Dictionary.com's definition of the term socialism is this:
Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
Socialism is the slanted ground between capitalism and communism.
To see the end results of socialism, please visit China, North Korea, Cuba, or the debris that is now Russia.
The fact that you assume I, as a middle class American, am too panicked by the constant media frenzy over a potential economic meltdown to understand a sweeping piece of socialism when I see one is insulting.
The economy is in trouble because banks speculated too much and gave loans to anyone with a paycheck and a pulse. Since I bank at an FDIC insured institution and have less than the $100,000 insurable limit in my account, their crisis is not mine.
The economy has slowed down because a) recession happens and b) bankers were idiots and tied up all their profit in bad debt.
I understand this. I realize we need to pull together to create jobs and liquidity in the financial industry. I also realize that it is not the government's job to hold the hand of failing banks. I don't want the government owning a large chunk of our economy. I've seen how successful you've been with public education and social security. I sincerely do not want that "success" repeated with my money.
Mr. McCain, you voted for this ridiculous bailout. This 700 billion dollars of buying up bad debt with taxpayers' money. Now you say you want to allocate $300 billion of that to buying individual mortgages from people who are in trouble. Are you serious? Does ANYONE really want the government to own the home they live in? This is a serious escalation of the scope and role of the government and does little to help right the economy. You are simply responding to the outcry of those who think the government somehow owes them the bread they eat.
I encourage you to re-read your Constitution, bone up on the definition of capitalism, listen to economists rather than pollsters, and try again. A leader doesn't pander to the loudest group with band aids that don't fix anything. A leader assesses the facts and makes the best decision for the group, even if the decision is difficult. You're a war hero. You know that. You've just forgotten to apply it to politics.
Mr. Obama, you voted for this bailout too. And you were the first to suggest the government put its sticky fingers all over individual mortgages. You claim the way to help our economy is to raise taxes on the rich and call it their patriotic duty to pay more. This shows, at best, a serious lack of understanding of fundamental economics and at worst, a dangerous disregard for our Constitution (a disregard apparently shared by a majority in Congress). Those who make over $200,000 a year already pay the vast majority of taxes, most of it going for services they'll never use. We have a system where 20% of the people shoulder over 90% of the tax burden. Before you pat me on the shoulder and tell me that the middle class deserve a break, allow me to do my own calculations. The tax code limits the middle class to paying 15% of their income in taxes. I consistently pay 4%, and that's without cheating or finding shady little loopholes.
I don't need a break, Mr. Obama, and I don't believe you plan to give me one. Over-taxing the very people who have the capital to create jobs cripples the economy. Stop trying so hard for my vote and look at logic instead. Taking from the rich because those who don't have as much are clamoring for more is the anti-thesis of capitalism. It's socialism. Besides, you've repeatedly voted to raise taxes on the middle class and the many promises you are making have to be funded somehow. I smell another tax hike in our future.
I encourage you to re-read your Constitution as well. There are rights listed therein. Many of what you promise to somehow fund for us as our rights aren't listed in the Constitution at all. If you believe in making those things rights, go about a Constitutional amendment and then we'll talk.
President Bush, shame on you for pandering to panic within the financial institutions. Get rid of capital gains tax to make investing more lucrative and enticing to those who have capital, and you instantly generate movement within the housing market. Listen to economists who have no election on the line and work on rates, tax breaks for businesses who keep jobs in the U.S., and increasing the FDIC insurable limit for account holders. Flushing 700 billion into bad debt is just plain stupid. If the debt was bad to begin with, buying it with taxpayer money doesn't suddenly make it good. This isn't a loan that will ever be paid back. This is an albatross around our necks.
I'm disgusted with the rampant disregard for our Constitution, for capitalism, and for good, plain common sense. I hope one of you, Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama, can pull your head out of your polls long enough to look up the definition of socialism and take a stand.