Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This Just In! CNBC May Be Biased!

I was watching CNBC for a minute today, and the cheerleading for some sort of bailout was embarrassing to watch. The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times are not much better, both characterizing the failure of the bailout bill as a failure of Congress. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think that your representative’s only job was to vote yes every time the house leadership and the president told them to. Haven’t we been ripping them for doing just that before we invaded Iraq?

The bill was flawed. Most economists believed it would do little or nothing, and that’s not much for $700 billion. To pretend that this was not debatable is ludicrous. I applaud those members of Congress who had the courage to vote no. I was shocked that enough of them did. I doubt that they will be able to resist again.

Secretary Paulson has been wrong every step of the way so far. He is now asking for at least $700 billion to hand over to Wall Street financial firms, one of whom, until recently, he worked for! He hasn’t explained how this is going to work (at least not in any satisfactory terms) and he refuses to entertain alternative plans. He can not have considered this one for more than a week before proposing it, and yet, in the face of opposition from the public, and widespread skepticism from every expert quarter, he refuses to admit that there might be another way. Or that nothing would be preferable to this.

But he has our president firmly behind him!

This is the very definition of hubris*. If this bill passes, and does nothing but saddle our children with another back-breaking debt, we will look back and ask ourselves, “How could we be so naive? After everything this administration has told us, how could we be so taken in? Will we ever learn?”

Maybe not.

*Edit...You might say that it's hubris for me to claim to have all the answers. You would be right.

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