Country First?

It's mind boggling to think that Congress failed to pass yesterday's epic rescue bill. I understand that the American people can't seem to understand why this is needed. And I expect there are reasons why our representatives might choose to vote no. But do they have a better plan?

Yesterday the House voted down the bi-partisan bill 228 to 205. 60% of Democrats voted yes, while only 33% of Republicans. What's ironic is that this bill is the child of a Republican administration. Unfortunately, George Bush cried wolf too many times and no one in America, apparently including members of the Republican House delegation believe him. So, what we have is a Democratic Party trying to rescue an unpopular Republican President. We have Republican House members saying that they didn't vote for it (or at least some of their members didn't vote for it) because Nancy Pelosi hurt their feelings. I'm sorry, but let's be adults. Of course Pelosi said what she did, she needed to put down some cover for Democrats to vote to bailout George Bush.

This morning as I was listening to the various commentators what became abundantly clear is that neither the President, nor his Treasury Secretary, nor members of Congress have explained this problem in ways that the American people understand. What they hear is that Washington is going to bail out the fat cats of Wall Street. But, once again, we need to understand that Wall Street and Main Street (whatever that is) are interconnected. If my bank fails or my place of employment is unable to make payroll, I'm in trouble.

So, John McCain has a sign up -- Country First -- so let's see everyone from the people living on Elm Street to the people up their on Pennsylvania Avenue come together and decide to work on this problem.

As for McCain and Obama, well my suggestion is stay out of this mess. Let the people in charge do their job. McCain has tried to interject himself in this, as the one who rallied the troops and solved the crisis (or so he claimed before the vote) and when it failed he said that Obama had injected partisanship. Give me a break. First Obama didn't do enough, then he injected partisanship.

Whatever the politics, yesterday the Dow (just 30 stocks) fell 777 points, the biggest drop ever, losing 1.2 trillion dollars in value. Now it will likely make up some of that today, but the credit markets remain frozen. If the critics have a better plan, then let's hear it. This morning I heard Lou Dobbs gleefully say that it's a good thing that this failed. He said that the economists and CEOs he's talking to say this should fail. Okay, Lou, who are your advisers? Just saying the one's talking to him say this is a bad bill means nothing.

So, again -- Country First?


Anonymous said…
Time out.. Obama and McCain are members of Congress.. so they SHOULD be up there working. It is their day job! But I know your point.

The market down 777 frankly is not good, but its really small compared to historical standards. A 30% drop is scary.. even 20%, but a 6% drop is a bump in the road. The good news is the drop will probably be enough to scare voters into supporting the issue. Thats why the market came back up almost 500 today.

Both sides are wrong.. face it Bob. Its Pelosi's fault for not having the votes before bringing it up. Besides, Dems control congress, they could do a party vote and pass it. To blame a party for this is petty and shameful. There are compelling reasons for and against this plan. Should the government be in the capitalism business? Interesting question.
On this failure of nerve, I think its appropriate to remember that Congress is responding to a GOP president. Yes, the drop in the dow might not be catastrophic (and the rise the next day shows that), but it is a warning that things could go south quickly.

I believe that Pelosi's speech was designed to give cover to Democrats uncomfortable with bailing out a Republican President. That the Republicans in the House wouldn't back their President is amazing. The Dems got 60%, they did their fair share. The GOP brought along 33%.

The question of whether the Government should intervene is a good question. The reality is that this isn't a pure capitalist economy. It's a mixed one. And at times the pendulum swings. Now, it will likely swing to more government involvement.

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