This blog is still alive, just in semi-hibernation. When I want to write something longer than a tweet about something other than math or sci-fi, here is where I'll write it.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
A few words from two very different Republicans.
So The Only President We've Got went on the air last night, and told us about how bad it would be if we don't hand over 700 billion dollars to him and his pals, and sooner rather than later. Bad badness was just around the corner if we didn't do as he says, kind of like the hypothetical mushroom cloud he saved us from when he invaded Iraq about five years ago.
What is the difference between what Bush did last night and what villains do in movies when they ask governments for gigantic ransoms or else they will unleash horrible destruction? Really, what is the difference between a laughingstock like George W. Bush and an over the top comic villain like Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies?
The main difference I can tell is that in Dr. Evil's imaginary world, his threat is more credible.
The people in Washington who don't like this bailout are people I generally hate, like Newt Gingrich and James Inhofe. This should make me think twice about my position against it, but I'm still very skeptical.
But I did hear from one Republican whose opinion still carries some weight with me, and that would be the gosh darned pater familias, the man on whose knee I happily bounced about a half century ago.
My dad's big idea is that any financial institution that has bought a bundle of mortgages and other loans at some ridiculous price like 22 cents on the dollar should by law be compelled to negotiate with the people paying those loans off at similar prices. Of course, these weasels are in business to make a profit, so let's say everybody in that particular bundle of loans gets a deal at 33 cents on the dollar. Sure, some folks will still be unable to pay, but if two thirds or more can pay at the reduced rates, there's a profit in it for the vultures and massive savings for the people who got in over their heads in a "no fault insurance" kind of way.
My dad was an insurance adjuster back in the day. He was very keen on no fault insurance.
Maybe the government could promise to reimburse these particular hypothetical vultures at say, 27 cents on the dollar for those loans where the borrowers can't pay under any circumstance. This would cost the taxpayers some dough, of course, but nothing like the horrific $700 billion price tag that we are being sold now.
Just a thought from my dad this week, which is one more thought than George W. Bush has had this year, as far as I can tell. I think the idea has some merit, and who knows? Maybe one of my student loans, which I'm paying back faithfully thank you very much, got put in one of these bundles, and I might get some fabulous savings. That would certainly be frosting on the cake for me.