In both debates so far, all 4 candidates were asked which promises and/or programs that they’d proposed would they not be implementing due to the current financial crisis.  I don’t think any of them gave a satisfactory answer to this question, with Obama’s “scaling back” response being the only thing close.

If anything, this credit crisis should be teaching us one lesson: severely curtail borrowing.  Huge debt is killing us.  In the mortgage-backed-securities field, things were compounded when Bank A would take an IOU from Bank B and use it as collateral to get a loan from Bank C.  Repeat this with Bank C and continue until you can hardly follow the trail.

The same goes for the federal government, who, in addition to the national debt already run up, plans to be the final resting place of this toxic debt.  So now all are eggs will be in one unimaginably huge basket.  If the bailout bill doesn’t do the trick and if foreign investors call in their chips, who bails out the feds?

Make no mistake; we are not out of the woods yet.  Sarah Palin mentioned in the VP debate the need for American’s to do their part by not taking on excessive debt.  (Personal responsibility; what a concept!)  This should ring throughout Washington, DC as well.  Spending needs to be cut, deeply and immediately.  A trillion dollars in new programs are not what this nation needs at this moment in time.  Soaking the rich to pay for more big government programs is just kicking the problem down the road.  Soaking businesses to pay for them affects employment and prices in a negative way, so we all get hit by it (promises of aiding the middle class to the contrary).

What I am afraid will happen, however, is that once the current crisis is no longer front page news — when it’s financial concepts that the public doesn’t have time for — the politicians will continue their MO like nothing’s happened.  I wish at least John McCain would get real with this issue, but he won’t any more than Barack Obama will.

And that’s largely our own fault.  Too many of us have the “Ask not what your country can do for your” mentality.  We’re buying the line that if only the rich would pay their “fair share” we’d be out of this mess, but we’ve bought into an incredibly selfish definition of the word “fair”.  We say we want our politicians to tell us the truth, but our vote too often goes to the one promising us more and more for less and less.

The bill has come due.  Let’s cut up the credit cards and stop spending what we don’t have.  This is the first step to freeing up our politicians to tell the truth.

Filed under: ConservativeEconomicsGovernment

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