Congress is running around in circles trying to figure out how to handle the hot potato the Bush Administration has handed them with its $700 billion bailout proposal, and how they can load it up with their own list of taxpayer-financed handouts.
If left to their own devices they'll turn it into a giant cookie jar instead of taking the trouble to enact the measures that will boost the economy when it is in deep trouble.
The bailout is a panic remedy designed to prop up the crumbling mortgage market by buying up mountains of near-worthless paper currently poisoning America's credit system while ignoring the root causes of the nation's economic malaise.
No matter how it's described, it is a socialistic answer to a capitalist problem. It does nothing to foster the system of free enterprise upon which America's prosperity depends.
Put simply, that system is shackled around the ankles with chains fashioned by a series of Congresses, many of whose members either don't understand the principles of free enterprise or simply despise it as a mortal enemy of the Marxist dogma many of them embrace with near-religious fervor.
The clear and simple answer to our current economic dilemma is to take those shackles off and allow our free enterprise system to function unimpaired with unnecessary bureaucratic meddling.
Turn America's economic engine loose and all by itself it will create the kind of prosperity that saw a rustic combination of 13 British colonies transformed into the wealthiest and most powerful nation in world history.
"We did it before," as the World War II song boasted, "and we can do it again."
If allowed to, that is.
American businesses and America's small businessmen and women who make $250,000 a year -- the people who create most of the jobs in the marketplace -- are groaning under the burden of corporate and personal taxation. At a corporate tax rate of 35 percent we have the second-highest in the world.
There aren't enough people making $250,000 a year to finance Barack Obama's extravagant spending plans, let alone the ability to pay for the $700 billion bailout. He has to look elsewhere -- in this case the only place he can look -- to the middle class.
Like Willie Sutton, who said he robbed banks because that's where the money is, Obama is going to have go after the middle class because that's where the real tax money is.
Eliminate capital-gains taxes, cut individual and corporate tax rates to the bone, and watch the economy soar and unemployment shrink.
Don't allow boneheaded ideas like Barack Obama's plan to increase taxes at a time of economic crisis become a reality. He tells us that his tax plan would reduce the taxes of 95 percent of the American people, but doesn't say how he can give a tax break to the 40 percent of them who don't pay any income taxes at all. Since they can't get a tax refund for taxes they don't pay, he wants the people who pay taxes to send them a check.
Obama also wants to throw a monkey wrench into the economy by allowing the Bush tax cuts, which set off an economic boom, to expire. That would be a massive tax increase and it would have a deadly effect on the incomes of the very middle class Obama professes to champion.
Congress should waste no time at all in repealing the ill-conceived Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was allegedly designed to reform American business practices but instead drove scores of American firms abroad to foreign nations.
Let Congress get out of the way and let the American people and American businesses do what they have always done best -- put their shoulders to the wheel, their ingenuity to work, and perform economic miracles.