Bailouts, health care and your paychecks

PHOTO: Heart Monitor

U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, with the help of President Bush, is trying give at least $700 billion of our dollars to their irresponsible friends on Wall Street. I haven’t seen a good explanation of why they need that much money or why they need the bailout plan in place by the end of this week.

It all smells stinky to me.

Not that I have a better plan, but it seems beyond foolish to hand over $700 billion to Wall Street execs to solve a crisis they created. At this point what economic experts, besides Paulson, think this plan will solve the problems anyways?

But make no mistake, if this $700 billion bailout goes through as it stands, the economy may have dodged a bullet, but our future leaders will be hamstrung. Bringing about the large scale changes our country really needs will be difficult from a monetary point of view. Right now, we don’t have an extra $700 billion lying around, so we’ll have to borrow that, and once we borrow it, we’ll be paying interest on it, just like the other $10 trillion or so we’re already on the books for.

This means Obama and McCain won’t be able to pour the necessary money into moving this country away from oil and towards renewable sources of energy and more mass transit. Just as importantly, this means Obama won’t be able to pour the necessary money into reforming our health care industry.

Every year we pay substantially more for health care than we did the last, and many of us aren’t happy with the coverage we’re paying through the teeth to get. While you may feel insulated from health care costs because of employer provided coverage, you’re not. The money they spend on your health care is coming out of your paychecks.

The average worker puts in $4,000 to pay for their health care, while the average employer will put in $9,000. That’s $13,000 you aren’t gonna get back any time soon, and if we’re forced to write a no-strings attached check to Wall Street to keep them fat and rich, it’s just gonna get worse, not better.

Flickr photo by brykmantra


  1. Ian

    I’m sorry. I must suspend my regular posting due to the crisis our nation is facing. It requires my immediate attention. I’m off to lunch now.

  2. Chris

    Thank you Ian, for putting Country First.

  3. Ted

    “The reason they want to push this debate is so that they can cancel the VP debate. She is a disaster, and frankly she probably has never debated, seriously, in her life. She might actually be that bad. And she’s going to be scared on top of everything else. Who wouldn’t be. A 100 million people listening to you, you can’t read anything from the teleprompter… the guy next to you being awesome… I get her nervousness but McCain picked her, and she said yes, so guess what. Debate.”

  4. Ted


  5. Chris

    Thanks for bringing that stuff up. The Palin picks seems crazier with each passing day.