Letters to the editor: Sept. 28 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: Sept. 28

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Posted: Sunday, September 28, 2008 8:59 pm | Updated: 10:10 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

THE ECONOMY

Hold Wall Street to account

Now hold on just a minute here. The government wants little old me to bail out Wall Street billionaires, government-mandated sub-prime mortgages, foreign banks, student loans, car loans, car manufacturers, airlines, and just about any kind of debt that a bank doesn’t like while I continue to pay my mortgage and my already outrageous tax burden?

Forget it! First, the crooks who doled out generous campaign contributions while running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the ground and the Wall Street hucksters who sold this toxic waste to investors should be brought up on charges, stripped of every dime they took out of their institutions, and be forced to spend the rest of their lives with one house, two cars, no jet, and a job in a Wal-Mart stockroom. Tyco and Enron management — even Martha Stewart — went to jail on lesser charges, but I’ve yet to hear how these crooks will be held accountable.

Next, the genius congressmen (especially Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.,) who engineered this mess should be censured, stripped of their committee memberships, and forced to explain exactly how and why they destroyed capitalism as we know it today.

Then the voters they represent will know what to do.

I am beyond outraged at this unprecedented raid on the treasury to fix a problem the government itself created. This crisis was brought about when the government prohibited “red-lining” and mandated sub-prime mortgages. Then, ignoring the advice of accounting professionals, they allowed Wall Street to package and sell them as “safe” investments.

Wrong, Congress, very wrong. The “fix” on the table is also wrong and it’s going to cost us far more than anyone thinks it will. This bailout plan goes way beyond taxation without representation. If Congress persists in this thievery, look for the November elections to resemble the Boston Tea Party.

GEORGE WEAVER

CAREFREE

Dems didn’t relax regulations

With regard to Ron Lenert’s Sept. 25 letter, “Dems in Congress to blame,” I would like to point out that Sen. John McCain has a clear history of supporting deregulation of financial institutions, and he has often boasted about that support.

In particular, he voted in favor of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, wholeheartedly embracing Phil (“the U.S. is becoming a nation of whiners”) Gramm’s policy of deregulation. This act effectively repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, borne of the Great Depression, which had separated investment from commercial banking, and barred banks, brokerages and insurance companies from entering each others’ industries. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was passed 54-44, along party lines. Sens. Joe Biden, R-Del., and Harry Reid, D-Nev., voted against this measure.

Before pointing the finger of blame at the Democrats, take a look at the historical facts. The Republican Party has controlled Congress from 1994 to 2006. That said, maybe now both parties can come to some agreement about resolving the current crisis, insuring that taxpayers will at least be reimbursed, allowing bankruptcy courts to restructure mortgage payments, so that people may keep their homes while making more affordable payments that reduce their own debt as well as the damage to taxpayers, providing strict oversight as to how taxpayer funds are distributed and spent, preventing Wall Street executives from benefiting from their gross mismanagement, and re-instituting the types of restrictions on financial institutions that protected the public for decades.

Once we all recover from our outrage, I hope we will be able to pull together and get through this, all the more wise. Some people may not fare too well in these next few years. They will need our compassion and our support.

KAREN DAVIS

GILBERT

Stealing from taxpayers

Add the proposed trillion-dollar socialist handout to the $2 trillion socialist handouts already in the federal budget and the taxpayers are going to be defrauded of $3 trillion. This is no-value-added robbery. It is one group of thieves rewarding another group of thieves. Welcome to Socialist America.

LEROY DUNCAN

MESA

Congress ignored warnings

The bailout of the financial industry has me very confused. President Bush and the Federal Reserve says it is urgent that the problem be fixed before the credit markets and dry up or people will lose their home and jobs. They seem to forget all the hearings that took place between 2005 and 2007 regarding the mortgage and real estate industry. A friend of mine in the real estate industry at that time said if the appraisal doesn’t come in high enough to get a mortgage approved, wait a week and resubmit the application, the value should be high enough then. The NINJAS (no income, no job or assets) were buying homes left and right.

