Tuesday, September 23, 2008

First Things First!

Lately, I am hearing a chorus of chants from the Democrats to save Main Street and not worry about those greedy Wall Street bandits. While that might play well on the campaign trail, it is all wrong in terms of solving the credit problems that are squarely before us.

This country's economic system is like a human body. At the fingers and toes, you have Main Street; the individual homeowners and consumers. However, the "heart" of that body is Wall Street. The body is our banking system. Our money (our currency) is like the blood in the veins that flows from the heart to the fingers and toes. You can lose a few fingers and a few toes in terms of mortgage foreclosures and our economy will still survive. But, if you let the heart die, "all" the fingers and toes will die too. Wall Street and their selling of U. S. Treasury Bonds keeps the economy going, and keeps this country from going bankrupt by attracting investment in our government. Foreign investors and their governments invest in Wall Street to help keep this country and our businesses afloat. That's why it is so important to bail out Wall Street and bail it out quickly. People seem to forget that it was the stock market crash of 1929 that preceded the Great Depression of the 1930's. In that case, the heart died and all those on Main Street clearly suffered. The heart died because there was no confidence in our economic system when Wall Street collapsed in that great stock market crash. The entire thrust right now should be to restore confidence in Wall Street so that the heart doesn't die and so that "most" (not all) of the fingers and toes can keep working.

Foreclosures, bad credit, CEO pay, should not be at issue at this time. If our Democratic politicians want to address those issues, then do it when the patient is out of open heart surgery. Let's not worry about an infection in the fingers at a time when the heart is in such serious peril. We need to bolster the confidence in a secure and untainted credit system in this country. By using legislation to prop up bad mortgages and bad debts just leaves a financial system that is still in a critical condition. We are going to have to come to the realization that some of those fingers and toes will have to be allowed to die; otherwise, the blood stream will become so tainted with infection that the patient will be lost.

I don't know if the current course of action will completely put us back on to the road to recovery. But, certainly, having the Treasury Secretary, Paulson, and the Fed Chairman, Bernake, working on the problem is having the best people on the job. I agree with John McCain that an overseeing commission of financial gurus is appropriate so that we have another set of eyes and ears out there to insure that Bernake and Paulson aren't so close to the problem that they literally can't see the forest for the trees. That commission should be independent of Congress, because Congress will just muddy up the waters with concerns over garnering votes and lacks the pertinent focus on the problem. However, that commission should be able to work with the Senate Banking Committee to get any new laws enacted or old laws rescinded in order to right this ship in the water.

Plain and simple. The overall goal should be to restore confidence in our credit system in this country because credit is what keeps us all going. If you can't borrow to buy a car or a house, or you can't use you credit card to carry through purchases each month, our economy will just seize up. If credit does seize up, an economic depression is sure to follow; and, it won't just affect this country. It will affect the entire world!

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