If you were preoccupied with trying to sniff out just which charity Sarah Palin donated her campaign wardrobe to (but watch eBay just in case…!), you may have missed the fact that Treasury Secretary Paulson has now flip-flopped on buying those “toxic mortgages” with the $750 billion blank bailout check he suckered Congress into giving him. This reversal vindicates the opposition that I, and millions of others, had to the bailout.
More importantly, it shows just how naked Emperor Paulson is. He insisted to Congress that purchasing these toxic mortgages was the core of the government’s effort to staving off financial collapse. He basically predicted another Depression if there was no bailout on these mortgages. As with the “slam dunk case” for WMDs in Iraq, a frightened Congress took him at his word and gave him a $750 billion check.
Now, just a few weeks later, he reverses course and advises that no toxic mortgages need be purchased. So either (a) he has no clue how to address the situation or (b)…(enter your conspiracy theory here). Does it matter which one is correct?
Bottom line: he sold the Congress and the country a pig in a poke, which I suspected all along. Just what have we gained from the bailout so far? The stock market is still acting like a roller coaster. Some banks that received bailout funds used them to buy up other banks. Congress is hollering that the banks are still not extending credit, which was a goal of the bailout.
And now GM is clamoring for a piece of the bailout even though they were never mentioned as part of the equation. At least the lame duck Republicans seem to have grown just a teeny bit of spine and are opposing a bailout for GM. But they would not even be in that position if they had stopped the bailout when they had the chance.
Just how big a donkey (and I use it in the poker sense, not the political symbol sense) does one have to be not to understand that when someone is urging that you must act now because time is running out that the probability is very high you are being scammed? The donkeys in Congress were scammed…again.
I was surprised that a compatriot in blogging, PTFan1, expressed support for the bailout when it was proposed even though his posts suggest he is a conservative. It appeared to me that his sudden interest in government intervention stemmed from the fact the situation was very “personal” to him.
Well, it has been very “personal” to me as well. Let’s just say it more than a lot of folks earn in a year. But It’s all just a “paper” loss since I’m not ready to retire so I’m not in a panic. It’s just a question of when the economy recovers, not if. I see this as an opportunity to buy low and ride the recovery up to a nice profit since I’m still investing. A recovery which will happen without, or in spite of, government intervention.
Which is why I opposed the bailout. And why I still oppose it. I’m not a believer in an easy fix. And the government is better at getting us into a fix than out of one. There’s a saying that once the dogs of war are loose, you never know what will happen, which is why nations should be very careful about getting into any war. Similarly, once you give government power, you really can’t constrain it.
The $750 billion dog of government bailout power is now loose. I hope those of you who supported it are happy. I’m not happy….
And if you’re not happy, I’ve got a special deal for you: anarchism is on sale! But for this week only! You must buy now! Time is running out! Hurry!
(Next Sunday: since I’ll be in Vegas that week, I’ll be maintaining a Vegas trip journal here during that week in lieu of a Sunday post. Look for the special “Vegas Journal” page at the top of the screen. My first entry may not be until Monday, depending on whether the La Quinta we’re staying at Saturday night has Internet access. The Orleans only has Internet access on weekdays.)