29 September 2008

not sure what to say

So, as you can imagine, I've been thinking a lot about the economy and the (now failed) bailout. I think that this is a situation where no one really knows what to think. First of all, it's confusing. Secondly, how you feel about it depends on your socioeconomic class, political leanings, and personal history. And thirdly, the people who are supposed to be telling you what it means aren't telling you much. All of this results in mass confusion, to be sure.

Basically, the government would take a whole lot of your money and use it to back financial institutions, pump some liquid back in the illiquid assets of the housing market (love those weird, probably made up financial terms) and fund a bunch of other programs that will help people get back on their feet. If it went through (and maybe it still will, in another incarnation), you might get all of your money back, some of your money back, or maybe even make money on the deal.

But today, no such luck. I heard on the radio some congress men and women didn't want to vote for it because they are up for reelection, and the thought in Washington is that a vote for this pretty much means you're out in November. Then they blamed Nancy Pelosi, for making a partisan speech referring to Bush's failed economic policies, which I'm sorry, but no matter what party you belong to, you have to agree is a fact at this point. And finally, Republicans don't like when the government controls their money with taxes, so some of them voted no for that reason too.

Now, at risk of showing my party affiliation, I don't have any problem with paying taxes, if they go to a good project/program/result. Being an unpaid mom on maternity leave really drove that home for me. The street near my neighborhood recently got new sidewalks, I'm sure my taxes helped paid for that, and I'm glad. And while I don't think that execs should be getting these ridiculous salaries at the risk of the rest of the country, I live in a state where many of the residents make a LOT of money in finance and real estate, and I work for that state, and I have already seen budgets being cut at my work due to the loss in revenue from the state income tax. It's complicated, and I'm sure glad I'm a frugal living blogger and not Henry Paulson.

If there is one thing I have learned through all of this, it is that I am not ready to buy a house. If I had a mortgage right now, and winter was coming with the home heating costs rising exponentially, and I thought I could lose my job- man, I'd be freaking out right now. I'm so sorry for those who are in that situation because if your house gets foreclosed on, you're screwed. I'm sorry to say it, but it's true. Even though I have all this debt, and I don't own a home or really have any equity to claim for myself, I'm still okay, and I'm lucky in that regard (among many others).

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

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