Lawyers often perform pro bono for high profile cases.

I believe it is in the interest of taxpayers for us to take a look at some of the executives like those at Fannie and Freddie, who took millions and bailed before it hit the fan.

Main question. How do they... (Below threshold)

Main question. How do they calculate "profit"? Is it revenue less cost? Or in the make up world of socialism... everything is profit? Shouldn't the complete cost of the handout be added back to the treasury and then profit is counted? Then there's the cost of the new bureaucracy managing it... shouldn't that be part of the cost?

sure sounds like the underpants gnomes are at it again making up new steps for phase 2.

Capping salaries/compensati... (Below threshold)

Capping salaries/compensation/whatever is a mistake. You want to talk "slippery slope"? That one's greased from top to bottom. As Fred Thompson said, "The government should never be in the business of telling people how much money they're allowed to make."

But this, Jay:

There is some doubt about whether or not any of the potential profits (a questionable presumption, anyway) of a bailout would actually end up in the coffers of ACORN or any of their affiliates or any other similar organizations,...

has me wondering. What doubt? ACORN, NACA, et al already have, at their disposal, large sums of money just waiting to get into the hands of a lobbyist to make damn sure they get a slice of that pie. And the "questionable assumption" that the government will make any profits may not be as questionable as you think. Why would they even earmark money for these groups and be adamant about keeping it there if there wasn't a reasonable chance?

Some of the assumed profits may not be realized immediately, but they will be eventually and here's why;

They're desperately trying to come up with ways to keep these people in their homes and here's one of the proposals (as I understand it):

I'll use round numbers so the math is easy. Let's say someone bought a house for $200k and is now in foreclosure. The government wants to keep them in that house so they offer to refinance. The individual cannot afford a $200k house, obviously, but he CAN afford a $150k house. So the government refinances the house at a low fixed rate for $150k for them and keeps a 25% interest in it. They make money when it's sold. I'm going to assume that property values can only go back up from here. (I know, I'm crazy) But they will sooner or later.

Don't worry.The AC... (Below threshold)

Don't worry.

The ACORN thing is out.

Having slept on it --- I think this is why McCain made the odd choice of focusing so much of his Economy time last night on Earmarks. Bills festooned with Christmas ornaments, and such.

I think.... that he's getting ready to lay into the Democrats for "festooning" a bill as big and important as the bailout bill with all these "ornaments".

I predict that within a few days of the bailout passing -- once it's clear it worked, once we know the Country is okay -- he will show us what he means by "I will make them famous. You will know their names."

Remember where McCain's headed --- the time between the debates and the election is going to be all about energy independence and cleaning up Washington...

Okay, I misunderstood the c... (Below threshold)

Okay, I misunderstood the compensation cap thing. If the government (and by extension, we, the public) has control of Fannie, Freddie and others and is bailing them out then yes - cap compensation, but it should only be in this situation and should not be written in as some far reaching legislation to affect all companies.

I must be so old-fashioned,... (Below threshold)

I must be so old-fashioned, I confess that I really like his last line: "Fiat justicia ruat caelum."And I like it in Latin, even though I do have to look it up! Jay Tee pulls no punches.

I am not much concerned about his first objection to the Bailout---capping the bonuses, etc. of company CEO's. I don't really believe that paying exorbitant amounts get you all that much more, and you will see me wearing "designer" clothes only if I find them in church sales, or at the Salvation Army.

His second objection resonates with me, and it is about 20% of any profits from the Bailout going to that Mecca of community organizers, ACORN. (Or, is it racist to use Mecca and 'community organizer' in the same sentence? Here is an aging joke, that has been going around: There are three men in a boat, a Christian, a Jew, and Barack Obama, when he looks at the others and declares, "Guys! This joke is simply not going to work. There's no Muslim in the boat!") Yes, I know BO is not a Muslim, and some of my friends are Muslim, but the joke is about the fact that the laddie doth protest too much.

Hi Jay TeaI disagr... (Below threshold)

Hi Jay Tea

I disagree with you regarding the issue of capping executive pay, for the reasons that have been stated previously.

Moreover, when private enterprise, specifically the financial sector, has to go to the government, cap in hand, no pun intended, it is not unreasonable of the government or society as a whole, to seek certain forebearances. Even though it was government legislation which led to the concept of subprime mortgages, investment banks compounded the problem by availing of cheap credit, and disregarding the concept of risk management and product control.

No matter which way you dress the bailout: it is still a bail out! You could put lipstick on it, but it would still be a bailout with lipstick.

As an aside, you consider yourself a good writer: but if you are a good writer, why do you feel the need to litter your pieces with expletives and words such as "gonna".

