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What Has Wall Street Done to Main Street?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

We have major decisions facing us and it’s time to get real. America’s frustration has been building and now the country is downright disgusted. What has Wall Street done to Main Street? Unfortunately, we are just now coming to grips with just how greedy and inept the so-called leadership of our entire financial superstructure really is.

Many of our leaders have been beseeching us not to consider who is to blame—at least not yet. I’m not buying it. The more we learn about the credit collapse the more I don’t want any of these profiteering perpetrators anywhere around those who are entrusted with finding the best free market solution to get this country back on solid economic footing. We also need to keep a close eye on the friends and associates of those who were responsible for almost shutting down our entire economic system while not forgetting the regulators who were asleep at the wheel while perpetrators robbed us blind. Excessive financial good ol’ boy inbreeding is all around this crisis. It would be very unwise and wrong for us not to look at those who were responsible and be sure they will not use their influence to dig us in deeper to cover their sins.

While identifying the people responsible for this debacle, intellectual people must not let this become a gotcha Democrat or Republican presidential talking point. Nor is it solely a Wall Street, Congressional or executive branch failure of leadership. There is adequate blame to go around. But the fact is our entire Washington and Wall Street leadership trust is in question. And it should be. We needed focused and proper regulation. We got neither. Now we need to take care to avoid the predicable knee-jerk overregulation and unnecessary oversight that will be proposed by liberals in the majority.

I am tired of seeing the same Congressional Banking and Finance committee members who have spent decades in credit market oversight strutting before the cameras and shamelessly waxing eloquent over having the big government cure all. I didn’t buy it and neither did many in the House.

Conservative House members may have either saved us from a rushed big government decision that may never return the $700 billion dollars back to the taxpayers. Or they may just have just given a blank check to Nancy Pelosi to load up a new bill with untold left-wing goodies so that all 95 Democrats who didn’t sign on the first installment will now have proper incentive to board the gravy train. Maybe ACORN will get their $20 billion after all. Unfortunately, that’s the way Washington works. The Democrats seem to have no inclination to change the process.

Honest brokers say it is time for independent economists who are not professionally engaged with Wall Street or Congressional clients to weigh in and help shape the recovery package. Objectivity is sorely needed. Many of them have expressed their dismay with Treasury Secretary Paulson’s ill-fated plan.

We should pursue the fastest and most reliable free market approach. If we have to absorb a bit more pain to get it right, so be it. It’s time for our elected representatives to behave as statesman—not to engage in politics as usual. Let’s not saddle our children and grandchildren with so much government debt that they will never dig out of it. If the madness continues we are sure to become financial slaves to the Chinese and Japanese—that is, if they are still willing to buy up all this debt. And if they don’t and we have to print it ourselves, the dollar will become next to worthless.

We could not have two bigger decisions to make. Both the selection of the next president and how we structure the economic rescue plan will shape our future for decades. Do we want to panic and morph into a British style big government socialist system, or do we want to maintain our capitalist free market system, looking for the next great entrepreneurial leaders of out time? That’s the big question at hand. For me it’s time for John McCain and a free market solution.

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