No, to determine what really caused our financial difficulties, we’ll need an independent commission. Such a “Financial Crisis Commission” would collect evidence and issue a report explaining what caused the financial meltdown and recommending gutsy reforms to stop them from happening ever again.
Independence is crucial. To succeed, the commission should include members who have experience in the financial markets, and have the power to compel testimony. Its members should be appointed by the president and the leaders in Congress, with no more than half selected by any one party. This will help ensure that the final recommendations aren’t partisan.
The commission must have subpoena power, so it can figure out who did what and when, and whether those actions made a deteriorating situation worse.
It should be formed immediately, and should release its conclusions within six months. There’s precedent for this. Back in 1986, a blue-ribbon commission of experts investigated the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, and released its report just a few months after the disaster. Similar quick work could help put our economy back on the right path.
A recent Rasmussen poll found that 59 percent of Americans agree with Ronald Reagan’s statement that “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” A fair and complete investigation seems likely to confirm that wisdom by revealing that many of today’s problems were triggered by our elected officials -- not by a failure of the free market.
It’s time for some real oversight of our congressional overseers.
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