I was in favor of the $700 billion bail out. It was a bail out for the economy, not the fat cats on Wall Street, and was necessary to get the credit markets moving. However, the bail out and the funds from the economic stimulus package are being abused to support lobbyists and big donors rather than to stabilize our financial markets.

On Monday, American Express received approval to transform itself into a bank holding company. By definition, a bank holding company is any corporation that controls one or more banks. Since when are credit cards and travel services considered banking? The bottom line is that they don’t offer loans, which is exactly what our economy needs to start moving again. From what I can tell, no one knew about the deal until it was done. I would like to know who is responsible and then they should be fired.

The RePO (Reid-Pelosi-Obama) team is calling for emergency financial assistance for the auto industry. The auto industry is a significant piece of our economy and some support should be given, at least to the lending arm of the industry, but only with the right provisions. Obama’s team is pushing on three issues. First, they want to accelerate access to the $25B in Energy Department loans that were meant to develop more fuel-efficient cars. Second, they want to give them access to the $700 bail out fund. Third, they want to give them emergency loans from the Federal Reserve.

Detroit auto makers have been in trouble for some time now. They were in trouble before the credit markets shut down and they were in trouble before gas prices sky rocketed and people quit buying SUVs. All the while foreign auto makers like Toyota and Honda, both of which have major plants in the US, were doing well. That tells me that they have fundamental problems within their companies. Throwing billions of dollars at it may temporarily put a band aid on their problems, but the cash will run out eventually and they’ll be right back in this situation.

As for the $25 billion that they’ve been given, it’s for development of more fuel-efficient cars. That’s putting the cart before the horse. Although fuel efficient cars are the future of the industry, they have immediate problems they need to focus on and fix first. One of the most important of which are unions. Unions are inefficient, expensive, and the political driver behind the bail out of the auto industry. Democrats bow down to unions because they are one of their biggest supporters. Personally, I don’t believe that’s a good reason to funnel billions of dollars to Detroit.

After giving them access to the bail out funds and Energy Department loans, RePO wants to give them access the Federal Reserve loans. Why don’t we just write them a blank check? That way RePO never has to worry about the unions not supporting Democrats.

Now we’re going to insure $139 billion in debt for GE Capital. At least they’re actually a bank holding company and own a savings bank.

This economic crisis is unprecedented and no one knows what the ‘right’ solution is, but for once can we take politics out of it and do what’s best for our country? Then again, maybe that’s too much to ask of most politicians.

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