Tuesday, September 23, 2008

McCracken for Congress -- Before Any Bailouts Are Approved Those Responsible MUST Be Held Accountable. -- September 21st, 2008

The last few weeks have seen our nation's economic and financial institutions in the most critical condition since the days in 1929 when the stock market crashed and banks failed sending the country into the Great Depression. This morning I came upon an online headline that read "Bush team, Congress negotiate $700 Billion Bailout". At first glance, the general public probably feels that this is welcome news. However, there are many troubling details about this plan by the lame duck Bush administration that the American people need to be aware of. Below are some of the details about the plan found online at http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080921/D93AVJUO0.html.

1. The rescue plan would give Washington broad authority to purchase bad mortgage-related assets from U.S. financial institutions for the next two years. It does not specify which institutions qualify or what, if anything, the government would get in return for the unprecedented infusion.

2. The proposal is a mere three pages long, but it gives sweeping powers to the government to dispense gigantic sums of taxpayer dollars in a program that would be sheltered from court review.

3. Lawmakers digesting the eye-popping cost and searching for specifics voiced concerns that the proposal offers no help for struggling homeowners or safeguards for taxpayers' money.

4. The proposal would raise the statutory limit on the national debt from $10.6 trillion to $11.3 trillion to make room for the massive rescue. -- FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY ALERT!

Perhaps most troubling is there is no mention of placing responsibility for this disaster on anyone, especially the financial geniuses that made millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses overseeing and mismanaging their firms. In fact, there are reports that people involved in the failures of these financial institutions had guaranteed buyout contracts that will pay millions of dollars to them as the go out the door.

Let's be blunt - any bailout plan offered by the federal government should immediately freeze all funds going to those who perpetrated this disaster on our nation. Additionally, any person responsible for this mess should have their assets seized and eventually liquidated with the funds generated going towards financial restitution to help reimburse the federal government for the bailout. Those who were responsible for this mess must be held accountable!

Finally, it is completely unacceptable that the bailout plan includes language that raises the statutory limit on the national debt from $10.6 trillion to $11.3 trillion. There it is, more of the same borrow and spend mentality from the Bush administration and Congress. They will again place the financial cost on our children and grandchildren rather than making the tough decision on how to fund this bailout.

I will go on record that I will not support this type of legislation while I am serving in the United States Congress. It is completely unacceptable that the Bush administration and leaders in Congress are negotiating a bailout that fails to address holding those accountable who are responsible for this mess. Instead, they are going to tack an additional $700 billion on the deficit and debt while those responsible slink off to their compounds in the Hamptons with golden parachute buyouts that will leave them set for life. These are probably the same people who most benefited from the Bush tax cuts.

As a reminder -- here is the Debt Clock which is available on line at http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock


The Outstanding Public Debt as of 21 Sep 2008 at 03:02:37 PM GMT is:

$ 9 , 6 6 9 , 6 3 3 , 2 3 6 , 9 6 3 . 9 1

The estimated population of the United States is 304,768,519
so each citizen's share of this debt is $31,727.80.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$1.84 billion per day since September 28, 2007!

I believe Barack Obama said it best -- ENOUGH! It is time to start sending people to Congress who will make the tough decisions and hold those people accountable who are tearing our country apart.

Defining a "Cowards Tax Increase"

I've received many positive comments about my statement referencing a "coward's tax increase" I made during a candidate forum in Philipsburg this week. As a school board member and as county commissioner, I've seen many unfunded mandates come down to the local level from both Washington and Harrisburg. A perfect example of a "cowards tax increase" is the No Child Left Behind legislation that was implemented by the Bush administration and the Republican controlled Congress.

While they were granting record tax cuts for the wealthiest 5% of Americans, they were mandating that all public school systems adopt No Child Left Behind without providing adequate funding down to the local level. Washington knew when they mandated No Child Left Behind that it would cost money at the local level. When they knew that it would cost additional money from the taxpayers but they passed responsibility for raising taxes to pay for it down to the local level they are guilty of a "Coward's Tax Increase". It should also be recognized that cutting taxes on the wealthiest 5% while passing the cost for No Child Left Behind to people who pay school property tax is clearly another shifting of tax burden from the wealthy to the middle class that has been a consequence of "trickle down" economics.

Schedule for the Upcoming Week:

Sunday -- Union Township Fire Company Anniversary Celebration and Truck Show -- Rockton P

Monday -- We're Backin' McCracken Golf Outing - Belles Springs Golf Course - Clinton County, Tour of CATA Facilities -- 2 PM, Meeting with Representatives from PA Office of Rural Health -- 3:15 PM

Wednesday -- Jefferson County Democratic Meeting -- 7 PM

Thursday -- Newspaper Interviews during the day, WPSU Radio Debate -- 6:30 PM

Friday -- Event at Bob Sheppard's House -- PA Furnace -- 6 PM

Saturday -- 1890's Festival Parade and Festival -- Tioga County

Sunday -- Fall Festival -- Snow Shoe

FUNDRAISING REMINDER -- Keep talking with people about the 5,000 Friends to Flip the Fifth project. We can win the 5th District Congressional District for the first time in 32 years but we need to be organizing our forces heading into the final weeks. The only way to turn this country around is to send people to Washington who will make the tough decisions. The choice in the 5th district is clear. My opponent regularly states that he supports the fiscal policies of the Bush administration AKA "the Bush tax cuts" and will continue them -- More of the Same. While I continue to stress that we must balance the budget, built a surplus and pay down the debt.

In order to get the message out to voters we will need to advertise which costs money. Please contact your family and friends and urge them to financially support our campaign as we move into the final weeks. Donations can be made online through www.actblue.com or by direct mail to McCracken for Congress, PO Box 332, Clearfield PA 16830.

Mark B. McCracken
Your Candidate for Congress

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