Why Greece Matters to You – the American Taxpayer

First, Bear Stearns made a bunch of stupid bets on sub-prime mortgages, and you – the American Taxpayer –  bailed them out to the tune of $29 billion in guarantees to JPMorgan, (who bought Bear Stearns only on the condition that the government assume that debt.)

Then, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac made a bunch of stupid bets on subprime mortgages and you – the American Taxpayer – bailed them out to the tune of $800 billion.

The Lehman Brothers went belly up, which forced AIG to pay billions of dollars in claims on credit default swaps – claims they were unable to pay, so you – the American Taxpayer – bailed out AIG to the tune of $145 billion.

Then the Big Wall Street Banks went kablooie, because they made stupid bets and you – The American Taxpayer – bailed them out with $800 billion in loans. (No, you will not see any return on that “investment”, other than the comfort of watching Goldman Sachs give out $14 billion in bonuses last year.)

Then, Chrysler and GM both came to Washington with their hands out because they made stupid agreements with the UAW and stupid inverstment decisions, and you – the American Taxpayer – bailed them out with “only” about $20 billion.

What have you – the American Taxpayer – received for all this largess doled into the laps of these idiot gamblers? You have the worst economy since the great depression. You have over 22% of the population “under-employed”. You have plummeting home values. You have more tax. You have known tax cheats heading Treasury and the IRS.

Now Greece is going to go bankrupt, and guess who is going to bailout that government? The IMF gives money to Greece. 20% of the IMF’s funding comes from the US Taxpayer, so you – the American Taxpayer – are now sending $7 billion to the Greek government so it can pay its bills.

Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, France and the UK are in line for the same thing.

What can you do about it?

You could start by re-reading the US Declaration of Independence and contemplating this phrase:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

When the colonists determined that the government of Great Britain – their government – had become destructive to the very people it was supposed to protect, they moved to “alter or abolish” that government and establish a new one that would be most likely to secure their life, liberty and happiness.

4 thoughts on “Why Greece Matters to You – the American Taxpayer”

  1. Thank Patrick. The longer I live, the more convinced I am that FREEDOM MATTERS. It is not the ONLY thing, and it is not the GREATEST thing, but the Apostle Paul said that Christ set us free simply for the sake of freedom. IOW, Freedom is an END, not a means.

  2. Jack-

    You have some interesting perspectives. I remember you well, and I thank you for your support in difficult times. I have managed to get to the other side, mostly, with His help. I appreciate your support.

    I am a banker again. I guess, reading your blog, that I am proud to be with Bank of Arizona, an affiliate of BOK Financial, the largest bank in the country to decline TARP funds. Thank you George Kaiser, who owns 66% of BOKF.

    We managed to finish Men’s Fraternity without you, but it wasn’t the same.
    I hope you are well.


  3. Kevin,

    Thanks for stopping by. I’ve thought of you frequently the last several weeks. I know how brutal this transition can be. I’d still like to have lunch sometime.

    I know there are banks and bankers that are honest men. I was hoping Bank of Arizona was one of them. I am very, very glad to hear that they did not take TARP funds. I hope they are able to survive the predations of Wall Street because we are going to need honest banks and honest bankers once the dust settles.


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