Guess Who’s Going to Pay for It?
by sherry clark
On Monday, September 29—the first debate where Pat Tiberi was to make an appearance—was held at a public school in Delaware, Ohio. Tiberi arrived just hours after he went “his own way” in Washington and opposed the $700 billion bailout package.
However, when the US Congressional candidates were introduced, David Robinson again was the only candidate to appear. Robinson waited for nearly two minutes for his first question while Tiberi sent word into event organizers to remind them of their agreement that no recordings were to be made of the event—threatening to leave “until the recording devices were shut off.” (The Liberty Voice was the only video press present to cover the event.) After The Liberty Voice was safely silenced while attempting to assert the people’s right to a free and independent press, Tiberi finally entered the room and announced:
“We had a vote today that I told the President, ‘NO!’ Some say I can’t tell the president, ‘NO!’ But I told my party leadership, ‘NO!’ Because at the end of the day, when I look into my daughter’s eyes, it’s about her.”
Tiberi assured voters that his “NO!” vote represented the will of the people saying, “Main Street wasn’t protected in that bill. That’s who I got the phone calls from—the phone calls from Central Ohio were against it! We’ve got to deal with the reality of what we can do, cause at the end of the day, guess who’s going to pay for it—WE ARE!”
The Columbus Dispatch Printing Company [hereinafter referred to as the Dispatch] seemed to agree in an article entitled, “To many people, bailout ‘stinks’.” They called local officials reporting, “The overwhelming majority… ‘think they’re being had.’ The reaction has been almost completely hostile [and] … universally negative.”
At the debate, Democratic challenger David Robinson criticized his opponent’s stand on the vote as well as his role in the current economic crisis saying:
“We’re not just talking about Wall Street—we’re talking about your 401(k)s, your pension funds and the safety of your retirement funds.” Robinson continued, “The thing we need to ask ourselves long-term is, how did we get into this mess? Failure of oversight by those in government who should have been watching the financial industry— again, including my opponent who’s been on the Housing Subcommittee for FOUR years—and while he watched—this problem arose.”
Tiberi also sits on the Budget Committee which has overseen the the largest debt increases in United States history. At the Delaware debate, Tiberi said, “I’m for a balanced budget. I’m for the line-item veto. Federal spending is out of control! The federal government should have to balance its budget!”
The Dispatch observed, “Most candidates are fiscal conservatives during the campaign season; the proof is what happens when they get to Capitol Hill.”
Tiberi is also a former member of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) and was present to hear the testimony of accounting irregularities at Fannie Mae (GSE) way back on February 9, 2005 where the following statements were recorded:
“The Office of Federal Enterprise Housing Oversight, known as OFHEO, [conducted] … a forensic accounting audit of Fannie Mae. The unfortunate findings is that the accounting practices of Fannie Mae were not just a mere exercise of bad judgment or a one-time aberrant act, but a consistent misapplication at best, or at the worst an intentional act of accounting misrepresentation. A strong, independent regulator [is needed to] protect … taxpayers against systemic risk. No one should dismiss this as inconsequential.”
So while others in the market and throughout Congress appeared to be shocked, shocked! that such a massive bailout was suddenly necessary, our Congressman feigned ignorance for 3 years, 7 months and 21 days—finding the time to send his constituents campaign postcards—paid for by US taxpayer money—without warning us of the looming economic collapse.
Of course, there is the possibility that Tiberi’s ignorance wasn’t feigned. Ironically, Tiberi advised the voters at Monday’s debate that, “If you break the law, there’s a consequence to this. We are a nation of LAWS and people have made fun of the laws of this country. You have to have order in the United States.”
Tiberi’s opponent, David Robinson described the need for oversight and taxpayer protection from bad debt and told the voters: “We need true oversight of the financial industries so we do not have this problem arise again. We have to protect taxpayers. We have to protect the taxpayers to make sure we aren’t the ones caught holding the bag of toxic debts, while those that caused the problem get off scot free.”
Tiberi declared, “I’m the tool of the financial services industry!” Tiberi continued, “Yet I voted against their biggest bill in the history of the United States today. It’s just an amazing thing. They are the ones who wanted the bill today folks! It wasn’t you all! It was the financial services industry!”
