1. Evil “politics” killed the bailout plan.
Congress by nature is slow and inefficient. Pundits all over God’s creation after the failed bailout vote were whining that “politics” failed us but the reality is, this is how Congress is supposed to work. Slow, methodical, messy, rooted in local concerns and direct voter influence. Thank goodness the executive branch does not have the sweeping authority to arbitrarily wield $700 billion dollars without Congressional approval. Efficient government is tyranny. Amazingly, Congressmen were assailed for actually listening to their constituency. Next week, it will be back to complaining that Congress is out of touch.
2. There is a divide between Wall Street and Main Street
These are one in the same. The guy at the kitchen table with his kids that Joe Biden loves to invoke is the same guy whose 401K and retirement are invested in the companies that are failing at this moment. If Wall Street crashes, he can’t get a loan. He can’t buy a new car or house. He’s likely to lose his job. If Wall Street falls, Main Street falls. Suggestions to the contrary are irresponsible examples of class warfare. This means you Barack Obama. So, if you’re one of these people walking around complaining that your government is trying to bail out a bunch of rich guys without any benefit to you – you’re an idiot.
3. The credit crisis is George Bush’s fault.
The deregulation (and also over-regulation) of the credit markets that helped lead to this crisis is a joint failure by both parties. The Democratic need to pander to struggling consumers by forcing banks to loan money to people who could not pay them back, and then turning around and profiting off of this behavior through campaign contributions and investments. The loosening of lending restrictions under President Bush. The de-regulation of banks passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Clinton. The cooking of books, shuffling of debt, hiding of risk that took place in banks and investment firms all over Wall Street. Flipping houses, gambling on second mortgages and larger mortgages than one can manage, taking on extra debt and expecting the bubble to never burst that took place in homes across this country. There is plenty of blame to go around. Barney Frank and Barack Obama stand there with straight faces blaming Republicans and Wall Street for the current crisis while both of them recieved extraordinary campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Obama has clear links to Franklin Raines and other high Fannie and Freddie officials who fleeced poor homeowners and American taxpayers while taking home millions of dollars for themselves. If you think Bush is soley responsible for the ridiculously simplistic reason that he was President while it all came crashing to Earth – you’re an idiot.
4. Republican feelings were hurt by Nancy Pelosi.
Her speech on House floor was appalling. No question. However, as Speaker of the House it is her responsibility to foster compromise and rise above the “politics” everyone hates so much. Instead, she tried to caricature the legislation in question as a repudiation of the Bush administration and used it as an excuse to defend her own party. She allowed certain influential Democrats to vote against the bill so they wouldn’t have to return and answer to their constituency while expecting Republicans to shoulder the weight of what is clearly an unpopular bill at home. Most of Barney Frank’s own banking committee revolted against the bill. He then has the unmitigated gall to turn around and blame Republicans – for the crisis and the bill failure. Why did they allow this to come to a vote on the floor without enough support to pass it? The abdication of leadership by Democrats in Congress and most certainly by the President during this crisis is simply unconscionable. Ironcially, that may be what saves us.
5. The Bush Administration put together a great plan and are just trying to do the right thing.
It’s an awful, awful plan. Why did Bush and Paulson try to ram this through Congress without garnering more support from their own party? Why did they create such an environment of fear on Wall Street? Bernanke and Paulson from the beginning irrationally announced that this vote was critical to the survival of the economy – which is ludicrous. They spooked investors, drew a line in the sand and dared Democrats and members of their own party to cross it. Instead of warning the country from the beginning and working with Congerss to avert or even dig us out of the crisis, they sat on their hands and then used the crisis as an opportunity to try and sieze unprecedented authority. This was – by far and away – Bush’s absolute worst moment as President. In fact, it’s probably the worst single moment for any President since at least Watergate.
6. We have no alternative but to eventually pass some bastardization of this grotesque socialism.
The market is currently correcting itself. Call it cliche’ if you like, but no matter how hard governments try to prop up the worthless paper they’ve allowed to multiply exponentially, the market will eventually come back to earth. Extending loans to unqualified people who could never pay them back, allowing coprorations to cook their books and profit from those loans, taking campaign contributions from the crooks pushing these practices… all of this has come back to roost, for both parties. Paulson and his $700 billion can do nothing but put a band-aid on the economy and help a few of his most cherished friends on Wall Street.
There is really no good way out of this mess except through the other side. Paulson’s plan would band-aid the problem and create vast powers for himself and (scarier still) future Presidents and Secretaries of the Treasury. The integrity and restraint of the Federal Government are far more important than the integrity of the various companies and consumers who stand next in line to lose because of this crisis. Ultimately, the crash has to come before the country can bring itself out of it. Bastardizing what remains of our Republic to try and save the crooks who put us in this mess (be they irresponsible home buyers, greedy mortgage brokers or corrupt millionaire CFO’s) would be the worst failure this government could yet endure. Maybe a real crash will be followed by a real movement to throw these bastards in Congress – Republicans and Democrats – the hell out of office. One can only hope.