Apparently, Congressman Zach Wamp (whom I usually admire) has caved in to the polls based on the "bailout" moniker. The fact is that his vote against the bipartisan plan will seriously hurt retirees, folks with retirement funds, small businesses needing credit and folks needing mortgage assistance.
Zach, you are dead wrong on your vote today, and your constituents will remember when the shoe drops.
I'm sorry you did not have the intestinal fortitude to follow the lead of our senators.
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Thank you for doing what your constituents wanted. The time is now to say No More to CEOs taking millions of dollars and ripping off John Q. Public.
Talk about your subprime loans. These people have played hard and fast and lined their own pockets. Now they want 'US' to bail them out? What hubris.
That is the very definition of insanity. Stop drinking the "Jim Jones Kool Aid" and say No More.
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Now, let me get this straight. We're all on a big ol' ship and it's sinking. The captain and his crew are at fault and want us to stop the leak.
But we want to teach them a lesson; we say, no. Sounds like a plan to me.
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I, too, feel as if Mr. Wamp fell for the polls and the pressure of all the 300-1 rhetoric in the House. I sent an e-mail last week trying to make the point to Mr. Wamp that this was not Main Street vs. Wall Street, but apparently the point has not hit home.
It will. Today was just a taste of what we have in store with retirement accounts and savings. I will assume today most people saw 8% of their retirement savings evaporate.
However, most of the 300-1 calling to complain about bailing out Wall Street had little to nothing to lose either way or were too ignorant to realize it. When they lose their job or their welfare check stops, perhaps we will get something done in this Congress.
I am sitting here listening to all of the partisan rambling and watched most of the debate today on the floor. I'm going to give Mr. Wamp the benefit of the doubt that it wasn't the polling numbers or calls to his office that swayed his vote as much as the liberal drivel spewed upon the floor of the house by Nancy Pelosi immediately prior to the vote disparaging all things Bush, conservative or capitalistic.
As much as I think the bill was needed and the immediate future will tell, I almost wanted this bill to fail just because of the one who somehow got elected to the House and made Speaker.
This is truly a sad day and it's not Wall Street that lost. It is the American people who were let down by the people we sent to Washington to help us.
S. Winer Drive
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I have below the text of the U.S. Senate press release regarding the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The House also passed this bill into law and the vote was by a wide majority, though not as wide as the Senate.
Congressman Wamp voted for passage of this law, Barney Frank, now a ranking member of the House Banking Committee, voted against. As the text below shows, Sen. Shelby Of Alabama was the lone Republican to vote against the act. Sen. McCain did not vote. Whether that means he was absent, I do not know.
Another law followed this one by about two years opening another floodgate to adjustable rate mortgages. These laws passed with a Congress controlled by the Republican Party. My recollection is that legislation crafted had majority members of Congress working with the financial industry to pass these laws.
Now the work begins to reverse the damage done. Common sense may dictate the House vote today. It should also dictate how the legislative branch of our government will act to make our financial services industry reflect better the deep well across the Atlantic Ocean in Europe. There, stricter controls have made financial marketplaces that are better able to weather this storm. Their regulators have grimaced at the machinations in the U.S. markets.
The last words I can find from the former Sen. Graham are what he said in August this year. His remarks about the economy were that people who thought it was in a mess were whiners. His candidate (McCain) has a voting record that includes voting against the minimum wage increase 19 times.
SENATE APPROVES GRAMM-LEACH-BLILEY ACT
VOTE PAVES WAY FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES MODERNIZATION
The U.S. Senate voted 90-8 today to approve S. 900, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which will repeal the Depression-era barriers that separate banking, insurance and securities. Sen. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, issued the following statement:
"I believe we have passed what will prove to be the most important banking bill in 60 years. It overturns the key provision of the Glass-Steagall act that divided the American financial system.
"Over time, the market and the regulators have used a variety of innovations to try to undo this separation. As a result, we have substantial competition occurring, but it is competition that is largely inefficient and costly, it is unstable, and it is not in the public interest for this situation to continue.
"The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act strikes down these walls and opens up new competition. It will create wholly new financial services organizations in America. It will literally bring to every city and town in America the financial services supermarket.
