Friday, December 18, 2009

A Republican needing a Loan

When the heat stops working, you start questioning your political beliefs.

Anyone familliar with my facebook comments or daily (hourly) diatribes knows that I am a card-carrying, tea-bag tossing, gun toting, Ronald Reagan quoting, God fearing Conservative. As such, I have, and in large part continue, to oppose the current instantiation of health care reform, TARP, the bailouts, and other programs.

That was, until my entire heating system broke on Monday night. Now I am sitting here typing in a well-lit icebox with Mother Nature's Hellspawn Nor-Easter Blizzard and all 20+ inches of her snowy wrath bearing down on me.

I like to plan my major purchases and finances, so lieu of this large and unexpected purchase, I thought the most prudent move would be to take out a short term home improvement loan. Easier said than done. In today's poisonous lending environment, even with my excellent credit rating and the fact that I have never been delinquent on a payment, the fact that my house is worth less than the mortgage prevented me from qualifying for a loan with my bank of 12 years!

This shocked me. I can't get a loan? ME? Do you know what I do for a living? Do you know where I work? I am trusted with all these things but can't get a mesely small loan?

Fear not, friends, this story has a happy ending and eventually a loan at a great rate was secured from another institution. But the fact remains that my bank, which has received money from the bailouts (and is the only major lending institution yet to pay back the money to the federal government) saw fit to keep my ass in the cold. My tax dollars went to them (FDIC already insures my accounts) to keep them solvent, and they couldn't help out a customer of 15 years.

I hate on Timothy Geithner like it's my second job. But sitting in the ice box, I couldn't help but wonder if he was on to something. How dare these institutions that we keep solvent throw bonus after bonus while refusing to lend to credible individuals like me? And how dare all of us let them run amuck to the point where they were too big to fail? It became a nasty Catch 22 that caused everyone, Liberals and Conservatives, to bend their beliefs in order to keep America from crashing beyond the Great Depression.

Capitalism is not the root of the problem here. Greed is. Fraud is. Lust of Power is. All three of these know no political party, no socio-economic class, no race, and no faith. Or they know them all. The responsibility of this federal government is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemeies, both foreign and domestic. I would contend that the practices and policies, the fraud and the abuse that led us to this mess qualifies as an enemy of the Constitution. As such, responsible legislation, in accordance with the Constitution, should be enacted to mitigate as much as possible its devestating effects being repeated.