Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Open Letter to Congressman McCaul, 10th District, Texas

I doubt you remember me, Congressman, but we did meet a few months ago when you came down to [my employer] with Congressman Smith. I tell you this so hopefully you'll realize that I'm a serious observer and I have been paying attention to what you've been doing up there on our behalf. I've reviewed your record, looking into past action. Congressman, you are a good and honorable public servant. And this coming from a man generally suspicious of government and politicians.
And let me just say that your recent action against the bailout bill was right. You did the right thing in voting it down. It's not just the price tag involved, although that is a major factor. If our Congress wishes to spend 700 billion dollars it does not have, let it send it to the people. Seriously, break it down for every American over 18 and send it out. That will solve the problems with solvency as much as giving it people who have proved their incompetence. More importantly, our government is not empowered by the constitution to take this action. No economic situation grants the Congress a power not enumerated in that document. Any bailout action is wrong, no matter the reasons or the fail-safes or guards. Let those institutions that have pushed themselves over the limit fail. It will hurt a lot of people, but all of us are on the line in this bailout and if the government goes insolvent, then it all comes crashing down. Not only that, but any bailout will only encourage further inappropriate and stupid action on the behalf of those institutions you are trying to help. And that will cost this country further pain.
Now is not the time for rash action. Now is not the time for extraordinary measures but extraordinary courage. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for a man tied to public opinion to vote against a measure that so many call our only chance. But you must stay the course and show the leadership I know you are capable of showing and bring as many of your colleagues along with you as you can. We, the American People, need you and your colleagues to show courage in the face of hard times. We need you to be willing to risk your positions and vote down this bill once again. Keep it down. Kill it. Make it clear that government will not be stepping in and doing what it always does, throwing money at a problem and hoping it goes away. We need real solutions, Congressman, not pretty promises and more debt to foreign countries. Or hadn't you noticed that bad debt is what got us into this situation in the first place?
Once you have killed this bill, we need more courage. We need someone, anyone, to stand up and start talking about what really caused this problem. You and those of your colleagues who have the courage need to talk about the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 and its effects. Especially in how it was utilized by certain organizations and how it was enforced by regulatory agencies. We need people to stand up and talk about the actions of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae with their implicit government backing and control. We need to looking into the origins of the subprime mortgage market, how it was used, and why it was created. We need our leaders to talk about the effect of the mark-to-market rule which is causing banks to write down perfectly good loans as losses. We need our leadership to lead and admit the failings of Sarbanes-Oxley and how that piece of over-regulation has contributed to the current crises. These are the cause of our problems. We need brave Congressman and others willing to stand up and explain why this is not a failing of the free market and why this is the failing of the government to execute its powers correctly.
I am asking you, Congressman, please show some leadership this week. Don't follow an hysterical mass into more failure. Lead an intelligent and capable people out of this darkness. Have the courage to uncover and talk about the truth on this issue. Have the courage to lead your colleagues into making better decisions based around the facts and the truth. Have the courage to take hard truths to the American people. We can handle it. We can accept it. All you need to do is give us the chance.
I certainly hope that this reaches you, Congressman. I hope that you personally read this message and you consider what it says. I also wish to inform you that I have a personal site at where I will be posting this as an open letter.
My e-mail should be included on this message.
I remain your friend and supporter,
Charles Campbell