Alando really covered one side of it well, but I'd like to point out another viewpoint.
This article is unbelievably ridiculous, and is a sort of strange attitude people have towards their government. I hope this is read by anyone who runs accross this thread, because I feel like its one of the most important points I've made on here.
People act as though their government is just a group of money-hungry idiots that aren't working in the interest of the people.
If you're one of the people who say things like "Oh they're all just a bunch of idiots" or "They don't really care about us" you need to take a quick second away from you conspiracy magazine and check out the real world
All of us in Wisconsin have two Senators representing us in the government, Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl. Both of these guys are incredibly dedicated to the people. Look at what Kohl has done for the State--you've got the teacher Kohl scholarships, the student Kohl scholarships, the Kohl center. Both of these guys are incredibly dedicated to their people.
So who in the government don't you trust? Is it John McCain from Arizona, a man who served in the military for 20+ years and whose hair has been white since he was 30 from the terrible torture he underwent for his country? Is it Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, who made her entire career helping people as a public servant? Is it Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, who holds the Medal of Honor for incredible heroics in WWII (He was taking out gunners by throwing grenades with his right hand. When the Nazi's blew his right arm off with a grenade, he started throwing with his left hand)?
Look, I took my 4-month hiatus to work in the U.S. Senate. I wasn't allowed to talk about it while I was there or before I was there. But take it from me--any conspiracy based on the idea that the government doesn't care about the people is absolutely ludicrous. Why did the banks get bailed out? Because if the banks failed, hundreds of thousands of people, whether they did anything wrong or not, would have been crushed
. The auto bailouts were to save jobs. The vast majority of politicians are doing what they do in order to help people, not to get in bed with lobbyists and special interest groups.
Now there are some members of our government that will be right on issues, and some who will be wrong. But don't question their motives. That this article even suggests that the government is under the hold of Goldman Sachs is completely ludicrous.
I am in no way a conspiracy theorist. The view of the real world is a heck of a lot better from where I am than in the senate, I can assure you. There are undoubtedly some great and upstanding people in our government, and you named a few. But they aren't all good, and it doesn't take many bad ones to make a mess of everything. Also, good intentions are not a substitute for competence. Our national debt and the bailout plan is pretty good evidence that our government as a whole is not very good at handling money.
The mortgage crisis cannot be blamed entirely (or much at all, in my opinion) on the average American. Yes, a lot of people took on houses that they couldn't afford, but the banks were the ones giving them the loans, and they should have known better. They probably did know better, but the temptation of that easy money grab was just too strong.
So when all of these banks failed as a result of their own greed, in came the government on its white horse with bags of money to fix everything with a bailout. Here's the problem with the bailout: It takes the responsibility out of failure. If a bank or automaker becomes big enough, and their stake in the economy is large, then the government will not allow them to fail, and there is no incentive to perform well. This is where the government's good intentions give way to incompetence. The only way to fix the economy is to let losers lose; the winners will rise to the top to fill that void, and the economy will recover. Times would have been hard for the people who worked at GM or any of the other failures, but other companies would have grown to fill the production void and hired them eventually.
I will agree that it's ridiculous to say that Goldman Sachs is responsible for every bubble since the great depression. But it's as clear as day to me that there is some serious cronyism in the bailout plan, and the finger points to them. How is it that Lehman brothers was left to die, but banks that owed Goldman Sachs money got bailed out?