As I watch Congress deal with the mess on Wall Street, three things come to mind.
First, we are once again forced to watch as a collection of buffoons who couldn’t run a lemonade stand are allowed to manipulate the largest economy in the history of the world. In all fairness, however, I will concede that it is possible that they will make sound financial decisions. If pressed to give the odds of that actually happening, I’d say they are roughly the same as the odds that a monkey flailing away at a typewriter would type out the Old Testament.
Second, I am suspicious of the speed at which this calamity unfolded. It seems that within about an-hour-and-a-half after all this became public, Congress was in emergency session. Then a few minutes later, a trillion-dollar bailout plan was announced as if it were a done-deal which, as we now know, it wasn’t.
I get the uneasy feeling that Congress wants this whole thing to go away as quickly as possible. The question is, why? They are claiming this is the biggest meltdown since the Great Depression, so wouldn’t it be wise to take some time to design the right solution? So why aren’t they? And don’t for a moment believe that they are scurrying around like this because they are worried about the impact it will have on the American people. I will assure you that whenever you see Congress running down the field like their hair is on fire, there is always something in it for them.
Call me cynical, but it seems to me that Congress wants to get rid of this problem before the public has a chance to figure out that they are the ones who caused it. And if that is indeed the case, I will also assure you that whatever bill is finally passed will be one that covers-up that reality. Remember, this is an election year.
Finally, there are moral considerations related to this problem. In America today, we want to treat morality as if it is something that only applies to issues like abortion and homosexuality. But the fact is that every decision a politician makes has a moral component. In this case, the problem was created by financial institutions that ignored the immorality of loaning money to people that they knew couldn’t pay it back, and consumers who took these loans knowing the same thing.
The point is that the best financial minds in the world cannot solve this problem if the solution is indifferent to morality. Unfortunately, when you look at the people in Congress who are in charge of addressing this issue, what you see is that the vast majority have morals that are so low they can support the wholesale slaughter of unborn children. In short, while their financial qualifications may be weak, their moral qualifications are non-existent. And we are fooling ourselves if we think that such people can come up with anything more than a temporary patch.