If you, like me, have been trying for the last week to understand the basics of economics in this country… then are you also feeling disheartened? And angry?

I will admit that I do not pay much attention to politics. It is, quite often, a nauseating display of power and self-congratulatory garbage that I simply don’t have time for. I vote for the candidate who seems most likely to uphold my values and ideas, and pray that God will work through them despite the rampant corruption and general untrustworthiness. It’s not a great system, but it’s what we’ve got.

But this week is different, I’ve been trying very hard to get a grasp of what’s what. I’ve been in there, weeding through the muck, trying to follow what’s happening.

And as a result, I am fuming.

I cheered when the bailout plan was voted down in the House, and I continue to hold that position. I am willing to do hard time now on Main Street– I’d rather do that than shackle our children with this mess and take a step further into socialism. I hope the new, revised proposal gets voted down, too.

Which brings me to what’s got my feathers ruffled. The new bill– and how they’ve LOADED it down with earmarks for other programs, trying to buy enough votes from those who wouldn’t vote yes the first time. How shady is that? I know they do it all the time, but it’s WRONG! It’s bribery- it’s unethical– it’s a very dirty and low way of moving legislation. The ends do NOT justify the means, no matter how dire they believe (or want US to believe) the need. Let the bill stand alone, and DIE alone, because it’s a bad bill!

Here are a few things that they’ve added on, hoping that a little Turkish Delight will be too much temptation for our Congressmen.

Film and Television Productions (Sec. 502)
– Wooden Arrows designed for use by children (Sec. 503)
– 6 page package of earmarks for litigants in the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident, Alaska (Sec. 504)

Tax earmark “extenders” in the bailout bill.
– Virgin Island and Puerto Rican Rum (Section 308)
– American Samoa (Sec. 309)
– Mine Rescue Teams (Sec. 310)
– Mine Safety Equipment (Sec. 311)
– Domestic Production Activities in Puerto Rico (Sec. 312)
– Indian Tribes (Sec. 314, 315)
– Railroads (Sec. 316)
– Auto Racing Tracks (317)
– District of Columbia (Sec. 322)
– Wool Research (Sec. 325)

Racing tracks? Are you kidding me? What the heck is this doing in the biggest, most important financial proposal in the history of our country? It’s outrageous! We’re already asked to spend $700 BILLION (a number that we cannot even truly fathom in our daily lives) and here they are tacking on MILLIONS more for ridiculous, inappropriate earmarks.

If I ever had any sliver of trust in those running our government… then it has been burned to ash over the events of the last week.

I do not pretend to understand everything there is to know about this. But I trust my instincts enough to say I believe this is a colossal mistake. I don’t think that by not doing anything that the problem will go away. But I do believe that we’re compounding it by trying to escape the consequences of bad choices. That never works. How do you ever learn anything, change anything, if you never have to account for your behavior? Yeah, it hurts learning things the hard way… but that’s how we move to better places.

Okay, I just had to get all that off my chest. Sorry for the rant. Feel free to chime in– wherever you stand on the issue. I’d like to know where you guys are with this, too.