"Americans today spend about $350 billion on financial services – on fees and charges and interest. Most people who have looked at the potential for providing financial services under a more rational system believe, as I believe, that there are tens of billions of dollars of savings for the American consumer that will be produced by the reforms of this bill."
Not Voting 1
McCain (R-AZ), Not Voting
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Fitzgerald (R-IL), Present
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Thank you, Mr. Wamp.
Do you think Mr. Bin Laden knew we would spend ourselves into bankruptcy trying to kill him? I am sure he is scratching his head tonight.
Your vote took courage, and you have my vote Nov. 4.
John D. Moon
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I am SOOO thrilled that Wamp voted against the "Bailout". I normally have not been a fan of him, but today, he's a personal hero of mine. On the flip side, Sen. Alexander has lost favor with me because of his push of this.
I have read comments both for and against. The reason many officials voted against it was 'because' of their constituents' outcry against this socialist attempt of government. It's about 'less' control by the feds, not more. You allow them to take over mortgages and that's just one step closer to total control of our assets. That's 'not' "New World Order", nor is it "Conspiracy Theory" garbage, but just the way it is.
Many folks can't see the forest for the trees. If the feds 'did' do the bailout, there's no guarantee that they would ever get our tax money used for that purpose back. Our country is already in debt up to its eyeballs. That debt belongs to us.
If a company makes irresponsible business decisions, it's their fault, they suffer, case closed. Our taxes were not/are not intended to save businesses. The Constitution says so. If Joe's Pizza Parlor makes dumb investment decisions with their capital, they either close or someone buys them out. That's the way of a free market - it works itself out.
We're gonna have hard times for awhile either way, guys. Throwing more money to the folks who made the mistakes in the first place is not the answer. That's just punishment on us. If the ship is sinking, the captain and his crew "go down" with the ship, and save the others. Let's teach Washington and the "Corporate World" how that works...
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Let the big banks go bankrupt. They got themselves in this mess with their eyes wide open. Let them get themselves out by any means they can if they want out. "We" - and I am talking about us as taxpayers - don't need to bail out the banks at the cost of bankrupting our government.
We are spending billions in Iraq every week on an unpopular war and I read that Iraq now has billions in their treasury. Let them spend their own money for a change to keep this war going or to end it. This would add quite a bit to our treasury and help to pay off our debts.
I am 64 years old today and I have been around the block a few times myself and I have loaned out different amounts of money to family members and so-called friends. I have gotten some of it back and I have lost some of it, but I didn't ask the government to bail me out. I would have been laughed off the face of the earth. I bit my tongue and tried to remember to not do it again.
I have known since I was little that the banks have all the money. If I wanted a loan, I went to the bank, not to the taxpayers. If I didn't pay off the loan as it was written, the banks would have taken my collateral and that would be the end of the matter.
If any private citizen was to ask the government for a bailout, they would be laughed out of town also. The fat cat bankers who have always spelled out the exact terms for a loan to me and you are now asking for a loan from us with hardly any stipulations that they would ever pay it back, but some of our politicians and our illustrious leader in Washington say it is OK.
We aren't gonna get any collateral except a bunch of bad loans or a bunch of bad real estate that is overvalued and probably worthless, but we wouldn't know this until quite a few months down the road and it would be too late.
Again, let the big banks and insurance companies go belly up. They deserve it. They will learn a lot from this. They will get themselves out of this mess just like they got themselves into it. The banks might ask some of the rich dudes in the USA for some loans like Warren Buffett, who is getting 15% interest on his $5 billion he loaned out the other day - not a bad deal for him.
I am a staunch Democrat and wouldn't vote for a Republican if my life depended on it, but I want to applaud Mr. Wamp for doing the right thing. I just hope he doesn't change his mind and cave into pressure from our illustrious leader or from the rich dudes in the banking industry of our nation.
South Pittsburg, Tn.
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Zach Wamp did the right thing in voting against the bail out.
It will not work and just dig our hole deeper.
Joseph De Stefano
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Dear Mr. Maynor,
You've got to me kidding me. You honestly believe that Mr. Wamp was all set to vote for the bailout, but then, all of a sudden Ms. Pelosi's speech offended him so deeply that he said "Forget this, I'm voting 'No' now?"
If this is the case, I just lost what little respect I had for Republican politicians. In fact, if this is the case, I'd ask you how can you have any respect for Republican politicians. If you're correct, they just threw your IRA in the trash because their feelings got hurt.
