All too often, our politicians are complete morons.
I think back to the stupidity of Democratic U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, when she was the mayor of San Francisco in 1985, and she decided to publicly release police-only-known information about Richard Ramirez, the famous serial killer know as the Night Stalker. In doing so, she forced Ramirez to flee San Francisco and go to Los Angeles where these facts were little known and where he could (And did!), with some anonymity, kill again.
All too often our politicians, for purely political gains, release information that can be detrimental to our society. Recently, Senator Schumer, of New York, did just that. In a June 26 letter, he decided to warn that IndyMac Bank in California was at risk of bailout or collapse because of it's high sub-prime mortgage loans. Instead of being a benefactor to those who banked at IndyMac, he caused depositors to "run" on the bank and, subsequently, on Friday, the Bank went under and had to be taken over by the Federal government (See Full Story). Those with FDIC insured accounts with less than $100,000 will be saved by the Feds (Actually, by you and I as taxpayers!). However, those with amounts over $100,000 may only get 50 cents on the dollar for any savings above $100,000. This could be a lot of seniors and people close to retirement who had their life savings in that bank.
(Please Note: I think it would be more appropriate that a Senator from California release any problematic information about a California-based bank like IndyMac. It should not come from some Senator, like Schumer, from another State like New York. However, if you are the Chairman of Democratic Senatorial (re-election) Campaign Committee and an Obmaa supporter, like Schumer, you must think it's OK to trash a bank that is not in your own State. After all, all's fair in love and politics!)
With the political mindset of a left-wing politician like Schumer, it was important to highlight another risk in our mortgage morass so that the Bush Administration (and, I am sure, John McCain) would look "bad". Of course, this helps the Democrats and (let's never forget) it helps Barack Obama. But, a lot of people will be hurt in that process. Schumer's defense in what he did is that people are trying to, once again, shoot the messenger. But, what a leading Senator says in this country has a lot to do with what people will do. And, their reaction to his comments was to yank their money and leave that bank as quickly as possible.
I firmly believe that all the negative talk that came from the Democrats over the last 4 years about the Iraq War (pre-Surge) may have actually cost American lives by emboldening our enemy; in just the same way that the IndyMac Bank was affected by Schumer's ill-timed letter. But, only God knows how many soldiers died at the hands or our own American politicians! Sadly, they continue to make these life-altering blunders and they keep their jobs and their fat salaries and their fat retirement pay.
How stupid are we as Americans?!
As an aside. The FDIC insurance coverage level of $100,000 has been stuck at that rate for as long as I can remember. At least 40 years. During that same time frame, salaries have nearly tripled. This is another case where our elected officials, who manage to vote in their own raises every year, let important "ceilings" just rot until it is too late to do something about it. This like the previous estate tax ceiling, which had be left unchanged for over 50 years, is a typical example of our government's inaction. No level of tax deduction, tax exemption, or Federally mandated pay schedule, like the minimum wage, should be left without a cost of living adjustment associated with it. That just makes common sense.
Update: The original photo of Chuck Schumer was taken off this site because I erroneously thought is was a "public domain" image of the Senator. I am usually careful in this regard but, in my haste, I was wrong. The current image is in the public domain.
image in the public domain and royalty free