Friday, October 24, 2008

The Feckless Congress!

The financial mess currently plaguing the nation may have an upside. Much has been noted lately about the leaning of the Obama/Biden ticket toward socialism, i.e., government in complete control of everyone's existence from the cradle to the grave. Obama's recently expressed preference for "spreading around the wealth" is straight from the socialist agenda and, translated, means government making the decision about who gets to have money and how much of it…regardless, of course, of any mitigating circumstances such as brains, risk-taking, or just plain good luck.

This socialistic notion and its results have been graphically demonstrated lately by especially the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fiascoes, indicative of how government entities or quasi-entities can completely mess up a system based on normal human behavior. When such agencies are influenced or actually operated by people who are either dumb or corrupt, or both, the result is chaos. For instance, the latching of the now-defunct Countrywide mortgage outfit with anybody or anything connected to government leads to a small number of crooks getting well on the backs of millions of innocent, trusting citizens.

As the late Henny Youngman might have put it: "Take my Congress…please." The Congress in its urge to make sure everyone owned a house blessed the nation with the agencies mentioned above. Later, Congress virtually mandated that these agencies see to it that this "house-ownership" happened whether the buyers could afford their houses or not. So…it happened…in spades. People who could not afford the homes they bought – at least on a "sliding-interest scale" – were stuck with eviction notices when the lenders said, "Pay up or get out." The trouble was exacerbated, of course, when the artificial "bubble" connected to the mortgages burst, not to mention that the value of their "investments" plummeted to the point that buyers were paying for what was approaching nothing…or at least something not worth the original investment.

In short, while there may have been substance initially to what Congress did, the substance was completely destroyed when the purely socialistic approach of everyone being reduced to the lowest common denominator – house ownership – was put in place. Whereas, before, citizens had worked to build up down payments and then buy houses they could afford, the scheme came to be that the down payment wasn't all that necessary, and that neither was the fact that the buyer could actually pay. What DID matter was that the books be cooked so that the "operators" could collect fat bonuses. The little people stuck with the problem could eat cake.

But it gets worse. Not only do the little people stuck with the problem have to eat cake…so do all the people since the taxpayers have to come along and bail out everything from banks to mortgage houses to…yeah…Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, all because Congress in its wisdom decided that socialism was the way to go. This destroyed the institutions people had used to store up reserves for their retirement or to pay for college or any number of objectives costing money. Government tinkered with the "market concept," a natural phenomena setting prices and rules of economic engagement. The result was that the nation was shocked toward socialism, with the government taking part or complete ownership of banks and other lending agencies stuck with paper representing losses of incomprehensible magnitude.

Then…of course…all the finger-pointing! One remembers the video (available on the Internet unless recently taken down) of the hearings in the House in 2004, when the likes of Congressman Barney Franks, now chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and colleagues Gregory Meeks and Maxine Waters, still on that woeful committee, virtually slew figuratively the government regulator who was trying to explain the problem that was leading to the current mess. They would have none of it, Waters extolling the virtue of one of the biggest crooks, former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines, who was forced out of his job because of a $6.3 billion accounting scandal and has enjoyed his voluminous golden parachute ever since while functioning as an Obama financial adviser.

Yeah…that's right. Raines has been advising Obama about finances. Most recently, though, Congressman Henry Waxman, Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, tried to tie the whole mess to former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who didn't have the temerity to tell Waxman that all he had to do was examine the feckless House and discover the socialism that is overtaking the nation. Waxman and all the other solons make a big deal of their absolutely inexpendable duties concerning oversight. That's OVERSIGHT! So…where have all the OVERSIGHT gurus gone? This problem was festering in 2004 and the oversight that was supposed to be in place was out of town…permanently.

So! Is there an upside to the current mess? Yes, indeed! Just maybe – don't bet the farm – the Congress will get its house (both houses) in order and do the job to which its members have been elected, i.e., stop the slide into socialism, which will turn this country into another "Olde Europe." Nah…remember the S&L bailout back in the late 80s? Apparently nothing was learned, and there are a bunch of folks still in Congress who were there then. Follow the money…consult Abramoff, for instance, or Congressman Jefferson, who still can't account for the $90,000 being in amongst the frozen chicken-wings, while he occupies his solon's magisterial seat and laughs all the way to the bank. At least Abramoff went to jail.

Socialism, thou art something called Greedy Wimp, and thy name is Congress! And the president's part in the deal is actually not worth a cuspidor of warm spit, no matter what Obama and McCain say.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

No comments: