Monday, September 29, 2008

House Rejects Bailout

The big news of the day (besides our town's football team firing Scott Linehan - to which I must say . . . it's about time!) was the U.S. House of Representatives rejecting the Wall Street bailout plan pushed by President Bush and Democrats in Congress.  (Local representatives' votes.)

The issue is incredibly complex and most of us simply don't have the facts or economic expertise to know what must be done and when to salvage the American economy.  I won't pretend here - or anywhere else - that I know the right answer to this apparent crisis . . . but taxpayers bailing out lenders who made bad decisions and lent money to folks who can't pay it back certainly has a stench about it.  Why shouldn't bad businesses be allowed to go under?

And just as important, where are we going to get a fresh $700 billion or so to pay for this?  I don't believe that the government's got the money.  Are they just going to borrow it from the Chinese or print more of it, devaluing the currency?  Or are you and I going to be asked to buck up and pay higher and higher taxes since Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their friends were irresponsible?

A friend of mine at lunch today made a good analogy to this situation . . . it is like a child asking a parent to take him to Disneyworld.  "Sorry," says the responsible parent, "we just can't afford to go right now."  "That's okay," says the child, "just write a check."

Are most of our national leaders as naive as the child in the story?  Or do the rest of us just not understand?

The job of leaders is to lead.  That hasn't happened yet.  If this bailout is really necessary then George Bush, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, and the rest of its supporters need to make a stronger case and convince America.  Make your case for this bailout or come up with a new, responsible plan.

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