So much is going on that offends any moral person in all areas of our country that I am shocked that nobody seems to stand up and ask, "what the heck is going on?" Among a number of bizarre events, including a Wall Street investment person running a $50 billion Ponzi Scheme and cheating universities, charities, financial organizations and ordinary people out of tremendous amounts of money; a governor trying to sell a Senate seat to the highest bidder; Congress holding the country hostage on a bailout unless we grant them over $100 billion in earmarks to pass the bill; the unions saying they didn't do anything to force the Big 3 automakers to the verge of bankruptcy;, California elected public officials immediately announcing they would challenge the people's decision to not allow gay marriage by filing a suit in court right after the election; through it all no one has come forth to lead us back to sensibility. Is there not a single statesman left?
I bring this up because the solutions for the financial reversal of this economy are not as difficult as finding some individual who has the "chutzpah" to stand up and point out the obvious: Too many have been given too much and have done too little to help turn this economy around. Instead they are using our money as if there is a never ending supply. Of course there is a never ending supply: our personal money which always appeals to the politicos.
Do our representatives really represent us? During the election we heard that 95% of the people in the country were going to get a tax break, yet no where near 95% of the people pay taxes. We heard that the wealthy have to pay their share, even though on average they pay the highest actual amounts of tax and the highest percentage as well.. I bring all this up for only one reason: we need everyone working together on the same page for the good of the country and not for the good of a specific class of Americans, middle class as an example, a specific industry that is preceived to be in need of saving or a specific group of Americans as the unions, the nurses or the military. Dividing the nation is something we do well and if we do it while trying to craft a recovery it will simply add to the already incredible expenditures.
As I write this column we have been told that the deficit is going to be $1.2 Trillion this year and we could expect to see Trillion dollar deficits for years to come. If that doesn't boil your blood take the mirror test immediately. I recently wrote that we are passing this debt to our grandchildren's grandchildren, but I may have been too optimistic. My father's solution to the growing deficit, and realize my father passed away in 1982, was simply to nationalize the debt. This means America would not pay the debt and would face the world knowing our borrowing capacity would be over. I would agrue and argue with him about why we couldn't, as a nation, do something as ridiculous as that. Well my grandchildren and beyond may just return to the "patriarch's" thinking, nationalizing the debt, if the predictions of massive deficits are correct.
Which gets me back to the title of this column. Where is the outrage? We are now being shown a new Stimulus package sponsored by the Obama administration. I am not here to tell you that a stimulus package is a bad idea. I will tell you that if the new package that is being offered cannot create jobs and business opportunities at a pace and cost that are quicker and less expensive than going it on our own why would we consider it? Unfortunately nobody has stopped to analyze that very thought. Who says we can't work out the problems without simply throwing money at them. We have already thrown trillions of dollars at the problems and nothing has really changed, unless, of course, you happpen to notice the economy is getting worse
Will we the public get a real analysis of this new proposal or will we just debate what is proposed? Will it come down to party lines or will our elected officials actually try to understand what is at hand?. THIS TIME, we cannot go in the wrong direction, spend money foolishly or spend money at all to fix problems that may cost too much or take to long to make sound financial sense.
If we do get the real analysis of the new plan versus no plan and it appears no plan is better, who will stop the new administration from going forward anyway? The indifference of the public is frightening because only the public can stop a misstep and the majority of the public isn't interested.
My conclusion is money has never has been the answer. Leadership that carefullly weighs each side of the question regarless of the opposition is really our only answer.
Roger Schlesinger's Mortgage Minute is heard on hundreds of radio stations and daily on the Hugh Hewitt radio show and Michael Medved shows. Roger interacts with his hosts and explores the complicated financial markets in order to enlighten his listeners and direct them along their own unique road to financial freedom.