I heard her speech too and I didn't think it was more partisan than plenty of Republican speeches I've heard. Plus, I personally think she was absolutely correct. But you're telling us that these Republican Congressmen are so sensitive that this one speech changed their votes and that it is to blame for derailment of legislation backed by Bush and McCain. It forced Republicans to go against their leaders. This is completely absurd.
But if you're right, you might need to take the "G" out of the "GOP" and replace it with another "O," for over-sensitive.
Quincy, Mass. (formerly of Chattanooga)
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I would heartily disagree that Zach Wamp caved into pressure. Indeed, the pressure was on the other way, as he and others knew that if the bill failed, the markets would crash - and they did. However, this still was the right vote, and I am glad this dog of a bill was beaten.
The real problem is not the repeal of Glass-Steagal or anything like that. The real problem is that the Federal Reserve System is destroying the dollar. Furthermore, by promising to backstop losses on Wall Street, the government has been encouraging the very reckless behavior that should be avoided. No amounts of regulation and oversight will change the fact that the government's plan to buy nearly a trillion dollars of near-worthless mortgage securities was wrong, and at least for now, it is in the tank.
So, Zach, as a former Chattanoogan, I give you my congratulations. You did the right thing.
William L. Anderson
Department of Economics
College of Business
Frostburg State University
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Zach Wamp did the right thing. Did the bailout of the Savings and Loans in 1989, suspiciously under George Bush Sr., do anything to fix unbridled speculation? No. It probably fueled the speculation that we have seen in the mortgage markets.
Did George W. Bush's Stimulant Package do anything to help the economy? No. Unless you are thinking about China's economy.
Wake up, people in Tennessee. While you are worried about abortion, gay rights, etc., your country is being taken from you by Wall Street with the active help of the U.S. Treasury.
I don't know if Obama would make a good President, but just remember McCain's active involvement in The Savings and Loan scandal. He was censured by his own fellow senators for unethical conduct. Look it up.
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Thank you, Congressman Wamp, for your vote to protect the future for our children.
Like most people, of course I care about my own investments, but those concerns pale next to the possibility of requiring future generations to fund the cost (plus interest) of keeping them from diminishing.
JB Griffin, III
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I have never voted for a Republican in my 14 years of having the privilege to vote but Zach Wamp's decision to vote against the Wall Street bailout might just change all of that. It is inspiring to see an elected official who will actually vote in the interest of his constituents for a change.
I wrote to Mr. Wamp to tell him that if he continues to vote against nonsense like this bailout, he can count on my vote when he is up for re-election.
Wake up people, if Washington wanted to help Main Street as the talking heads are so fond of calling us, they would have done it months ago when the price of groceries, gas and utilities sky rocketed right along with unemployment. This bailout is to benefit the wealthiest and least deserving members of our country who have squandered their fortunes in financial deals that are the equivalent of legalized gambling.
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I too agree that Zack did the right thing. This whole mess is being used as a partisan whip by the worthless leadership in Washington. There was never a deal to begin with, just the "lie" of one to be able to blame it on McCain if the dealings fell apart. That's why MSNBC and Pelose, Read and Frank have been on all weekend blaming the whole breakdown on McCain. This is telling.
We are in the biggest financial market crisis of our generation and immediately these sorry excuses for leadership interject partisan election grandstanding. They could care less about the markets or the solvency of the average American...only their power. They (Pelosi and Read) should step down and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd should be held accountable for his blockage of all and any oversight of Fannie May and Freddie Mack. Matter of fact they should be in a cell with the Enron executives, as this theft is on a much larger scale.
The bill put forth was one that permanently alters the way America functions and would be a step toward socialism, it would have been suicide. It also called for the government to absorb union pension funds as the companies can no longer manage them and neither can the unions. This would mean the taxpayers again would be called to fund the retirement accounts that were negotiated by the unions. Think Social Security is any clue as to how this will go?
On top of that a percentage of the money was earmarked to the AKORN group for community organizing, translation: more funds for voter fraud before the election. Yes, the same voter fraud organization that Obama worked for and the same one being investigated for voter fraud in multiple states. Remember all the dead voters that voted in Chicago? How about those that were caught voting multiple times in other precincts? Yep, that's the guy we need running the country.
