I have been watching, like the rest of my fellow Americans, this financial meltdown mess.
I have also been watching the Treasury Secretary's efforts to "correct" the problem in the form of a $700 billion dollar tax payer funded bailout. Of course, this does not even bring into the windshield view all the other issues, like the $2 trillion dollar (that is probably a conservative estimate) "time bomb" created by the never ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That bomb will go off eventually and it WILL come due.
There has been much written and much said. Why do I feel qualified to address this? I have not done any worse than the "experts" in their predictions on the state of the economy. I am not any smarter than anyone else, I just largely did what I did with the Iraq war. Listened to what the government "experts" were saying and believed pretty much the polar opposite.
On August 14 2007 in this blog I wrote:
"Our economy, while APPEARING strong is a house of cards built on credit and the promise of cheap, plentiful energy, either of which could evaporate at any moment (and as far as credit goes has been heading that way)."
On March 7 2008 I wrote:
"One of the things I've been talking about over the past several days to my friends is the idea of looking at the economy as a whole. The people in Washington count on the idea that Americans are going to look at the economy in somewhat of a fragmented way - almost as if there are "economy boxes" - there's the energy economy box, the health care box, the housing box, the manufacturing box, the war box. It is ALL ONE BOX.What happens to one sector of the economy affects ALL sectors of the economy."
This is an excerpt from a piece by William Greider, in which he cites Section 8 of this provision. Hopefully, this will change:
"Section 8. Review. Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
This seems to be giving the government nearly dictatorial powers to deal with the economy. This is not even remotely American, OR Constitutional. The decisions of a lot of totalitarian governments with regard to their economies have been "non-reviewable" through the years. How many of those economies are still thriving?
This reminds me a lot of the rapid passing of the Patriot Act without much comment and review in the raw emotional times after 9/11.
It is also interesting to read that some economists do not absolutely believe this is the best way to handle the crisis.
The path of least resistance which Treasury is taking seems to be to hit the taxpayers. Why? Because there is not much, in reality we can do to stop them. We could not stop them from going to war, and we can not stop them from doing this. They seem to be telling the Congress that if you don't do this, it is YOUR fault whatever happens. Congress seems to be falling in line from the bullying.
I do not know if this bail out is the right thing to do or not - I have my doubts based on what I've read. I certainly believe that it is prudent to independently monitor this. We must act swiftly, but not so swiftly that we give away the farm.
I'm also certain that the people who got us into this mess must hate the demand for independent review. When you turn that rock over in your back yard that has been sitting there for awhile, it is very interesting to see what kinds of things crawl out from under it.
A lot of people have compared this plan with Socialism. I think that is a pretty good analogy. My view is that they see us as working mules (or sheep) - not very smart, and an unending flow of easy cash to take and spend as they see fit.
Our contribution to it all is to just give them the money, and let them take care of the problem for us.
I'm not sure that is good enough.