In his address to the nation tonight, President Bush said that immediate action was needed, in the form of a $700 billion bailout of mortgage-based securities. "We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive actions," CNN reported Bush as saying.
But Bush urging quick action on anything is enough to make me think doing nothing is the best course.
More and more, this emergency bailout seems geared to protecting Bush's monied friends rather than saving the economy. It is as if the administration decided to loot the treasury in the weeks they have left, stuffing their pockets with everything they can get. It's the same as waging a largely privatized war so that your friends, the Blackwaters and Halliburtons of the world, can get rich.
This economic crisis was nearly 30 years in building. The people who created it all got rich and will stay rich, what with their multi-billion dollar bonuses and golden parachute deals. I'm thinking, what is worse? Plunging taxpayers another $700 billion in debt? And you know the way the government estimates costs, it could really be a trillion dollars or more. A trillion dollars. This will devalue an already beleaguered dollar, once the international standard for economic stability. And when the dollar slips, rampant inflation will begin. When that happens, Wall Street will take Main Street down with it.
So, let's do nothing and see where we're at when the dust settles. Let the bums take it on the chin. Then, come January, let the new president sort it out. And as much as I admire John McCain for what he endured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, I hope that he's not the people's choice. In an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday, when asked about the economy, he actually invoked the name of Adam Smith. He didn't mention the unseen hand, but it was implied, almost like code to say, 'Look, I really do have the interests of the rich at heart, you know because I speak your language. Behaving in one's own best interests only makes sense.'"
I wish 60 Minutes would ask Lewis Lapham what he thinks about all this.
Peronslly, I think the current administration has cried wolf too many times for any rational person to take them seriously.