With all the bailouts and emergency assistance many of America’s corporations are getting from the US government, perhaps it is time we the consumer and tax payer get our fair share of the free money being handed out wily-nily. Here is a list of items I wish could I could be bailed out-of and the justification, which I realize are just as flimsy as the financial and automaker’s reasons, but hey they sound good!
1. I want my 40%+ investment portfolio and 201K losses returned. Why should I suffer losses for companies that were badly run or could not have anticipated such bad economic conditions. You can’t blame me either for bad investment choices, because who knew stock markets and house prices could go down. If my portfolio losses were returned to me, I would think about re-investing them in insurance companies or putting them in an FDIC taken over bank that is already supported by a bailout. It is a win-win situation for all, right?
2. I want my job security back. I had a perfectly stable and boring job a few months ago, but now with companies going bust and unemployment shooting through the roof, even my firm is feeling the pressure which means my job is now at risk. My morning coffee conversations have turned from sport and high oil prices, to the sorry state of the job market and seeing who lost their job on the various social network sites (LinkedIn, Facebook) and blogs I visit. Monster.com is also moving up the list on my top sites visited as I try and see what is out there, just in case.
3. I want my 2006-bubble house price back. I like the fact that a house which should only have been worth $500,000 was worth $1,000,000. Being a paper millionaire felt great. So what if I could not afford it, at least I was not alone. Everyone on my street was in over their head. Alas, many of them have now left, and not by choice. Luckily, because I still have a job and lots of credit cards I can make my home repayments. However that could all change very quickly when the next LCD TV that I must have is on sale, or I lose my job. So can the US government please restore the housing and stock market bubble. Things were much more fun then.
4. I want a tax freeze on future income. A little known TARP provision provided banks with a $250 billion tax break (don’t believe me, check Pg 53). Where is mine? I am suffering too. I promise that if I don’t pay taxes I will give more to charity. Also, just think if we paid no taxes the companies we work for can cut our pre-tax salaries by 10-15%, save all that money in payroll expenses, meaning that they will not need any government assistance after all. The government can replace the lost tax revenues, to pay for future wars and Obama’s spending plans, by just print more money (which they are doing now at will) and keep adding to our forgotten national debt. As a worst case, if the US government faces bankruptcy or default, it can ask the rest of the world for a bailout because aren’t we “too-big-too” fail? Hard to argue with this solid-as-mud logic, if you ask me.
5. I want free markets back where the best get ahead (capitalism). After all my years of frugal living and careful saving, I am being punished. Where’s the justice in that? I now wish I had over-spent, over-extended and over-indulged during the last few years. At least I would have had a big house, expensive car and wicked set of electronics to enjoy while I let my state-of-the-art answering machine take all the debt collection calls.
It was quite therapeutic to make the list, but I don’t think I will see government relief anytime time soon apart from token stimulus payments. I’ll just pay my taxes like a good little citizen so that the government can give it all away to our too important to fail, “responsible” corporate citizens. If I didn’t work for one of these corporations, I would be even more annoyed. What’s on your bailout wish list ?
Note: I’ll get back to some serious posts next week. Given the horrid week economically speaking, I thought a little bit of sarcasm and humor was needed. Also, don’t tell me you checked Pg 53?
Picture : sikh_kaur_lioness