Monday, July 26, 2010

Not Too Long Ago.....

Not too long ago, I seem to remember discussions being held. And these discussions were all about the new TARP plans, and all of the wonderful things that it would for all of us. A few of us tried to point out the fallacies that were being talked about, the lies that were being told. And we were shouted down as right-wing nut jobs, tea-baggers and other assorted insults. Now here we are a year later, and all the wonderful things that were going to happen........didn't. What did happen is unemployment continued to climb, government got much bigger, the economy slid more, and deficits skyrocketed.

Not too long ago, I seem to remember discussions being held. And these discussions were all about the new health care plans, and all of the wonderful things that it would for all of us. A few of us tried to point out the fallacies that were being talked about, the lies that were being told. And we were shouted down as right-wing nut jobs, tea-baggers and other assorted insults. Now here we are a year later, and all the wonderful things that were going to happen........didn't. What did happen is unemployment continued to climb, government got much bigger, the economy slid more, and deficits skyrocketed.


Not too long ago, the housing market tanked and started to drag the economy with it. Some of us tried to point out that the biggest offenders in the entire debacle were Fanny-Mae and Freddy-Mac, both of them quasi-governmental institutions, through which several Washington insiders made great wads of money by a wee bit of book-cooking, and for their shady dealings walked away rich and free, while Freddy and Fanny took a scizillion dollar hit, which WE taxpayers were forced to make good. All of this sub-prime nonsense is directly traceable to federal rules which required banks to offer mortgages to people who they KNEW would default, rules issued directly out of Washington, with certain prominent senators standing in front of the cameras telling us how secure Fanny and Freddy were even as the walls were crumbling around them.

And now we have a new 2,000+ page law, yet another of the seemingly endless collection of bloated and unread laws emanating from the capital. This law is going to do all sorts of the wonderful things for all of us, reforming all the problems in our financial system. EXCEPT, it does nothing about Fanny and Freddy, the source of most of the recent problems. What it DOES do is set up yet another honking-big bureaucracy to help control the growth of bureaucracy ( somehow that is supposed to make sense to us!!), and grabs yet more power for the central government. Along with the over 150 new agencies already created in the health care bill, this monstrosity sets up even more agencies to oversee even more of our economic activity. And our illustrious congress follows along in lock-step, either too ignorant or too malevolent to care that through this bill, they and their positions as representatives are being castrated. No longer will congress make decisions or have any input at all. All decisions are handed over to faceless bureaucrats who staff all of these new agencies.

Considering the batting average so far with all of these bills that promised all of the wonderful things that it would for all of us, I have to admit that I am more than a little skeptical. In fact, I am sick with disgust for what these people are doing to our great country.
Sometimes I can convince myself that at least some of the people in Washington are acting out of a sincere belief that they are working for the common good, even if I cannot comprehend why they believe what they profess. But more and more of the time, I can give myself no explanation for their actions other than that they are either a part of a group of people who have completely sold out all of their beliefs for their own enrichment, financial or otherwise, or else that they really don't want our country to survive, let alone thrive, or that they are truly stupid, too stupid to see that what they are doing is driving this country down more and more. Forget political posturing here....each and every person who continues to spend not just our money, but our children and their children's money, has to be one of those choices. There is no other explanation that I can see. Common sense, let alone history or even the current happenings in Greece and elsewhere, are screaming out that this path leads inexorably and always, to the financial disaster and ruin of the country following that path. And history also shows that one of the features that gave us our greatness among countries ands cultures was the individual freedom given to every man, freedom to pursue the paths chosen, freedom to use earnings as desired, freedom to succeed and freedom TO FAIL; these are all needed to attain greatness. Now, before we can do any of this, we must be given permission, we must be guided, we must be protected from ourselves and every other potential bad thing out there in the world, and we must be babied for every hurt that we might get and be reimbursed for any of our losses by our all-loving government.
NO, NO, NO. This isn't the path to greatness, this is the path to pathological dependance, to perpetual infantilism. Being "grown-up", being an adult, being great (or trying to be great, which is probably even more important) means taking some knocks along the way, taking risks that ARE risks and either succeeding or else failing, then getting up and tying again and again. We didn't get here as a country by being coddled by "big-brother". We got here because our fathers and their fathers and grandfathers worked hard at what they did, took risks and failed, had the courage to strike out again and again, always harder, always higher. They didn't spend what they didn't earn, and were always the first to assist others who needed "a helping hand" (not charity, just a helping hand, and they knew the difference!) and they took pride in what they tried to do and took pride in the greatness of this country. Their word was better than any contract, and the government was something that was there to protect them in war, not an ever expanding power trying to control every aspect of their lives.

Maybe we should look back and learn.

2 comments:

Joe Bubel said...

Very well said, and written. I was just speaking with a coworker of mine about exactly this. How the financial crisis can be tracked directly to careless mortgage practices, and the GSAs Fannie and Freddie. From there, these mortgages were traded, and infected the entire market. There used to be an unwritten rule of having at least 10% down payment, and mortgages no more than 3x your salary. I wouldn't have minded a federal regulation making this rule, a law. But instead, they gave us garbage, with NOTHING addressing the root cause. This will most likely fix nothing, but will certainly dampen economic activity.

Jeremiah said...

Wait until the real kick in the teeth comes this fall when Health Insurance Companies start announcing their rate increases for 2011. After all we were also told how this Health Care bill was going to make our Health Insurance more affordable, were we not?