Bailout Bullshit, Part 2: Wooden arrow tax breaks

It’s absolutely fitting that in the midst of a huge financial crisis our “representatives” in “government” are “multi-tasking” while making the $700 Billion decision- to make sure wooden arrows get a break too.

You know, the kinds you could use, along with garlic, to kill a vampire? The problem is, the bloodsuckers are the ones in charge in this mess- and they have no intention of harming each other.

Here are the straphangers from Bloomberg:

Rose City Archery Inc., an Oregon company that makes arrows used by children, hit a bull’s-eye with Senate legislation that would rescue Wall Street banks.

Senators attached a provision repealing a 39-cent excise tax on wooden arrows designed for children to an historic $700 billion financial-markets rescue that passed tonight by a vote of 74-25. The provision, originally proposed by Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith, will save manufacturers such as Rose City Archery in Myrtle Point, Oregon, about $200,000 a year.

It’s one of dozens of tax breaks benefiting Hollywood producers, stock-car racetrack owners and Virgin Islands rum- makers included in the broader legislation in an effort to win support from House Republicans, whose defection contributed to a rejection of an earlier version of the legislation two days ago on a 228-205 vote. U.S..

The first thing the House should do is have a motion to eliminate any other legislation or tax breaks or earmarks from what could be one of three pivotal votes of the last 8 years (Patriot Act, Iraq, Bailout). Then, we need to realize, that this bill is nothing other than putting lipstick on the same pig (to use the now famous phrase).

We still don’t have any systemic change.

Listening to American Public Radio’s Marketplace report last week, I heard them interview a “Market Psychologist” after either Paulson or Bernanke spoke about how it’s not just economics but psychology. And, there is the fundamental problem with how our financial system has devolved to the same level as our “political system”- with any hint of rational decision making totally missing.

Markets are only guided by “psychology” when decisions are being made on emotion instead of rational thought. The mechanics of our markets have changed in the last 25 years with computers and online trading so that stock can now be bought and sold as fast as someone can sit down at a casino slot machine. This is NOT investing anymore.

Put reality back into financial decisions, make risk have real consequences and require serious thought and commitment to investing, and maybe, we wouldn’t be talking about “market psychology” or wooden arrows right now.

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