What Happened to the Bailout?
The President of the United States didn’t like it. The leaders of Congress didn’t like it. The Presidential Candidates didn’t like it. Our allies around the world didn’t like it. But the House of Representatives Failed to pass the Wall Street Bailout!
Poisonous ideological/ political speech and posturing greatly compounded, if not derailed, the process entirely. This Congress, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has proven itself to be a do-nothing congress even if told the nation is in mortal economic peril. Simply put: Our Political Rhetoric has undermined the ability of our democratic institutions to conduct the nations business. Even a supposed national emergency like this one is dealt with through the prism of politics to such a point where any pretence of serving the country is seen as passé’. Politicians serve whatever ideological movement they belong too and have made it too difficult and costly for their betters to effectively challenge incumbents.
The American Taxpayer simply refuses, overwhelmingly, to pay for the mistakes of a few thousand people on Wall Street who’ve betrayed good judgment and character. The American people have been in denial for a long time and they seem far more ready to face an economic depression than the people on Wall Street and Government who created the problem. We understand that the pain is going to be real, and last a long time, but we’re willing to go through the gauntlet. There are free market solutions that would be too offensive to the democrats like cutting business tax rates and the like that would change the game on Wall Street. We don’t have to change to socialism to solve this thing and we’re not going to just go along without holding politicians responsible this time. Don’t tell us a better solution is off limits because Speaker Pelosi might be annoyed. THE PEOPLE WANT A FREE MARKET SOLUTION OVERWHELMINGLY AND THEY DON’T WANT TO GROW THE GOVERNMENT! We don’t want socialism. Period.
The American Media who is supposed to inform us has lost so much credibility, in partisan advocacy masquerading as objective news reporting, that people are far less willing to believe them when they shout that the economic sky is falling. Listening to Chris Mathews on MSNBC I have the feeling that I’m being browbeaten and indoctrinated rather than informed. NBC used to have a decent reputation, as did other news organizations before they sold out to the idea that objective reporting is a myth and so they might as well substitute “advocacy” for rational objective analysis of the facts. Look at Dan Rather! Look at Jason Blair at the New York Times! People listen to very bad information and take it at face value. You can’t do that with today’s journalists. The Profession of Journalism has become corrupt and largely failed us. Journalism must be reformed.
Years of Denial among both political parties about the state of the American Economy and our ability to sustain our present life style, given the known challenges of the Demographic Crisis, The Energy Crisis, The Debt Crisis, for both Government and Citizens, The Education Crisis, The Political Civility Crisis, The Islamic Terror Crisis just to name a few. The Liberal Baby Boomer and his or her ideas about a better world have failed, been discredited, and bankrupted us in addition to future generations. Political Correctness made it impossible to talk about entitlements and social programs for fear of being demonized. This shut down of the debate and made for terrible social policy decisions. We can’t be for drilling because we might “offend” environmentalists. We can’t close schools that don’t work or kick out kids that wont behave because that discriminatory. We can’t stop Political Correctness because that’s a violation of free speech and it’s not really self serving liberal propaganda its “advocacy”.
The Rejection of Traditional Moral Values like telling the truth, working hard, putting others before yourself, and sacrificing for the future instead of demanding easy credit, and saving money instead of instant gratification. If we define something as a problem in Washington; it’s not even questioned anymore, we just throw money at it. Money hasn’t solved education; it hasn’t eliminated poverty, AND IT WON’T FIX WALL STREET NOW! The consequences of the credit crisis will demonstrate with great eloquence why we need honesty and integrity and common sense on Wall Street. We used to vote for what we thought was best for the country not for what’s best for ourselves. (No one talks that way anymore.) Kids cheat like crazy in school today and we don’t confront it because saying that cheating is wrong is a value judgment and we don’t want to impose our beliefs on others. It has become more virtuous to tolerate lies, cheating, stealing, and sexual excess and deliberate misrepresentations of the truth, than to confront the manipulative lies inherent in silencing good people with the false value of political correctness. Now we’re upset because the banks made risky loans and tried to hide it from us…… What do we expect?
It’s a person’s right to reject religion but it’s a person’s duty to uphold some basic values that keep our shared society functioning well. It’s true that values are often derived from religion but that doesn’t make them any less meaningful or invalidate them in any way if they otherwise compete well in the marketplace of ideas. Show me better and wiser values and I’ll adopt them. It’s not permissible for an accountant to be cooking the books, or a journalist offering a biased report, to say that “truth” is an imposition of our religious ideas and therefore they’re free to act on whatever is expedient or claim a separate truth.
The Use of Big Government to Solve Social Problems has failed over and over again. Government has tried and failed to solve the following:
Poverty, the great society failed and welfare dependence made conditions worse for those in now institutional poverty.
Social Security is bankrupt. There was too much money in the trust fund for politicians to resist using that money to buy votes.
Medicare is likewise bankrupt. Free prescriptions are bankrupting the system at a much faster rate. There are no free prescriptions any more than free lunch.
Healthcare has been raped and gouged by the legal profession who’ve made the smallest medical mistake an opportunity to win the lottery. As a result of the outrageous lawsuits that command huge payoffs the insurance industry raises rates to reflect the level necessary to withstand the legal scavengers.
Housing Projects for the poor became ghettos and Integration and high taxes in cities led to urban sprawl and the loss of the urban tax base.
