They should have asked my wife, Colleen. That night she put her finger on it, saying that she --and millions of angry Americans who were dead-set against bailing out the very people who caused this mess -- were the ones who killed the measure.
Congress was deluged by a flood of phone calls and e-mails all warning that Americans were violently opposed to the bailout and would exact punishment at the polls next month from members who voted for it. The people spoke loud and clear, and their voices were heard on Capitol Hill.As Colleen said to me, it just may be that we're smarter than those people in Washington and Wall Street who think we're a bunch of ninnies who they can con whenever they feel like it. We get it and we understand it.
They forgot what Abraham Lincoln advised when he said, "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time."
This was one of the times they tried to fool all of us. It didn't work. Back to the drawing boards.
We looked at it and we saw fear-mongering-- attempts to panic us into believing that the banks had no money to lend, and credit was dried up and loans were almost impossible to get -- all being peddled from the White House, the Treasury and the Fed, and all the way down to the House and Senate, Wall Street and much of the media.
We knew that was untrue because our daughter, Ashley, had just qualified and easily obtained a mortgage on a $360,000 townhouse from a small local bank. The bank had foreclosed on the house and was stuck with a defaulted mortgage of $560,000. Ashley, who is 25 and a schoolteacher, got the townhouse for $200,000 under what the bank held in bad paper.
Home sales in California in August were up 56 percent over August a year ago. Why? Because now is a good time to get in. There are all kinds of bargains available. Now there are possibilities of making a profit on investments. The market was up Tuesday. Why? Because it was a good time to get in. Maybe America just got it right.
Monday the market went down 6.7 percent, and it was panic time. Back in 1987, when my dad was president, the market dropped 22.6 percent -- a 508-point drop in one day -- it was the largest single drop in the history of the market.