Freddie and Fannie Hit Snooze on American Dream

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The Bangor Daily News

Freddie and Fannie Hit Snooze on American Dream

Do you hop right out of bed in the morning or do you need an alarm clock? Are you one of those people with an inner time piece? Or does a siren have to go off next to your head?

Perhaps you hit the snooze button three or four times before you register that the time for dreaming has ended.

I'm the first type, the type with the brain clock. I can usually pop out of bed at just the right time. But occasionally, I get lost in a dream and I can't wake up.

Then there are times when there's nothing better than a good alarm clock because the dream you are trapped in has turned into a nightmare.

Imagine a dream that you've just bought a home when suddenly the town starts flooding. Of course this only works right now if you don't live in Iowa.

The water around your house is rising and you look outside to see the horrible spectacle of two people drowning. You run around looking for something that floats so you can throw it to them. Suddenly, you realize that they have tied themselves to your house and instead of swimming to the top, they are sinking like anchors, holding your house down under the water with them. The same flood waters that are drowning them will drown you too.

In horror, you look closely at these folks and realize that you know them. You shout, "Hey Freddie, hey Fannie, untie yourselves - you are pulling me under!"

Just then you see your uncle coming. You're so relieved. He can save you. But he doesn't. He just unties Freddie and Fanny and leaves you swept up in the current, headed for disaster. You turn to him and say, "Uncle Sam, come back. Save me! Save my house!"

And your uncle looks back - carefully cradling Freddie and Fannie, the folks who helped you get the house in the first place - and says, "So sorry kid, but I don't do bailouts."

Too bad we didn't wake up at any point in the last decade to realize that all our heavy sleeping has allowed the American dream of buying a home to become the American nightmare.

The nation's alarm clock is going off and if you're one of those remarkable folks still hitting the snooze button, the rest of us would appreciate it if you could wake up and get going.

If you wake up now, we might stand a chance of saving your house. But the nightmare continues without the full participation of the voting public. Call Congress and tell it to save the mortgage industry by saving first the people that they suckered in. Suggest they review the plan some of their colleagues are drafting to tax international banking so that multinational corporations moving huge sums of money out of the U.S. would help bear our burden and reduce our debt.

If you keep sleeping, Congress is more likely to aid and abet the president as he taxes your children's children to secure the culprits whose poor business practices got us into this mess.

Of course, during his press conference yesterday, President Bush denied that they were simply bailing out Fannie and Freddie, saying, "the two troubled mortgage companies play a central role in the nation's housing-finance system" and that government action to help them were not bailouts, since the two would remain shareholder-owned companies.

But Mr. President, that's exactly what a bailout is.

Maybe the President forgot that when the Coast Guard bails out a boat, they don't take the boat - they just take the water.

No, the plan is to bail out the lenders and sandbag the people.

Mortgage crisis, Wall Street instability, oil prices, food shortages - how many more times are you going to hit that snooze button before you realize the American Dream is ending? And the nightmare's all we'll have left.

The administration plans to save lenders and expect us to go along so that it might trickle down and save us. It's a simple plan, because they can get us to do it in our sleep.

Pat LaMarche

Pat LaMarche is host of the The Pulse Morning Show, which broadcasts in Maine and is available on the web at zoneradio.com. She is the author of "Left Out In America: The State of Homelessness in the United States." She was the Green Party's vice-presidential candidate in the 2004 U.S. presidential election, with David Cobb as its presidential candidate. Pat may be reached at PatLaMarche@hotmail.com

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