Editor's note: This is the second of a six-part series by Matt Horween, CPA, FSO (retired), that will run each day this week. The previous column was Fix America First.
I find it strange but true that Congress has not taken any real responsibility for the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s nor 9/11/2001, the Iraq war, the current endless war in Afghanistan, or the continued occupation of Iraq.
Congress certainly does not take much if any responsibility for repealing Depression-era laws restricting the activities of banks to act as investment banks. This was a major reason for the subprime mortgage scandal as well as the ensuing financial meltdown caused by unregulated derivatives issued by insurance companies and others. (And we ended up with the bailout of such banks as Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC), not to mention the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.)
Not only is Congress immune from accountability, but almost the entire executive branch of the federal government has been immune from anyone being held responsible for these catastrophes that have destroyed so much of our wealth over the years. Except for a few Securities and Exchange Commission employees who recently resigned, no one has even lost a job or been demoted.It is as if representational democracy has ceased to exist during the past 30 years and our federal government just goes along committing one blunder after another no matter which party is in power. We have created a governing class that does not care what 60% to 80% of the voting-age population thinks. We all know that the U.S. cannot continue to be Lady Bountiful on borrowed money to the entire world including our enemies. In addition, we now have millions of people out of work and underemployed. Self-employed people who many times work as contractors of some type do not even qualify for unemployment.
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