One of the bills the Senate hasn't finished since the Democratic Senate majority got dramatically slashed from 60 Senators to 59 by incoming President Scott Brown is H.R. 2847, which would appropriate funds for fiscal 2010 to the Departments of Justice, Commerce, and Science, among others. Division A of the bill comprises the "Jobs for Main Street Act," and it moves over $150 billion from TARP funds toward infrastructure and public service projects. I was just advocating a Republican-sponsored amendment to destroy TARP the other day, wasn't I? Well, putting TARP funds to actual use is the next best thing. H.R. 2847 has been a six-month labor of both Houses, and has been pinging back and forth between Houses over the last month. The Senate gets the next crack at it, so you may want to call your Senators and advocate its passage. They'll never see it coming -- which may be because they never see anything coming, unfortunately.
Meanwhile, Congress has also stalled movement on the TRADE Act (S. 2821/H.R. 3012), which would, essentially, mandate strong labor, environmental, public health, and food safety protections (among others) in any future trade pact with other nations. The TRADE Act would also mandate that the other country involved in the trade pact adopt similar protections. Does that constitute forcing our will on other countries? No, it does not -- the other country/countries can simply refuse to sign the agreement if they want to go on paying their workers in dung pellets. Seriously, opposition to "free" trade gets more bipartisan support than you might think -- in fact, I believe opposing "free" trade is a fundamentally conservative cause. I mean, conservatives believe that the smallest community governs best, don't they? They believe that the largest decision-making body understands little about the needs of local communities, right? Well, there ain't no larger decision-making bodies than corporations right now. NETWORK helps you contact your Senators and your Reps.
Finally, if you were looking for another reason to move your money out of the big banks and into a credit union: Tim Geithner thinks that's a bad idea. That automatically means it's a good idea -- and that's without considering that he doesn't even tell you why he thinks it's a bad idea. My guess? Prejudice. Of course, almost a year ago Ralph Nader told us, for real, why the credit union is a good idea. Long story short: a credit union doesn't live to serve its CEO, because a credit union's depositors have more power than a bank's depositors.