Just asking?

James, I am very familiar w... (Below threshold)

James, I am very familiar with the rules and conventions of good writing, and for the most part I do my best to uphold them.

I do, however, break them on occasion. And that is deliberate.

The first example you cite is expletives. I have tremendous respect for their power, and have built my reputation as a writer on normally eschewing all but the least of the profanities. That, however, is in on way indicative that I fear them or refuse to use them; it means that I hoard them and dole them out most carefully, for the times when I wish to use their full power and indicate just how strongly I am angered. In this case, I am infuriated almost beyond words at the thought of Democrats using this crisis to funnel even more money to the corrupt vermin at ACORN, and deliberately chose to use the strongest language to say so.

In the second case, I occasionally slip into the vernacular, the conversational, the casual, the informal tone as a stylistic choice. When I use "gonna" in place of "going to," I am trying to convey a relaxed, laid-back, informal tone that expresses the mood that I'm neither excited, nor overly concerned about appearances. That can mean I am either not very worked up, or the opposite -- that I have abandoned formal precision as a prelude to unloading, civility be damned.

I understand you might not approve of those choices, but rest assured they are both deliberate, and by no means indications of laziness or sloppiness. It's part of my overall voice, and I am extremely comfortable with it.

I do appreciate your concerns, though, because it gave me this opportunity to elaborate on just why I do certain things, and the thoughts behind those decisions.


At that point, I w... (Below threshold)
Atticus Finch:
At that point, I will make it my personal crusade to take down every single Senator and Representative who votes for the bailout measure.

Oooooooh. The Democrats, fearing the power of the mighty Jay Tea, who can leap tall buildings in a single bound and influence elections with a single post, must be quaking in their boots.

Actually, that sentence either indicates a megalomaniacal personality disorder or is a physical threat against public officials.

So, JT, you either have to admit that you need to seek professional help or that you're threatening physical violence against members of Congress. Not a good play on your part, Einstein.

Oooh, Atticus, I'm sure Jay... (Below threshold)

Oooh, Atticus, I'm sure Jay's legs have gone all rubbery in the wake of your petty ridicule.

I think a Virtual PottyMout... (Below threshold)

I think a Virtual PottyMouth Jar with Virtual Quarters set off in the righthand column of WizBang would be most helpful. Then, when Jay or any other blogger or commenter needs to vent with expletives, at least they could pay the piper.

Atticus - how DARE you use one of my favorite literary characters as your commenter name, then not show one ounce of Mr. Finch's class in your comment? I'll bet you can't even handle a firearm. From here on out, we shall refer to you as Boo Radley.

Finally, with regard to the post itself - this is all so frustrating. I heard a few nights ago that the intention was to also throw in a ton of bad credit card and student loan debt. I vacillate between not wanting another Crash of '29 to "let them fend for themselves". Glad I'm not in charge.

Atticus,Just because... (Below threshold)

Just because JT decides to make it his personal crusade does not mean that he thinks he will succeed. It is the trying that matters--that sets the preconditions for success. If Obama had not tried, he would not have reached so soon (too soon?) this eminent position that he now occupies. If McCain had given up, last year, when everyone had given up on him, it would have been someone else doing the running in this election.
I am reminded of Dumbledore's consoling words to Harry Potter, at the end of the first book, even as he informs him that the war is not over:
"...while you may only have delayed his return to power, it will merely take someone else who is prepared to fight what seems a losing battle next time --- and if he is delayed again, and again, why, he may never return to power."

So, JT has resolved to gird himself for the fight. Perhaps we shall all join him,and while we shall remember that crusades are more often lost than won, that slightly inconveneint fact will not stay our resolve.

I don't usually write to blogs, but JT's style inspires me--I am glad that I have found Wizbang, and I come to the page frequently. I also want to add that I believe I have sufficient discrimination to recognize that his use of expletives, and colloquialisms, is absolutely deliberate and not acts of carelessness, or the consequences of a bad upbringing. I do like the overall effect!

I wholeheartedly agree with... (Below threshold)

I wholeheartedly agree with you about killing the bailout if ACORN is in it. This really needs to be exposed! The majority of people are already disgusted with the bailout and if more of them knew about the underhanded stuff that the Democrats are putting in the bill, they would VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE AND CALL FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS.

The democrates are itching ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The democrates are itching to get their hands on more money to fund their utopian socialist state pipe dream, and they're using this must pass legislation to facilitate their favorite programs, which are the ones that favor them in future elections. That's pretty much business as usual for that crowd

The current financial problem is exacerbated by a rule that requires banks to match the book value of assets to the current market value and take write downs as the market drops. This accounting rule was changed after the S&L bailout, but could be changed back with the stroke of a pen. The idea of the old rule was that an asset like a house still has value even if there's currently no market for it.

