The Bush Presidency has been nothing short of reckless in their handling of the economy. Not just stupid mind you, but outright ignorant, irreponsible and totally missing in action. John McCain has already admitted that he knows very little about the economy. Not a real strong resume to be President of the U.S. Thus, we have been informed, straight from the horse’s mouth (ass?), about his economic disinterest and experience. Magnify his stupidity ten times if you vote for him.
Let’s review: When Ronald Reagan was the President, he always said, “All the Democrats do is tax and spend”. In response to that, I have always said, “All the Republicans do is borrow and spend”. When Reagan left office, our country had the largest deficit ever. The first Bush lost his bid for a second term because, as Bill Clinton said, “It’s the economy, stupid”. Despite his many shortfallings, Clinton brought the federal deficit down to zero by the time he left office.
It is now almost 8 years into the (son of the gun) Bush administration. We are over 9 trillion dollars in debt. In his infinite wisdom, Bush is oblivious to the domino effect his policies have had. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that if you keep printing and spending money you don’t really have, the value of what you do have will go down the toilet. Period. Its no wonder that the average American has $20,000 of credit card debt; look at the example set by our government in that regard. Maybe the wealthiest 5% of Americans, who are exactly and the only group of people Bush and the Republicans serve, need not think twice about all this funny money. However, the majority of Americans know that Bush’s policies are kicking them right in their pocketbooks, on their dinner tables, on their wages, in their gas tanks and on their prospects and resources for their futures. Even though the deficit is made up of “imaginary” dollars, the effect on average Americans is very real: while the rich can weather this economic storm, the American citizenry is paying the price.
With 9 trillion dollars of debt, did Bush really think that there would be no fiscal effect, both nationally and internationally? I guess he did. But the financial markets are telling us something different. Once again, another demonstration by Bush of an absence of historical knowledge and perspective and as a result, no ability to use foresight.
Didn’t his mother ever tell him to spend only what he actually had? Isn’t that a first and foremost lesson of childhood? Since when does immediate gratification trump saving, thrift and careful planning?
I am fully non-plussed and not surprised by our current mortgage crisis. The Republicans, without regard to reality, have for years removed layer upon layer of regulations in the financial sector. That’s what Republicans do: after all, we are capitalists and so let things fall where they may. Couple that with their vote-seeking pledge that all Americans should own their own home, and ….. Bingo!!!!…..we have a credit crunch and looming financial meltdown.
In this specific mortgage mess, we have, on one side, greedy, misleading lenders, and on the other side, stupid, delusional and naive borrowers. The mortgage brokers were free to sell their lucrative (for them) liens to unsuspecting borrowers because all protective regulations had been removed over the years. However, plain old common sense dictates that no one should be allowed to buy a house without a down payment. That is a testament to financial irresponsibility. It is no wonder people are just walking away from their debt-ridden homes: they never put anything into them so they have no real investment, both financially and emotionally, in them. No pain, no gain.
The ABC’s of economics are not real complicated. Money in, money out. Don’t spend what you don’t have. I think there are public servants who actually know and act upon sound fiscal policies, like Mayor Mike Bloomberg of New York and former Governor Mark Warner of Virginia.
Unlike our dumb-ass president Bush and also the man to whom he wants to cede his office to, self-admittedly dumb-ass McCain, Barack Obama gets it. Its ironic that a day after Obama came out and said that we needed to reinstate financial regulations, the Fedmen (can’t remember if it was Paulson or Bernanke) echoed those same thoughts. I guess the Bear-Stearns debacle hit some of those wealthiest Americans pretty hard, so the Republicans had no choice but to do something.
So yes, personal responsibility is a large factor in fiscal effectiveness. We have had terrible leadership in this arena by the Republicans, borrowing money up the kazoo but telling ordinary Americans to stop borrowing. And then, handing out payments to all Americans and telling them to go spend it! Don’t save it or pay down your debt, but spend it! Monkey see, monkey do.
Is this a great country, or what?