Down payments on homes were lowered to almost nothing, and adjustable rate mortgages were the way to go. I personally learned about the negative side of ARMs 20 years ago, and haven’t had one since.

State senators and congressmen were complaining about how fast housing was appreciating in value. They complained to Congress, who did nothing. If Congress and the Fed have known about the gravity of this situation for years, how can they save us from it now, when they are one of the causes of the problem? Why is it so urgent today, rather than six months or a year ago?

FRANK SARWARK

TEMPE

Prosecute everyone involved

I propose Congress enact legislation to permit and encourage the civil and criminal prosecution of every financier who ever collected more than $500,000 in wages, bonus, stock options, kickbacks and grease in a single year dating from 1990 onward. These slimebags should be treated as the crooks, cowards and incompetents that they most surely are. Their violation of the public trust amounts to nothing less than treason.

The rules of evidence and sentencing could be kept simple enough for most juries to comprehend: mere income and position would prove the case, and lifetime incarceration would offer the much deserved remedy. Those who created this disaster should pay for it dearly.

H. WILLIAM FOGLE JR.

MESA

Plan overwhelms taxpayers

Congressional politicians cannot escape their unintended consequences by their actions to interfere in the free marketplace. They enabled predatory lending, unethical practices and allowed scam artists to prey on the underprivileged. The low-income, hungry-for-the-American-dream segment of the population fell victim to the buy-now pay-later appeal and stated income schemes. Their perceived government entitlement came at a costly price. They discovered hard reality — inability to meet monthly payments as rates began to adjust, leading to the domino effect we have with forecloses today.

Repeatedly, it’s been published that a large portion of homeowners are in good standing with their mortgage loans, only a small percentage are contributing to the foreclosure turmoil. So how is it that so many bank and mortgage companies are holding so much debt that our government must intervene with a bailout? The most recent $700 billion federal legislation preaching to buy “bad debt” of financial institutions smacks with socialism. What angers me the most, however, is the possibility of bailing out foreign-owned institutions and grossly mismanaged companies.

Taxpayers will be crushed with higher taxation and further investment portfolio deterioration. We Americans are facing a tsunami and on the verge drowning in a massive bailout.

RAY TORRES

SCOTTSDALE

Rushing to wrong solution

Once again (remember the Iraq war, Patriot Act and Bush tax cut votes?), we succumb to political pressure to rush forward into major decision-making without time for examination. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s claim that this is needed for consumer credit is laughable — repayments on credit cards, etc., provide funding for others’ subsequent credit, and that has not been affected. Meanwhile, markets have already recovered from the initial shock, and those irresponsible investors will quickly profit from this program.

And once again we bail out irresponsible and criminally overpaid people for their mistakes — Lockheed, Chrysler, Long-Term Capital Management, savings and loans of the 1980s, New York City, airlines post-9/11, Bear Stearns, AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and now everybody else on Wall Street. Worse yet, the very people who heavily profited from this mess will profit again as they participate in buying and selling these toxic mortgages.

And why should Paulson be in charge of fixing what may or may not be a serious problem? What was he doing while all this built up? What have we been paying him and his thousands of bureaucrats for?

As for President Bush, he has to be delighted with another opportunity to drive us deeper in debt — precluding new programs and correcting our serious problems with uninsured health care, deteriorating infrastructure, global warming, energy dependence on the Middle East, vanishing manufacturing jobs and skills, and already enormous trade and federal deficits.

Then, to be “fair,” Democrats want to also bail out the morons who gambled and signed up for mortgages they couldn’t afford, and claim they’ll also pass strict new regulations and accountability — later, after they’ve lost their leverage. Dream on.

All of the above are incompetent and the American political system is broken!

LOYD ESKILDSON

SCOTTSDALE

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