As our beloved government teeters on the edge of another major meltdown with the ‘super-committee’ due to formulate a solution to our budget crisis by the middle of next week (something that could cause radical ramifications throughout the markets, especially the credit markets…. think housing), maybe its time for all of us throughout this country to re-direct the anger recently demonstrated by the rather un-focused, semi-kooky and often misdirected OCCUPY WALL STREET to a newer, more focused, more pertinent movement: OCCUPY WASHINGTON DC!
Yes, we Americans are sick and tired of the games Washington plays: remember lots of the bad behaviour and criminal activity associated with the Great Recession happened in great part because of certain action and in-action by government. Now of course they are all blaming one another, even though they are all to blame. Pretty much all government activity seems to boil down to 2 things: 1) money and 2) re-election.
Both the Democrats and Republicans are playing political games at the expense of the country: Republicans delusional pandering to those who receive un-warranted tax breaks while a vast majority of ‘the 1%’ pay their fare share is disgraceful. Remember just because the tax rate is the same for all does not mean all earning the same income pay the same taxes: the same is true for real estate taxes where the disparity between very similar properties is often very different. Democrats on the other hand need to acknowledge that we are spending much more than we earn: raising the retirement age and a host of other common-sense budget cuts are practical and essential, not cruel, and willing this committee to fail to blame the Republicans for the gridlock so that Obama can be re-elected is reckless at best.
I never thought I would see the day when I’d agree with Sarah Palin, but this week her editorial in the Wall Street Journal struck a chord…..and it may explain why we have the housing mess that ultimately caused the financial meltdown that we are still suffering from. In her article she shows how Congress, the lawmakers of our country, obey a different set of laws than the vast majority of us mere voters (and taxpayers!)…. Here are some examples:
Insider Trading – using government information not available to the public at large to predict which companies’ stocks will rise or fall.
IPO Gifts – While it is illegal for members of Congress to accept cash gifts from interested parties, there is no restriction on their being offered initial public offerings in firms, which can be very profitable.
Self-Serving Earmarks – Some members of Congress have submitted infrastructure earmark requests for their districts that appeared to increase their value of their real estate holdings.
Encouraging Campaign Donations – Palin calls this “subtly extorting campaign donations through the threat of legislation unfavorable to an industry.” She may know about this subject first hand with the oil industry in Alaska?
The insider advantages to being a Washington player are obvious, and the hypocrisy pretty astounding as witnessed this week by Newt Gingrich. Ms. Palin cites in this article that 47% of Congressmen are millionaires compared to 1% of the US…..very telling, but also somewhat hypocritical when she has parlayed her career from a lowly beauty-queen/sportscaster to a career politician of almost 20 years…..and now more recently she dumped low-paying government realizing the value of her time in ‘the club’, transitioning from governor to a very highly paid book writer, speaker, activist and correspondent for FOX TV, certainly roles that would not pay as well were it not for her lengthy political career.
Maybe it is time for us to OCCUPY WASHINGTON DC: This government is obviously in need of a major overhaul, and the loudest possible message should be sent to end the political game-playing that is taking place at the expense of 99,99999999999% of the country that have to foot the bill.
Some may wonder why a real estate blogger would be writing this political post: let’s face it, there won’t be much of a real estate market if we do not fix this government….fast!