It’s pretty simple, really.
Deliver this speech:
When you elect me this coming Tuesday, I make you one solemn pledge:
All who committed fraud over these last ten years will be investigated, prosecuted and jailed, starting with those who did the most damage.
This means I will spearhead calls for investigation of each and every bank and financial institution in America.
I will work tirelessly to have auditors go over each of these firm’s books and financial statements, and for each and every instance where someone was ripped off or bamboozled, we will refer that to a prosecutor.
Your home was never an ATM. You were told it was. You were lied to. These lies were deliberate. We have major financial institutions in this nation that have admitted, under oath, that by 2006 the majority of the loans they were giving out – to you, to your neighbor, to your friends – were fraudulent. They knew you couldn’t pay and they didn’t care. They refused to stop it, and they both made those loans and sold them to other people with the intent that you would lose your house.
Those other people were you – again – through the back door. Your pension fund. Your annuity. Your retirement account.
The American People were screwed not once but twice. First, by hucksters claiming that your home price was really going up by 10, 20, 30% in a year, and that you should “tap that equity” to pay off your credit cards and maintain a lifestyle you could no longer afford – a shift that happened because we allowed our large corporations to offshore their labor to China, India and other places in Asia.
Then, a second time, when your pension funds were sold the garbage loans, packaged, sliced and diced into complex securities where the fact that they were making bad loans was intentionally hidden – victimizing you again.
The truth is that your home is worth no more today than it was in the mid 1990s, as the truth is also that on average, not including the Wall Street Bankers, you’re not making any more than you were in the mid 1990s. Houses can’t go up in real value unless wages go up in real value. It’s that simple.
Someone has to eat these losses. They’re real. We cannot paper them over forever. We can either make the banks eat them, which will make those who did this go out of business, or we can make the American People eat them.
Foreclosuregate – the “robosigners” and other frauds being played out in our courts now – are nothing more than an attempt to hide what these banks and other institutions have done. The argument that these are all “technicalities” is just another lie; the truth is that the original documents are not being produced because they would expose what really happened during the last ten years to scrutiny, and might bring civil and criminal charges upon the guilty. As with Watergate, the true crime is being covered up with yet more crime, and you’re being told it’s “no big deal.”
Wall Street and Washington think you should “suck it up” and eat it, just as Richard Nixon thought you should in 1974. Thus, we have 10% unemployment, we have 42 million people on food stamps, and real economic recovery is non-existent. The Federal Government is borrowing 12% of our gross domestic output every year, and has been for the last three years, in a futile attempt to keep the truth from being recognized.
While this may go on for a while longer, just as you can keep using your credit card after you’re laid off until the bank figures out that you will never pay them back, it cannot continue forever.
We can either face the facts and force those who committed these acts to bear the consequences, or we can continue on the path we are on today.
If we face reality there will be short-term pain in the economy for everyone. But within a short period of time – a year or two – our nation will recover and rebuild. Atop the ashes of the old businesses that go bankrupt entrepreneurs will build new businesses. New banks, with no bad loans, will rise where the old, bankrupt banks once were, and unburdened with fraudulent lending that they’re trying to cover up, your cost of borrowing will come down. Freed from the hidden taxes and costs that these bankrupt institutions and Washington impose on you, businesses will be started and grow. Interest rates will normalize and once again savers and retirees will be able to earn a fair and safe income.
If we choose to continue to deny reality then one of two outcomes will occur. The first possibility is that the Federal Government may find it impossible to continue to borrow 12% of our domestic output – over $1.4 trillion a year – we will be faced with what is called a “sudden stop.” The federal budget will have to be cut by more than 50% immediately – with no warning. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Welfare will collapse. Your benefit checks will stop coming. Nearly half of America currently receives some sort of federal assistance – that will cease with virtually no warning. If this comes to pass there is a very real possibility of civil unrest or worse, as a quarter or more of the nation will suddenly find itself homeless, hungry and jobless.
The second possibility is worse: Ben Bernanke and The Fed will continue to play games with “Quantitative Easing.” This is nothing more than a fancy way of saying “print money.” But that is the same thing as taking the $20 in your wallet, cutting it in half with a pair of scissors, and then claiming that you have two $20 bills because you now have two pieces of paper. Prices will of course go up to reflect what you really have done, whether the government admits to “inflation” or not.
You are already seeing some of the latter happening. Social Security recipients will get no cost-of-living increase for the second year in a row this coming January. Yet prices have been rising at the grocery store, often masked by making packages smaller. Corn, Wheat, Oats, Soybeans and Rice have all doubled in price – or more – over the last two years. Oil is near $80 despite actual demand for fuel being down more than 10% from the peak consumption registered before the stock market and economic collapse in 2007. Companies like Kimberly-Clark, the maker of toilet paper and other necessities, have said they are seeing cost pressures greater than any other time in their corporate history – including the 1970s when inflation was in double digits. Because it takes time for prices to move through the chain of supply to the products on the shelf in your grocery store, typically six months to a year or more, by the time you see the price changes it will be too to do anything about it. A quarter of Americans will soon be severely impoverished and some will even find themselves unable to afford enough food to eat and fuel to keep warm in the winter. Finally, ten years from now, when you retire, your pension fund will be bankrupt and you will get nothing, because the “exceptionally low for an extended period” interest rates will have prevented that fund from earning the money it needs to pay your pension.
The choice is yours America. You can vote for the “status quo” – those who claim that it will all be ok and we’ll “work through this” – that we should “move on.” But if you do that, you are voting to give a pass to those people who caused this collapse. You are voting to allow them to keep their Porches, their fancy homes in The Hamptons and their Yachts – all of which they got by stealing from you, the common man and woman in this nation. They will, if you allow it, continue to steal – and in doing so they will make you more poor by continuing with the same sort of scams they pulled in the 1990s with the Internet Bubble and then again in the Housing Bubble.
Or you can vote for true change. You can vote for locking up all the brigands and thieves. You can vote for deposing Ben Bernanke and returning to a sound monetary policy. You can vote for home prices – and everything else in America – returning to affordable levels. You can vote for penalizing those firms and individuals who orchestrated this mess – and who profited massively from it, while the rest of America got screwed.
The vote for the status quo is a vote for your own destruction – with certainty – in a few years. The vote for true change is a vote for temporary economic pain now, but justice for all Americans and, once that has happened, true economic recovery.
The choice is yours.
Will any candidate for office this coming Tuesday stand up?