The list is endless and yet half of us thing that we can have Universal Health Care, Retirement, College Educations, without paying for it. WE all pay for it and now the money is gone. Did government lie to us? Yes Was it too good to be true? Yes. Who should we blame for it? We should blame ourselves. We let this happen. Think about it: WERE WE BORN YESTERDAY!
What’s the Solution?
We need an effective way to combat the proponents of political correctness so that even the most difficult issues can be realistically and truthfully discussed in our news reporting and Schools so that no one is demonized and arguments are judged on their merits according to the facts. NOT HOW WE FEEL ABOUT THE FACTS! Those who are easily offended need to get over it and show us the merit of their position without recourse to a manipulative strategy like political correctness. The art of compromise, on which our system is built, is not possible if one side demonized the other. Compromise is not possible in such an environment because your opponent is not simply wrong he’s dangerous or evil and a horrible human being. How can you compromise with someone you treat as if they were Satan for disagreeing with you? You can’t: and that has to end. Partisans who are too over the top need to be punished because people like that can’t be reasoned with; and they can’t effectively and wisely compromise.
We need to break up the system of elections that favors the incumbent to the degree we do now. We need to make it easier for newcomers with fresh ideas and less money to compete with the professional political class who place their personal interests ahead of the nations interests. THAT WOULD BE CHANGE I CAN BELIEVE IN! Our politicians are motivated by their next run for reelection rather than what’s best for the nation. They rationalize their corruption and elevation to Washington Elite Status as something they earned by their courage and conviction rather than their willingness to play ball with contributors and power brokers. I’m becoming a believer in national term limits for congress because there’s just too much money and power available in Washington for most to avoid being tainted to one degree or another. When Politicians hear the peoples voice, clearly, as they have on the Wall Street bailout, they need to heed our will or do a better job of making their case. They need to pay a price when they act against our wishes and that’s not the case today.
The Media needs to be sanctioned for mistakes that influence the outcome of stories they’re supposed to be reporting. They need to be sanctioned for allowing too much of their political agenda to influence their reporting. Shows that are opinion driven need to be clearly labeled as such and “hard reporting” must pay scrupulous regard to getting the facts right and not editorializing. News organization should not used gimmicks, like biased polls, to drive stories they created with the biased poll! Objectivity must be the order of the day and those that can’t or won’t do it should be kicked out of journalism. Journalists should not analyze the facts but make it easy for their readers, viewers or listeners to do that. THERE IS NO PLACE IN JOURNALISM FOR ANY FORM OF ADVOCASY! You are an advocate or a journalist but you are never both.
We need to celebrate the return of consequences to our world. If a kid acts up in school be gets punished up to getting kicked out. If a congressman is taking bribes he gets arrested and sent to jail. If a Speaker of the House presides over the most ineffective congress in history she gets voted out regardless of her race, creed, color or gender or “affection preference.” Real life is about consequences and how to manage and choose between them. When consequences are not enforced we get a crazy image of the world, and ourselves; that’s not helpful. We do no good to people we excuse from the consequences of their behavior and it matters not if they’re living in the ghetto, or on Pennsylvania Avenue, or on Wall Street.
We need to agree on some national values regardless of our cultural heritage. You don’t have to be religious in any way to support the idea that we tell the truth, and reward those who do, and shun those who don’t. Being sexually responsible or honoring the commitments of marriage are good things and those who do them are to be respected while those who don’t have some moral failings to atone for. We don’t celebrate being sexual irresponsible and we don’t honor those who don’t live up to their marriage vows. We don’t condemn them either but we don’t pretend it’s a “lifestyle choice”. Vows mean something and should be respected by all.
You don’t have to be religious to know that it’s wrong to cheat on a test or to be filled with envy such that you refuse to live within your means. You don’t have to be religious to know that government doesn’t owe you a living, housing, education or free health care paid for by someone else. It’s well to be self reliant and to work toward being the best you can be. You don’t have to be religious to know we should respect the laws and each other and to understand that the ends do not justify the means. These are values that we should be able to agree on without saying those who advocate such things are just trying to impose their religion on others. Society needs values to function and the above are some pretty good values that have long served people well.
We live in an age where people who believed in government are coming to see the folly of their ways. Europe is seeing the mess that socialism has made even while we are lurching toward it at the behest of crazed bankers and an unwise Treasury Secretary. When you create big government you don’t solve problems you institutionalize them. Big government corrupts because all that power is bad for people to be around and it’s very few who can’t be changed by proximity to all the money and power. Government is not your mommy, your daddy or your Uncle George and it’s not there to solve your problems in a free society. That government is best that governs least is one of those truisms that get’s proven by events over and over again. Government invariably creates as many problems as it solves so nongovernmental solutions are always preferable to government based solutions. Government is not the answer.
We need a national cleansing from the craziness we’ve indulged for a generation and we need to pay our own way instead of handing the bills to future generations. It would seem that the People may be willing to start on that today while the politicians try to stave off the consequences of how our society has behaved. I don’t know what the outcome will be, if Wall Street will get a bailout, or if congress will be able to do anything but I do know that we’ve made a mess and eventually our day of reckoning will come. Since that’s the case let’s try to affect a solution that we don’t have to be ashamed of and lets clean up our national act. It’s long overdue.