The Catfood Commission is what they call the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform over at firedoglake.com. For those too young to remember life before Medicare, catfood is what a lot of seniors ate in order to pay their medical bills.
If we’re not careful, we could be headed back in that direction.
If bound and published, the stories of the early part of my parents’ marriage might be titled “Tales of the Great Depression.” Like the dreams of most people, theirs were thrown to the wind when the economy fell apart.
The crash of 1929 cost my mother her scholarship to a Chicago conservatory, and she went home to Alabama a year short of graduation. “If I hadn’t met your daddy, I’d have starved to death,” she liked to say. She had been living in a boarding house and wringing out a living teaching piano lessons when someone fixed her up with a young pharmacist from Georgia.
Not that pharmacy was his first choice. Daddy had dreamed of a career in professional baseball, and he would have much preferred the outfield to standing behind the counter in his father’s store. But the economy dictated a practical profession, one to which he turned out to be well-suited.
Now that Congress has balked at bailing out the Big Three automakers, their CEOs have all gone back to Detroit, not in a Ford Expedition or a Chevy Suburban or in a Lincoln Navigator, one of which would hold them all, but on their individual jets. Even President-elect Obama expressed surprise that they came only with their hands out and without a plan. He said he hoped they’d work something up before they come back.
The incredible hulk otherwise known as Henry Paulson has a plan, and it’s a doozy. For a mere $500 billion (and perhaps as much as a trillion) the country can buy its way out of economic disaster. Certainly that ratchets up George W. Bush’s advice to go shopping after the terrorist attacks of 2001.
My congressman, Democrat Charles Rangel, spent two hours on the phone with Paulson talking about legislation that will come before the House Ways and Means Committee, which he chairs. He discusses the conversation in today’s New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/20/nyregion/20about.html?scp=1&sq=Rangel%20Paulson&st=cse
“It ends up, ‘Trust me, it’s the right thing to do. And if you don’t do it, the economy will melt down. Not only do we have to do this, you have to do this next week,’” Rangel said.
Random reflections on politics, the media, political activism, women's lives and spirituality, often inspired by travel, cultural events or what I read.
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