By Ivan G. Goldman
Voters who believed there should be no bailout were wrong. Barney Frank and other Democrats removed much of the language in the bill giving Paulson and Bush an open-ended license to steal. So by depriving the Treasury of funds to buy up bad debt, the House probably (I hope I’m wrong) triggered a storm of horrors, beginning with bank failures, that, ironically, will leave the very Wall Street fat-cats the voters wanted to punish high and dry anyway. The rest of us will suffer due to what economists call the snowball effect. Banks fail, businesses fail, the customers of those businesses fail, government cash flow dries up as joblessness rises and the value of real estate continues to dive. There should have been much more in the bill to help the little guy, but there's a limit to how much decent legislation you can squeeze out of an indecent white House and Congress.
If we had a President who’d proved his/her character to the voters over the last seven and a half-years, most of them would have believed his/her appeal to support bailout legislation. But of course if we had a decent, intelligent president, the promise of deregulation paradise concocted by Phil Gramm and other highly paid thieves would never have made it through Congress and the White House.
As it stands, not even hard-core Republicans believe George Junior anymore. Most of us know him to be a liar and a fool. So when he entreats us to do something, as he did earlier this week when he asked us to support the bailout, we pay little to no attention and try to find out what grown-ups think about the subject.
Americans who re-elected Bush, a man aptly described by Democratic insider Paul Begala as a high-functioning moron, have yet to learn the consequences of their folly. FDR, facing a similar economic disaster in the thirties, told people the truth. So when he addressed them on the radio, most of them believed what he had to say. But in 2008, the voting majority of 2004 left us leaderless and rudderless.
No one knows what happens next. As the folly of doing nothing becomes clearer, the ensuing destruction might spur Congress to act, but once the glue is out of the tube there doesn’t seem to be much chance that this Administration of fools and crooks will figure out how to get it back in.
Our legislators, for the most part, don’t put the nation first. Members of Congress have showered themselves with so many perks and legalized kickback schemes that they will do almost anything to get re-elected, including triggering Great Depression II. They’re like dirty cops. They might start out with ambition to serve the country, but their morals gradually deteriorate as day after day they man the phones to raise money for themselves.
Our ghastly predicament will probably prod voters into electing Barack Obama, but it’s hard to say how much he can do for us now. He and Biden are vastly preferable to madman McCain, who facilitated both this global panic and the thrift disaster of the eighties, and to lipstick Sarah, who wouldn't know a Wall Street derivative from a walrus. But it would have been nice to choose sanity before, not after, the hard rain fell.