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By The Staff

How many generations

will pay for this meltdown?

The default of the quasi stocks and bonds cooked up by investment banks and Wall Street for their real estate interests was the trigger for our current economic collapse. But at the end of 2007 several other record-setting factors were also pulling at its seams.

Home mortgage debt was $11.1 trillion. Consumer debt for credit cards, autos, student and personal loans was $2.6 trillion. One in every 35 households declared bankruptcy.

The national debt was at $9 trillion. The government paid $408 billion in interest on the debt and $102 billion of these payments went to overseas debt holders. Our trade deficit was $57 trillion for the year.

The average income for each of the 50 top hedge fund managers was $558 million, for a total of $27.9 billion. The average income for each of the CEOs of the S & P 500 companies was $14.8 million, for a total of $7.4 billion.

The average debt for a family of four was $184,460 and the median income was $50,233. We lead the world in our per capita debts for both personal and government spending.

For his two-year presidential campaign, Obama raised a record $638 million from supposed small individual contributors. The Democratic congressional candidates raised $145 million from labor unions and rich individual contributors.

Newspaper columnist George Will recently wrote, “Spreading the wealth to whichever industries or interests have the most influence has become the entire point of Washington.” It has been 78 years since our last major meltdown and hopefully,  our next three generations will be able to pay for this one before another occurs.

Better yet, maybe they will recognize how the politicians scammed us to stay in office indefinitely by richly rewarding their heavy campaign contributors. Maybe they will also decide to end their taxpaying servitude and regain responsible government by voting out the political con artists we will pass on to them.

Bill Farthing

Ocala

American workers need

equal trade policies

Congress has voted for the Bush bailout of the banking industry with the same investigative thought that they used when they voted for and gave President Bush the authority to invade Iraq. They took his word for the necessity of invading Iraq in 2003 and now in 2008, with many of the same Congressmen involved,  they gave him 700 billion dollars to bail out the banking industry.

President Clinton has been blamed for signing into law the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, which removed the restrictions placed on the banking industry and stock market trading businesses. What the Republicans won’t tell you is that this bill that was signed into law by a vote of Congress that held a veto-proof majority in Congress.

When are we going to wake up and do the opposite of what President Bush wants? We must act before it is too late and trash these free trade agreements where the president wants these foreign countries to have an advantage, and demand an equal trade policy to save what’s left of the American work force.

Will our new president realize that the American workers should be our main concern and realize that they can’t compete against and survive on the same wages paid in Mexico and China?

The American worker must play the same dominant role in our future that he has played in our past.

Jerry Segovis

OTOW