“I’m sorry, I screwed up, it was my mistake, I was young, I was naive, I was stupid,” these are some of the phrases we are hearing in the media today as individual politicians, sports celebrities and business people try to explain away poor choices, bad judgment and “Oh you caught me, I guess I better now tell the truth.” It seems that bailout wealth breeds a curtain over common sense.

The former head of Citigroup took his family on a Christmas holiday in Mexico. That’s fine, but…
It was on a company jet. The price was 12 grand a night and Citigroup had just received a 50-billion dollar federal bailout.

And…the company had just laid off over 50-thousand people worldwide. FIFTY THOUSAND PEOPLE!

I don’t know if former CEO Sandy Weill paid for the vacation with his own money and whether he reimbursed the company for the jet costs. He may have, but it is the appearance of elitism that irks the American public.

How about Bank of America. It took 45 Billion in our money and hosted a Super Bowl multi day event in Florida.

It goes on and on with the “haves” unaware of the “have nots.”

Most of us have worked hard, saved for the proverbial rainy day and retirement and now because of the arrogance of power each day we lose more of the value we accumulated.

There are no bailouts for individuals and there should not be. We are strong. We’ve been through tough times before and we will get through these Wall Street, banks and Madoff scams a little poorer and a lot smarter.

Here are some little guy considerations:

Accountability and prosecution of those responsible. Part of their punishment, if convicted, is a course in greed management and public service in poor neighborhoods.

Transparency and accountability in all future deals, lending and government largess.

Elimination of all pork programs, and Congressional perks and severe restrictions on all lobbyists.

Compensation limits for any company receiving federal funds and a requirement for all executives to know the name and circumstances of the lowest paid company employee and meet with him or her once a month.

Federal help, not a bailout, for the little guy and each one who receives help is required to read and sign a simplified federal pamphlet on “if I make this much then I can afford this much.

New rules on the distribution of credit cards to the young and limits on lines of credit based on percent of income.

Lock the doors of Congress and leave them locked until a health care program is passed. It works for selecting a Pope.

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