I have friends that can't get loans to purchase a house, because the banks are tied up in knots. When I listened to Rep. Stark talk on KGO, I couldn't believe what he said. When the talk show host said that he couldn't purchase a car because his bank can't figure out if it is going to issue a loan or not, Stark dismissed the possibility that frozen credit is a problem and instead started ranting about people shouldn't buy SUVs, but should instead buy cars with four cylinder engines... like the ones made in the Numi plant here in Fremont.
I was surprised when I read that he cast his vote against the act, but I was even more stunned at the hairball excuses and lame platitudes. Bitching about Bush, blaming people who drive SUVs, and blatantly ignoring the problems credit market was too much for me. I don't plan on casting my vote for Stark again, until he pulls his head out of his ass and figures out that his partisan rancor might be valid, but the stakes are too god damned high to watch the economy collapse just so he can blame the Bush Administration.
I think the best comment on the recovery bill was summed up by an electoral vote website I periodically visit.
For a lot of ordinary Americans, this crisis reminds them of the story "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." As the Washington Post put it: "The leaders of the country said: Trust Us. The people said: Not this time." Too many people still remember about how the administration said we had to invade Iraq right now with no time for debate because, as Condi Rice put it, "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud". Maybe there is a wolf this time, but the administration has no credibility any more.
I can understand why Republicans defected. They foolishly hate even the concept of regulation, and believe that lifting a finger to help the market would doom the nation to Euro-style socialism (which is the new Communism in the 21st century). They might be stupid, but at least they are consistently stupid.
What amazes me about Democrats like Rep. Stark is that they are willing to cut off their nose in order to spite their face. Regardless of Bush's reputation and history of broken promises, even a broken clock is right twice a day. The vote against the idea because the messenger has no credibility is simply beyond the pale, especially when there is more than enough evidence that the credit markets are hosed and this plan (when used in Sweden) actually works and could turn a profit.
But no, we have to say "bailout" over and over again. We toss around "$700 billion" like it's an impossibily huge sum, and ignore not only the $600 spending bill congress passed last weekend and the fact that our economy is 15 trillion dollars. We can't possibly view it as an investment in the markets, to not only insure that our economy doesn't tank, but one that will make money back? I mean, it's not like they are going to toss this money into the sea or set it on fire.
This whole thing amazes me, and I hope that the Senate passes the bill... and give Rep. Stark a chance to earn my vote back by supporting it when it comes back up in the house.