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The Baltimore Sun

Credit crisis shows it's time to clean house

One thing that is apparent about the fiscal meltdown is that it was known several years ago that there was a crisis brewing in the fiscal markets ("Uneasy Street," Oct. 10).

The titans of Wall Street knew that the bubble was ultimately going to burst. They chose to ignore the signs while amassing huge personal fortunes.

Congress knew what was going on in the subprime credit market and the derivatives market and deliberately chose to ignore it.

Members of Congress of both parties turned a blind eye to the problem at the same time they were lining their pockets with campaign contributions from the titans of Wall Street who were pushing these loans.

The regulators in Washington, those who were supposed to be preventing fiscal mischief, failed to curtail the abuse by the titans of Wall Street, knowing full well that the house of cards could come tumbling down, with huge consequences.

Have they learned anything from all of this? Just weeks after the bailout of AIG, executives of that company were on a $400,000 retreat ("Lawmakers angered by posh AIG retreat," Oct. 8). Just business as usual.

Congress passed a $700 billion bailout package and loaded it down with an extra $150 billion in pork-barrel spending. Business as usual.

The regulators in Washington, the same crowd that allowed the titans of Wall Street to abuse the system, are now telling us how to solve the problem. Business as usual.

There is but one thing that the American people can do now: Clean house in Washington.

We have an extraordinary opportunity to vote the entrenched, irresponsible, corrupt members of Congress out of office.

No matter how much we like our own senator or congressman, they were all a part of the problem.

How can we vote them back into office?

John Hergenroeder, Baltimore

AIG takes taxpayers for an expensive ride

On Sept. 17, a Sun headline read "U. S. giving AIG $85 billion loan." Then on Oct. 9, the paper had an item titled "Federal Reserve grants $37.8 billion loan to AIG."

This makes a total of $122.8 billion in public money going to AIG.

Is AIG playing the U.S. taxpayers for suckers?

AIG's top brass should be fired and a grand jury impaneled to see what kinds of and how many crimes have been committed.

Richard L. Lelonek, Baltimore

End the war to pay the bill for bailout

I've got an idea: Why not abandon the occupation of Iraq ("Uneasy Street," Oct. 10)?

This would save the lives of our soldiers and innocent Iraqis, and prevent us from spending more billions on an invasion that never should have happened in the first place.

We could then use those billions of dollars to bail out Wall Street as well as Main Street.

Olatunji Mwamba, Baltimore

All-American Palin a breath of fresh air

Kathleen Parker calls Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin a "problem" although she admits that Mrs. Palin has common sense and executive experience and is inspiring and "all-American" ("Palin is in over her head, should bow out of race" Commentary, Sept. 30).

While Mrs. Palin is called "in over her head," Sen. Barack Obama is up to his neck in unsavory connections to the overwhelming Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac disaster, having received the second-largest sum in campaign contributions among U.S. senators (after Sen. Christopher Dodd) from these corrupt organizations.

The deficit of trust in government is far greater than our horrendous deficit of money.

Congress today is a morass of negligence and mismanagement that has brought us to the brink of financial disaster, nationally and personally.

It has become a predator on the people, most recently in adding tens of billions in extra spending to the original $700 billion bailout proposal.

Working above the law, it has plunged our country into socialism.

It has been years since Main Street was represented in Washington.

Mrs. Palin is not "out of her league"; others in Washington are out of her league.

Character matters, and the appeal of "all-Americanism" and respect for the Ten Commandments cannot be overestimated.

Elizabeth Ward Nottrodt, Baltimore

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