Tiberi reported to the Delaware Gazette that the vote came like a “gun to our heads.” This may have been an understatement, as every back-room mafia trick “ta-git-da-money” was described by Tiberi’s fellow House Representatives.
Despite Congressman Pat Tiberi’s long-standing 93% lockstep Republican record, accepting $158,531 from Insurance interests and $83,293 from the Securities & Investment industries to fund his 2008 re-election campaign, Tiberi said “NO!” to all of them!
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) warned the American people there were “Constitutional enemies of the Republic” and that, “High financial crimes have been committed. The normal legislative process has been shelved. Only a few insiders are doing the dealing— sounds like insider trading to me. These criminals have so much political power, they can shut down the normal legislative process.”
Rep. Kaptur continued, “We are Constitutionally sworn to protect and defend this Republic against all enemies foreign and domestic. And my friends, there are enemies. The people pushing this deal are the very ones who are responsible for the implosion on Wall Street. They were fraudulent then and they are fraudulent now.”
Michael Burgess, (R-TX) said, “I understand we are under ‘martial law’ as declared by the speaker last night.” He then insisted that “the largest fundamental change to our nation’s financial system in its history” be posted on the internet for 24 hours so the American people could see “what we have done in the dark of night.”
If ‘martial law’ has been imposed in the people’s house of the United States to pass such an egregious bill, how much longer will it be before actual martial law comes to the rest of US houses? Is it acceptable to US that our representatives were forced to vote under duress concerning a contract binding the American people to pay exorbitant sums of money—rewarding bad behavior and against the best interests of US citizens?
If the US taxpayer is forced to pay a traders’ bailout bill, with an economic “gun pointed at [all of] our [collective] heads,” then aren’t we already under a sort of dictatorial financial martial law?
David Robinson said, “We do not need to choose between defending our country and defending our Constitution. Congress has lacked the backbone in standing up to this administration, but if you send me to Congress, I will not tolerate infringements of our Constitution—which is the bedrock of this country that we all love.
Following Tiberi’s rejection of the bailout and his “NO!” vote, “Our Congressman” enjoyed a chorus of praise by local print, radio and television journalists, but by Thursday the coverage swerved back toward the far-right and the Dispatch quoted Tiberi as saying, “This [bailout bill] is clearly headed in the right direction, and the concerns I had on Monday morning are being addressed, and I think we’ll have something by the end of the week.”
By the next morning, the Dispatch readers were surprised to read two letters to the editor which were actually critical of Tiberi’s NO! vote on Monday. It was a great stroke of luck for Tiberi’s incumbent status that the Dispatch printed such constituent opposition to Tiberi’s rejection of the bailout on the very morning that Tiberi—to the shock and bewilderment of the flood of constituents and friends, who had called, e-mailed or written the Representative on the first vote—on the second and final vote on October 3 Tiberi switched his vote to YES!
Tiberi’s flip-flop followed four financially, fear-filled days, and found the bill fluffed from a fit 102 pages to a fattened 451, with the proportional pile of pork which further fueled the fascist-funded feeding frenzy. Within hours of the second vote, the Dispatch defended Tiberi’s switch by posting, “[Tiberi] said that while ‘Joe Six Pack’ might still be against a bailout that is perceived as coming to the rescue of Wall Street, ‘Joe Six Pack’s employer’ was in danger of having to lay people off or not continue with planned expansions.”
So let’s review: On Monday, Pat Tiberi told everyone back home that he cared about “Joe Six-Pack”, but by Friday “our Congressman” decided he cared more about “Joe Six-Pack’s employer.”
Of course, that’s not really true either, because Tiberi’s Friday vote actually handed the money of Joe Six-Pack and Joe Six-Pack’s employer over to the top executives of some investment bank that is putting Joe Six-Pack’s employer out of business, while these executives are slipping out the back of their corporate jets in golden parachutes and two-stepping their way behind closed doors out of the view of the rest of US—with our money.
In other words, once again, to hell with “Joe Six-Pack” and his family.
“Cause at the end of the day, guess who’s going to pay for it—
WE ARE!” ~Pat Tiberi