While vacationing in Mexico, I was able to catch the bailout crisis on Fox and CNN. I am trying not to be partisan when it comes to this issue. There is blame to go around on both sides of the aisle. Not being an economics expert, I don't have the solution to this crisis. I do believe, however, that whoever came up with the idea of presssuring lending institutions to give money to home-owners who couldn't afford the home they were buying was hare-brained, to put it mildly. This is apparently what the geniuses in Congress, led by Barney Frank, did. While I could never write authoritatively about this issue, I was dumbfounded by this week's ridiculous comments by Harry Reid at his press conference.
Reid, accompanied by Chris Dodd, opened his remarks by proclaiming that is was "unfortunate" that "presidential politics" had entered into the discussions over crafting a bailout deal. He then proceeded to insert presidential politics into his remarks. He proceeded to attack John McCain, accusing him of coming to Washington and sabotaging the deal. ("..and then 'you know who came to Washington'"). The fact of the matter is that the deal had fallen through before McCain even arrived in Washington and before the White House meeting with President Bush. Reid also referred to Democrats as wanting a deal based on the principles laid down by Barack Obama.
Huh? You mean the Barack Obama who said that he had a phone and could be called if needed? That Barack Obama? The Barack Obama who has had as his campaign advisors Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, who ran Fannie Mae and Frddie Mac into the ground and walked away with millions in bonuses. You mean that Barack Obama? What did he contribute to the White House meeting? (The same question could be asked of McCain.)
Of course, Reid made no mention of the leading role Barney Frank played in pressuring lending institutions to make loans to lower-income folks, who could not repay said loans. Similarly, no mention of the Community Reinvestment Act.
Reid then went on to talk about some guy in Searchlight, Nevada who had sent him an email, but by then, I don't think too many people were paying attention. Harry Reid is virtually a caricature of himself-everything Rush Limbaugh says about him ("Dingy Harry"). Reports are that Reid blew his stack in the White House meeting. Why shouldn't he? By his own recent admission, he has no clue as to what should be done-other than make sure those homeowners who bought more than they could afford be protected.
So the talks go on by our incompetent leaders (on both sides), who had a hand in creating this mess (notwithstanding Reid's denials- "We didn't create this mess."). It would be nice if we could feel confident that our leaders will fix the problem. I don't have such a feeling, however.