A couple of things, do you have proof that banks gave money to their cronies who should have gotten nothing? Because if you do, that is criminal, and I am sure some stockholders and some attorney generals and some hungry journalists would be very much interested in seeing that proof. Do you have any proof that banks were getting kickbacks? Because that too would be illegal, the facts are you don’t have that proof because none exists. You are just repeating some of the misinformation you have picked up in the conservative entertainment complex, and it is all wrong. No that is just more right wing media misinformation. Per my previous post, in 2000 congress repealed Glass-Steagall which prevented banks from engaging in the kind of risky activity that resulted in the banking crisis of 2007-2009. Congress originally passed Glass-Steagal some 80 years ago in 1932, preventing banks from engaging in risky activity other than banking, to prevent another great depression. Additionally, in 2000 congress passed the Commodities Futures Modernization Act which preempted many state gambling laws making the speculative transactions that led to the banking crisis of 2007-2009 legal. Had congress not done any of the above, there would not have been the banking crisis of 2007-2009 because it would have been illegal, just as it was for the preceeding 70 years. Our neighbors to the north, the Canadians, did not deregulate their banking industry as we did. And their banks were virtually untouched by our banking disaster of a few years ago. Now you are using a straw man. I did not absolve banks of their culpability, quite to the contrary. I have and do blame both the banking industry and government for the banking crisis of 2007-2009. In fact, I predicted a crisis when congress repealed Glass-Steagall. But I didn’t expect the house would collapse as fast as it did. I blame the banks and government for the things they actually did versus things they didn’t do. If you are fed up, then do something to prevent it from ever happening again rather than shooting yourself in the leg. Get informed, and stay informed. And if you get your information from the conservative media complex, and it appears you do, that spews hate and misinformation all day long every day of the week you will never be adequately informed and will continue to get screwed all the days of your life. After getting informed, take the special interest money out of our political system. Special interest money is what allowed the banking industry to write and buy the legislation they wanted from congress. Banking money spent on our congress is what caused congress to reverse Glass-Steagall of 1932, reversing some 80 years of banking stability. In order to fix our political system, we need to ensure voters can and do make well informed decisions at the ballot box. If you are talking about the national debt, the national debt never needs to be paid off. The US government has never not been in debt. So your notion that the national debt needs to be paid off at some point in the future is just plain wrong. We have always had debt; we likely will always have debt. Government debt is not like your mortgage or household debt. Our government is not constrained by the frailties of a human life time. So this notion that you or your children or their children will have to pay off the nation’s debt is just fiction. What our children will need to do is manage the national debt, just as we must do, just as our forefathers did. The nation must be able to have sufficient resources available to pay our debt obligations. And there are a couple of things our government can do to manage the national debt, something that neither you nor I can do. The government can raise taxes and there is certainly enough room to raise taxes especially on the wealthy. Taxe rates on the wealthy have come down from a post WW II high of 94% to about a third of that amount (35%) and capital gains which is where most wealthy folks make their money, is only 15%. Additionally, our government can print money to pay its bills – something that neither you nor I can do. And a growing economy and population will require the government to print more money to service the growing economy and population. When Republicans took the presidency in 2001, they took a budget surplus and turned it into a multitrillion dollar deficit. When President Obama took office the federal government was well on track for its first multitrillion dollar deficit. Republicans had wasted money on bungled wars, pork riddled entitlement spending (Medicare Part D), and unfunded tax cuts largely for the wealthiest citizens, and an economy in ruins – committing the nation to decades of deficit spending. George II’s first Secretary of the US Treasury resigned in protest to the profligate spending of the George II and his merry band of Republicans. Since taking office, President Obama has reduced the nation’s deficit by some 600 billion dollars. But even so the deficit this year is projected to be about 1.1 trillion dollars all of which will wind up as debt. As of now there is no immediate crisis if our government acts responsibly in trimming the deficit while avoiding an austerity program that will cause an economic contraction (i.e. recession). The best solution to our debt and deficit woe is economic growth. Because economic growth means higher tax revenues and lower government expenses (e.g. lower social safety net expenses, unemployment, Medicaid, etc.). Another economic contraction/recession will result in less tax revenue to pay the nation’s bills and more expenses to care for the growing numbers of unemployed and indigent people which would result from an economic contraction/recession. What needs to happen is that we need to contain our deficit spending so that we can control our debt and servicing our debt remains doable without causing unacceptable levels of inflation. That is what our elected officials are now doing in Washington. “Debt is crushing those common folks”, just what debt would that be exactly, personal debt or government debt? If it is personal debt, they wouldn’t be in a better place if they lost their jobs in a great depression. If it is government debt, I think I covered that topic.