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Congress runs America like the Titantic
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The Titanic should have taught us all a lesson. When the ship of state hits an iceberg, it’s the rich and powerful to the lifeboats first while the rest of us are left scrambling around like a bunch of trapped rats on a sinking ship.

The masses were lured aboard the fantasy of an unsinkable high growth economy perpetuated by the financial titans of corporate America – AIG, Bear Sterns, and Washington Mutual to name a few – with the complicity and blessing of the federal government which went as far as relaxing the oversight standards for adequate lifeboats as insurance against something going terribly wrong.

Yes, the little guy should have acted more responsible. They should have understood what debt they could handle. They should have realized the zero down mortgages or low introductory rate mortgages were toxic. It’s hard to fault them 100 percent, though, when they were lured on board by ticket sellers making big commissions who helped convince them the ship would never sink and then locked them into even more restrictive loans that prevented re-financing for three years so they could pocket even more commissions. Those ticket agents were working for the streamline company that had managed to throw all caution and reason out the window assuming they had helped cerate the biggest baddest period of economic growth mankind has ever known. They tossed aside warnings from responsible folks within their organizations and went full speed ahead as they believed their own hype that there would never be a downside to reckless loans and spending.

The government regulators looked the other way. It was just a matter of time before many government leaders – such as those who allegedly are running the California ship of state – bought into the fantasy as well believing they should spend beyond their means because it was a given even more money would roll in down the road. It was the way many people spent with no one stopping for  a minute to ask themselves what would happen if the party ended tomorrow and the unthinkable happened.

When it because apparent the economy had rammed the iceberg called reality, who was taken care of first? It was the corporate bankers cozy with D.C. who viewed themselves invincible with the loan structures they had created. They got access to the first lifeboats from Washington.

And as things got worse, they got more lifeboats. By the time the government came up with their loan modification program for those in steerage, it essentially gave many false hope there would be room in the lifeboats for all of them.

Uncle Sam kept the rich and powerful whole – and even allowed them to honor contracts for multi-million bonuses using money gleaned from the pockets of struggling Americans – while basically leaving the rest of us scrambling as the ship continued to sink.

Of course, corporate America sings a different tune when they have messed up and are sinking. In good times when there is talk of an increase in taxes, they correctly point out a tax on them ultimately is a tax on every American who buys their products as taxes are simply collapsed into the price of doing business.

Once they need money – whether it is for a subsidy in bad or good times – they talk like corporate America generates the nation’s wealth.

Congress – and Washington, D. C., as a whole – showed their true colors in this crisis. The rich and powerful must be saved first and given lifeboats on the premise that is how you help the little guys who are dog paddling in red ink. By having AIG survive and issue big bonuses to the people who helped steer the Titanic into the iceberg, you are supposedly saving the little people who are drowning by the thousands.

In a nation built in the premise that we are all in this together and that all men are created equal in the eyes of God and the government, we have come to a point in our history as a country where the actions of Congress & Co. have made it clear there are two classes in America. There is the rich and powerful who are treated first class by the government and who have an implied constitutional right not to fail. Then there are the rest of us who not only lack such privileges but must pay the price for the chosen to go first class.