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Digg it! Seize the Time! by Cynthia McKinney

In my reading over the course of the last few years, I had to become somewhat conversant with the language of the new economy:  bundled mortgages, securitization, SPEs, SIVs, derivatives.  But in addition to the old concepts that always seemed to be with us–predatory lending, redlining, no affordable housing amid “the housing bubble,”– it soon became clear that basically folks had figured out a way to make money off of a ticking time bomb.  Kind of like prisons for profit.  And even though the Enron scandal was supposed to have cleaned up a lot of this, unfortunately, even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regularly engaged in some of these practices and that’s why you and I own them today.  I believe it is true that the very foundations of the U.S. economy and conventional political behavior have been shaken.  Now is not the time for business as usual.  And although this is by no ways exhaustive, here are a few things that I think the Democratic-led Congress could work on now instead of adjourning:

1.  enactment of a foreclosure moratorium now before the next phase of ARM interest rate increases take effect;
2.  elimination of all ARM mortgages and their renegotiation into 30- or 40-year loans;
3.  establishment of new mortgage lending practices to end predatory and discriminatory practices;
4.  establishment of criteria and construction goals for affordable housing;
5.  redefinition of credit and regulation of the credit industry so that discriminatory practices are completely eliminated;
6.  full funding for initiatives that eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in home ownership;
7.  recognition of shelter as a right according to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights to which the U.S. is a signatory so that no one sleeps on U.S. streets;
8.  full funding of a fund designed to cushion the job loss and provide for retraining of those at the bottom of the income scale as the economy transitions;
9.  close all tax loopholes and repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the top 1% of income earners;
10.  fairly tax corporations, denying federal subsidies to those who relocate jobs overseas repeal NAFTA.

And since the Congress plans to adjourn early and leave these problems to The Federal Reserve, The Federal Reserve should operate in the interests of the U.S. taxpayer and not the interests of the private, international bankers that it currently represents.  This, of course means that The Federal Reserve, too, must undergo a fundamental ownership and mission change.

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