So now we hear that, due to the folly of the American people, we're going to have a terrible recession and it willl be all their fault for not trusting their betters. Well, we'll have a terrible recession, but not because the American people should have trusted the wisdom of the thieves and fools who got us into this to put everything right now, if only we trust them to do whatever they please with as much of our money as they can squander.
Look. If these wise men were really thinking of the economy, and if they really wanted this bailout to pass, why were they unwilling to amend it to make it both more just and effective and more politically appealing? How often can you get all of that at once? How often does any politician turn down that chance when he gets it?
But the best and the brightest did so in this case.
All they had to do is make it a bailout plan for real people, to freeze foreclosures and thereby keep people in their homes, thereby preventing much misery and neighborhood deterioration; to give bankruptcy judges authority to rewrite mortgage loans; and to cancel debts in other ways - which the Bible commands to be done every seven years, so this is certainly no new-fangled or politically radical notion. And while in there, they could have written into the law that any bank or investment house sticking its hand out for a loan or other help may not give golden parachutes or other nice sendoffs to any of its senior managers. They screwed up, and they should get a thank you gift?
None of this has been done. Buying worthless commercial paper from rich financial mavens who are then free to keep kicking people out of their homes certainly won't help the economy as a whole. When bailing out their chums and bailing out the economy came into conflict, they chose which one counts, and even this pathetic Congress couldn't stomach it.
But as my son Nathan pointed out, the problem is that these thieves are such thieves that they don't even feel like thieves. In their eyes, it's all their own money anyway. They're entitled to it, so how can they be stealing when they rob the taxpayers?
Thus Paulson had the balls to bring a three page proposal to spend $700 billion - just because it's a nice round number, not because anybody had done any work on how much was needed or for what. And Paulson was supposed to be able to spend this money with no oversight at all, explicitly exempt from ANY legislative or judicial oversight whatever - an explicit license to steal or embezzle as flagrantly as they liked with no fear of consequences!
And it's supposed to save the chickens to put such foxes in charge of our henhouses!
It remains as the Proverb says, "He that robs the poor and he that gives to the rich, both alike will fall into poverty." We'll have a trainwreck anyway, but not because Congress and the people didn't fix this hangover by having another drink.