The most upsetting thing to me is they can't write a simple bill to bail out the financial industry without throwing more needless pork into it. This is the real problem in Washington, and McCain is for putting a stop to earmarks completely.
The free market system should correct itself and then be free to recover normally, not by government subsidy. That is the only way for the system to rid itself of the dishonesty of the congress and their requirement that banks enter into these risky loans for people wholly incapable of paying the money back. It all is a result of the Fannie May and Freddie Mack precedents in the paper market.
A banker friend tells me the $700 billion figure was arrived at as it represents 5% of the bad paper...now how is 5% going to bail out anything? It is only to relieve perceptions, while the market is still sick and the ones responsible for the problem are now all over the mess trying to convince us they are the ones to fix it.
As for McCain's "Keating Five" involvement, Democrat special counsel Robert Bennett, yes, the same Robert Bennett that represented Pres. Clinton, is on record having asked for John McCain to be excluded from the initial investigation as no culpability had been found. He was exonerated and any censure of the Congressional leadership would have been for their own political purposes. I would think we would have heard a lot about the "Keating Five" during this election, but they know there is nothing there, or you can bet your bottom dollar it would be an issue.
This failure is not primarily caused by financial executives as it was the congress as they are the ones that by law demanded that the risky loans be made available to people with no ability to pay them back. Hold congress accountable.
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Thank you, Zach. It isn’t often that I think you got it right but you surely did this time.
For those folks on here that say you should have voted for it - ignore them. They don’t have a clue what was in the bill. They are hunkered in their basements waiting for the end of the world that won’t come. They should have read how this bill had no oversight except for Henry Paulson being on the team charged with overseeing, yep you guessed it - Henry Paulson. Never mind also that the golden parachutes were to stay intact as well.
Stick to your guns, Zach. Now that the market has bounced back by 500 points, maybe the people will come out of their basements and see the light. Then again, maybe they won’t.
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I want to thank Rep. Wamp and the other Republicans who voted to defeat this Democrat bailout. This was a plan put together by those who caused the problem (Franks, Schumer, Pelosi, Reid and the other Democrats on these committees). Since no one is being held responsible and these same people are creating more bad government policies to cover over the bad policies they created, this will only cover over the Democrats' problem for awhile.
If you have the courage to look into this matter, you will find Bush tried over 12 times to correct the regulation covering Fannie and Freedie. The Democrats stopped it every time. This was a criminal act and it is amazing that so many are willing to ignore their actions.
What is great is that some Republicans realized that the Democrats did not really want to pass this legislation and wanted to say to people that Republicans are the problem. These Republicans realized that if this bill was so critical to save the country, why was the Senate closed down for two days? Why did Pelosi allow so many of her party to vote no? Why did Obama not call his state delegation and ask them to vote for this critical bill? Why did the Franks banking committee fellow Democrats all vote no for a bill they regulated?
This was not a bill that would have solved anything and we have also found out that the market can recover from the loss that all the talking heads said was the end of the world. This is a dangerous time for our economy, but anyone who believes giving this much power to one Treasury Secretary and nationalizing so much of our economy will work is mistaken. The Republicans have the chance to improve this bill, mostly by removing the regulations that caused this problem and the people who caused it. There have been many other policies suggested like reducing the capital gains tax so we would not have to spend so much of our money.
The basic fact is that I do not trust those who tell me that the world is ending just like they did with the lie of global warming. This is a massive spending bill and it needs to be rewritten before it is passed.
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Congressman Wamp is the kind of individual who takes whatever vote and decision he makes on an issue seriously. He has a family and will be impacted by the bailout like the rest of us.
Like many Americans I have my reservations about the bailout especially when I look into the eyes of my five-month-old son. It is during this time that I wonder how much will my son and his children have to pay for the carelessness of a few who placed us in the position we are in today.
Sadly enough, four years ago some members in the House and Senate warned other congressional members about the coming crisis and wanted to reform it. They were blocked at every turn. We cannot go back, but we can take this opportunity to make corrections and move forward which we will do.
America has always endured and will continue to do so for our greatness does not lie in our wealth, but in the hearts of her people which is rooted in faith. It is that faith which helped us overcome the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War and we will overcome this crisis as well.