Is Obama Starting Poorly?
One of the things that worried me about Obama was that he (like McCain) supported the ridiculous bail-out bill. As I noted when it passed, it wasn’t going to work, and the net effect would be this:
shady, undeserving characters will be enriched, young versions of the idiots who got us into the mess will launch successful careers (can you say “Kashkari”?), and the promised benefits to the American public, the schmucks footing the bill, will never materialize.
We now know the banks are not loaning out money which was the thing this whole bail-out was supposed to accomplish, but Goldman, Welfare, Queen, & Sachs (to borrow a term from Lambert Strether left at the previous post) has made out like the proverbial bandit, Kashkari’s career is made, and the American public would be better off being beaten with a stick than having to pay for this garbage.
Sure, the idea for this was rammed down everyone’s throat by the administration and Bernanke, but the Dem leadership guided it through, and Obama voted for the bail-out. To me, it was the financial equivalent of invading Iraq because Osama hit us on 9/11. I can understand that at the time, many people thought something absolutely positively had to be done. Even many smart people who aren’t crooks – just folks who are too decent to be cynical enough to anticipate what this administration will do when you let them, felt the gubmint had to act, and act fast. So I can understand Obama voting for this piece of $%^&.
But, now that we know the thing not working, and Paulson isn’t even pretending it was intended to work as advertised, isn’t it time to pull the plug? Shouldn’t the President-elect be out there, demanding an end to this waste of money? Shouldn’t he be calling on Congress to pull back the money that hasn’t already been thrown away? Shouldn’t he be proposing some other alternative? (If the problem, as we were told a while back, is that banks aren’t loaning money, and they’re still not loaning money, why is it worse for gubmint to loan money directly to people and corporations that need it than it is for the gubmint to find all sorts of ways to help Paulson’s former employer?) Instead, there’s all this talk about spending even more money on even more undeserving people and companies in a wider variety of industries, and Obama is not saying anything to discourage any of this.
I understand that the man hasn’t even been inaugurated yet, and I stand by what I wrote not long ago – I’m willing to give him a chance. (Heck, I voted for him.) But this bodes ill.