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Gas prices, Wall Street, and that $700 billion bailout

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Burbank/August 2008

I complained a lot during the summer about the jacked-up prices of gasoline. As recently as mid-August gas prices at the pumps in Burbank were still over $4 a gallon. Then prices began to tumble.

 About two weeks ago, I paid $3.70 a gallon — on Monday, I paid even less, $3.60 a gallon. I should be doing the happy dance or at least a quick cha-cha step over the money I’m saving, but I’m not feeling it. The reason: that meltdown on Wall Street and a proposed $700 billion bailout.

While the average citizen scrimped to save here and there on the necessities, apparently too many big wheelers and dealers in the financial sector were spending recklessly and with little concern for the consequences.

 Now, as so many analysts have said, “the system is broken,” and it looks like taxpayers are going to have to pay to fix it. That’s a tough pill to swallow; one the present administration is trying to force down our throats.

I agree with the financial experts who say an alternative should be worked out that would limit the liability for taxpayers. Clearly, the financial mess is going to take some serious work to clean-up. I think some of the folks and institutions that caused the crisis should bear the brunt of the responsibility and the financial obligation for the clean-up.

This gloomy, dark cloud of uncertainty hanging over the economy has made everyday living a little harder for some of us. We needed that like, well, you know.

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