Monday, December 3, 2007



There are, as always, plenty of politicians willing and able to solve our problems, real and imagined, with generous dollops of other people’s money. The current problems wrought by the financial wunderkinds on Wall Street, their salespeople who insist on being called “mortgage consultants,” and a financially obtuse public has thus provided a fecund field for political posturing. In my last post, I commented on Hank Paulson’s (he of the free market Bush administration) plan to extend teaser rate periods in an effort to head off defaults on home loans. Now Hillary Clinton has come along proposing to go Mr. Paulson one better: not only should we force lenders (whoever they might be…see my 12/1/07 post) to extend teaser periods, we should also mandate a 90 day moratorium on home foreclosures!

In my 10/14/07 post, I explained how the world, or at least how the political world, works:

“This is in the normal course of our government’s workings: The Democrats come up with some asinine plan to remedy some problem, real or imagined, with your money. The Republicans respond with a slightly less asinine plan to attack the problem, also with your money, making sure that the primary beneficiaries of the program are among the GOP’s favored constituencies. That is how the world works.”

These latest dance of Secretary Paulson and Senator Clinton is a slight variation on the above described process. In this latest case, the Republicans have come up with a completely asinine idea only to be trumped by the Democrats with an idea that is somehow even more asinine. Both “plans” are designed to make the financially frugal pay for the sins of the profligate. Your government at work.

Lest anyone think that the differences between the parties are more stark than this cynical commentator would indicate, note Senator Clinton’s comments regarding Secretary Paulson:

“I’m very pleased the administration is responding to this crisis.”

Your very likely next president then indicated that she has “high regard” for Mr. Paulson. So much for this election’s being the “most momentous in our lifetimes,” or some such drivel.

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