The first time I heard the phrase "Too Big To Fail", I thought they were talking
about Mark Whalberg's character Dick Digglar in the Hollywood Classic "Boogie
Nights", or they were announcing the new "Tagline" that would appear in the
latest Cialis commercial...I had no idea they were actually referring to how
Americans were getting screwed over by our largest financial institutions.
Almost overnight it seemed top bankers became the biggest "bank robbers".
JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley were making Bonnie and Clyde look more like
Sonny and Cher.
The new showdown at the OK Corral was at the ATM machine and whether or not
you could draw down on your card or simply walk away with an IOU.
The banks walked away with 1 trillion dollars in cash and another 4-6 trillion in
money printed from the Federal Reserve...and the only shot that was fired was
loaded with our fear and their incompetency.
In spite of the fact they had already left the economy for dead...they still sent the
vultures back to make sure the carcass still had enough money left for their exorbitant
bonuses and stock options to be paid out at the end of the year!
Today, banks are bigger than they have ever been before in the name of being able to compete in a Global Economy, while new legislation and oversight groups are as effective as a "Blind Meter Maid" giving out parking tickets on the streets of Manhattan.
But as one institution has learned to eat cake, while its customers still struggle to
buy a cup of coffee, the most important institution that is "Too Big To Fail"... the
United States Government, can't seem to get any help at all!
When banks are sitting on trillions of borrowed dollars to shore up their ledgers
and service fictitious assets that make "credit default swaps" sound like a new kinky
financial section on the latest married dating site...the American government is
fighting to pay its bills and support its people.
Since 1965, the costs of entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare
have grown twice as fast as personal income, while the top 1% of the population has
also seen their share of personal income double during the same period of time.
This triangular policy of the rich getting richer - the middle class getting poorer - and the Government receiving the lowest percentage of tax revenue since 1950, is building a nation that is not "Too Big To Fail" but destined to fall to a failing ideology.
Less government is not by definition more effective government, and if you are a
member of the Republican Party you probably believe only "the smallest size fits all".
We cannot continue to take in only 74% of the revenue that we spend...but the size of our our government needs to match the limitless of our potential.
We need to size our government so our teenagers are not ranked 22nd in reading literacy, 21st in science and 29th place in math.
We need to re-size our government so we are not spending 1 trillion dollars more a year in military programs than the Chinese, so they are free to spend the equivalent on roads, trains and research and development.
We need to size a government that provides one of the highest infant mortality rates and a retirement that leaves people proud of their sacrifice instead of shamed without dignity.
As the battle over the size of spending cuts and tax revenue becomes percentages of GDP, flat taxes and cost of living increases tied to inflation...remember that we are not fighting over numbers but we are fighting for our neighbors, our family and our friends.
Unlike the American Revolution which began with a fight not to pay an unjust tax, we are now fighting for people to pay their fair share...so we can all share the good life.
The latest tactic by the Republicans is to exaggerate the shortfall and be the financial Paul Revere of today by shouting the message of one if by tax increase with 10 if of spending cuts.
We won the War with the British and they became our strongest allies...maybe there is hope for the Republicans yet!