Thursday, October 02, 2008

Okay.

Rivrdog makes a valid point.

My answer? I don't have one. I don't know what's going to happen if Congress doesn't fix this financial mess. But I'm pretty sure Congress CAN'T fix it.

The rhetoric from Capitol Hill (aka the Big Top) and the White House has mostly been "panic, do something NOW!". Good decisions are rarely made in a spirit of fear and haste. Plenty of political hay can be made in that environment, however, and I think that's mostly what's going on.

In addition, the numbers simply don't add up. From what I've been able to find, liabilities from sub-prime loans and the "toxic waste" paper that's been based on them comes up to somewhere between 50 and 100 TRILLION dollars. Congress can't spend our way out of a mess that big; I'd really prefer if they didn't try. They'd just waste a lot of money, put us further into debt, and the piper will still need to be paid. $700Billion is like putting a band-aid on a sucking chest wound.

I've sent my congresscritters alternate ideas - mainly based on Dave Ramsey's proposals. Since I've been learning more about the depth and breadth of this problem, I'm not sure Ramsey's proposed fixes would be any more of a long-term solution than piling on borrowed money, as the White House and Congress want to do. But they'd cost us a lot less.

Honestly? I think we're headed for a crash one way or another. I think the bus has gone off the road, and now all we're trying to figure out is whether it ends up in a hay field, runs into a brick wall, or off a cliff. I don't know which one is most likely; I do know that piling borrowed money into the bus's tracks won't get it back on the road, it'll just waste a lot of money.

Anybody who claims (as the Administration and Congressional leaders have) to KNOW what's going to happen if this bailout doesn't happen is either fearmongering or guessing. He who lives by the crystal ball eventually eats glass. Or maybe gets re-elected for doing "something".

Pray for the best, prepare for the worst, and I do mean worst. Reality will probably fall somewhere in between.

This is probably going to be a rough ride, though.

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