a lump of clean-burning coal / by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

There's plenty about the $700 billion dollar rescue bill that finally - after failing on Monday - sailed through Congress on Friday that should concern people. A lot. Not the least of which is the money. Five percent of our gross domestic product is no small change. Sure we'll get something in exchange for the money but it remains to be seen just how much of the investment we can expect to recover from a bunch of risky high-interest loans. The good loans, the one's that people will surely repay, we left with the banks. We, the people, are now saddled with the risk.

Think about it. All loans are risky, some more so than others. Now the government is going to own a bunch of the riskiest loans on Main Street. Face it; most folks on Main Street mean well but some of them have about as much business buying a home as Bush does running the country. Hell, how do you think Bush got elected? Twice, mind you. Main Street. You betcha. Sure some of the good people have been victims of bad luck or poor circumstances, but some of them have been victims of greed and stupidity. Some of the bad loans the government has acquired will turn around, but some will won't and will end up in default. The ones that default will result in more homes being dumped on the market at low rates further depressing home values for at least the next couple of years. This isn't the worst of the deal though.

Unlike the Great Depression when the government spent huge amounts of money to bring our economy back, they used it to make things the country desperately needed, to build up our country, our democracy. They used it to put people to work, writers, artists, laborers - you know - those folks on Main Street everyone loves to talk about.

In Kansas City, the City Hall, the Jackson County Courthouse, and Municipal Auditorium were built with depression-era dollars. I guess it just a coincidence they just a block off Main Street. These are monumental, architecturally significant buildings, full of beautiful, intricate stone and metal work, that have stood the test of time. There are thousands of roads, walls, bridges, parks, lodges, built all across this country during the Depression by the Works Progress Administration and many of them stand today as important, significant, and enduring works.

The current economic rescue plan is different. The whole approach is different. There is only a small amount of money in the bill to rebuild America's aging infrastructure. And we have a lot of it. The nation has something like 3 trillion in back-logged infrastructure projects that need to be addressed. Kansas City alone has 3-5 billion dollars worth of backlogged infrastructure projects waiting for the money to make them happen. Citizens alone can't come up with this amount. Out sales tax rates are already near 10 percent in parts of the city. While we piddle money away in Iraq, our nation crumbles.

There are other things about this bill that should scare people and one of them is Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. In April, 2004, Paulson, then CEO of Goldman Sacs, was instrumental in lobbying for the Security and Exchange Commission to change it's rules to allow investment banks to take on much more credit than before. Up to 30 times more. Two years later Paulson is Treasury Secretary. Two years after that, he tells everyone that Wall is good! and 2 months after that, the sky is falling and he needs $7 billion and no oversight.

But wait there's more. The US lost 159,000 jobs in August. That's 9 straight months of job losses. And more. California wants a $7 billion dollar loan from the government to save itself. The City of Albany, New York is 1.7 billion in debt.

If the Democrats can't win this election then they should join the Green Party.