In fact, much of the current financial problem has been caused by stupid accounting rule changes. The oil bubble was due in part to a rule change that opened up that market to investors who could not take delivery of the oil. Another rule changed allowed mortgages to be packaged as securities and sold to investors. Lets change these rules back before we spend 700 billion to buy up distressed mortgage backed securities. Otherwise, the bailout is just a band-aid that wont result in a long term fix.

Here's an aspect of the mor... (Below threshold)

Here's an aspect of the mortgage bailout to consider, folks. You get your house with the government keeping a share interest in it. You find a better job out of town and want to sell your house. But the market for housing hasn't raised the price of your house enough to make it profitable to sell.

a) who is gong to buy your house with a lien from the US government on it?
b) what kind of price are you going to get for it ( ie how much money are you going to lose)?
If you were flipping houses and not living in the house, do you get bailed out?

Clint, can you provide a li... (Below threshold)

Clint, can you provide a link for the assertion that the "ACORN thing" is out? I can't seem to find it.

oyster, the Acorn thing has... (Below threshold)

oyster, the Acorn thing has been on fox a couple of times. One Congress critter has mentioned it in a news conference. It is"out" there. It is also on a couple of blogs and I did not log where, sorry.

Ok folks, explain something to me.

I agreed with Jay about Acorn. I knew about it yesterday and wanted to puke. Matter of fact, I mentioned this in a comment with note of the Brother of one of the founders who ripped off Acorn for a cool million. When he was caught, the family paid it back. Paid it back out of what has puzzled me since I read about it.

Now here is what is bothing me. I got a negative score for the particular post where I addressed executive compensation and gave an example of WaMu paying the guy in charge for 17 days twenty million dollars. That is $20,000,000.00 for 17 days of work.

Excuse me?

So what was wrong with what I said? I don't get it. Nobody has torn into me, so what did I say?

Mac you are right. Newt ha... (Below threshold)

Mac you are right. Newt has opined on mark to market. When West Texas Sweet was opened up for speculators, the bubble started.

On the other hand, if you believe Simmons and others, oil is gonna hit $500 a barrel in the next five-ten years anyway. With Iraq coming on line with 180 billion barrels of reserves, I kinda doubt it, but frankly don't have the knowledge to argue one way or the other.

I do know that ethanol is stinking up the whole idea of energy independence.

ACORN has been tied to nume... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

ACORN has been tied to numerous voter-fraud schemes (esp in swing states)...

These are only the ones they've actually been caught at.

My guess: There is MUCH, MUCH more of this sh*t going on, and we've only seen the tip of the iceberg.

It seems to be standard operating procedure for them to falsify voter registrations.

WHY, oh WHY would I want my tax dollars funneled to a group that attempts to subvert the voting process?

I wholeheartedly concur with Jay's assessment: FUCK, NO

Larry, in regards to that "... (Below threshold)

Larry, in regards to that "negative vote". All you had to do at any point here is piss one person off and no matter what you say, they will vote you down. I have one such fan. The vast majority of what I say will almost always show one negative vote. I don't even care who's doing it. My advice is to ignore it. It has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the quality or truthfulness of what you said. It's just some child who prefers to engage in passive/aggressive behavior. And it's especially apparent when you get a negative vote like that and no one openly challenges what you said.

"Actually, that sent... (Below threshold)

"Actually, that sentence either indicates a megalomaniacal personality disorder or is a physical threat against public officials."

No dipsh&t, it ACTUALLY means what it SAYS.
A crusade will take place against any and all who vote for the bailout with the ACORN payoff.

Crusades are usually led, I will bet that Jay T. would have a large number of people follow him in such a crusade. Count me as one...

Thanks oyster. Now ... (Below threshold)

Thanks oyster. Now I understand.

Our house of cards is about... (Below threshold)

Our house of cards is about to fall. Nitpicking is extraneous distraction.

What's to study? If you ar... (Below threshold)

What's to study? If you are a conservative. If you beleive in markets. You will be anti-bailout. If you never really beleived in them, but just sorta voted R, cause it was like your football team...than maybe you want to follow Bush off the cliff. Oh...and McCain is pathetic. What the hell is his position?

Gone is the party of Reagan and Buckley.

"Oh...and McCain is path... (Below threshold)

"Oh...and McCain is pathetic. What the hell is his position?"

Oh I see. He's pathetic, but you don't know what his position is. Got it.






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