Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailout Bill Fails -- What Next?

Given today's big news story is of course the fact that the bailout bill failed to pass in the House and that the stock market took a huge hit, I feel compelled to make a post on the subject. The only problem is that macro economics is not my strong suit so it is difficult for me to add insight.

What I can say is this. The country is in the situation it is in by ignoring the problem for many years. Here is a 2004 video of committee hearings on Fannie May and Freddie Mac.
Note that the discussion centers around racism (Franklin Raines is black). The Democrats argue strongly there are no problems and that the committee hearings are a "political lynching". Clearly this was wrong. Even with the caveat of hindsight being 50/50 it is obvious Congress ignored the warning signs for many years.

Normally I would be opposed to heavy-handed government intervention in the economy. But I view this as a case of an aberration--failure to act in the past necessitates acting now.

It should be noted that the current vote failed because Pelosi couldn't get a democratic majority together. From Instapundit:
The Democratic leadership couldn't hold its majority together: "As Jim Geraghty points out, a third of Republicans voted against the bill. But Dems are in control of Congress. The power of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama couldn't convince loyal Democrats to vote for this bill? Seems shocking." Well, Obama's not really part of the Senate leadership.
There have been some suggestions that Pelosi wanted the bill to fail. The worse the economy is, the better polls seem to get for Obama. If that is true, she is allowing the economy to tank for political gain. One would hope that she wouldn't get away with that. But then I hope for a lot of things.

As for what is next, I can only wait and see with the rest of the country.

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