Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Who won this thing, again?

I heard today that Hillary Clinton (D., wherever works) has plans to vastly expand her empire at State once she assumes the position. International interests currently managed by the military and the Commerce and Treasury Departments are in her sights, with more doubtless to be named later.

Apparently the plan is that she'll serve as Supreme Being at Foggy Bottom, and control large areas of U.S. interest in the international sphere currently the purview of other department heads. Eventually she may hold all decision-making power for international interests. If you have a copy of the Constitution, take a look at the section that deals with international relations, treaties, economic and military matters.

I heard that Clinton was defeated in the Democrat primaries, but this power grab would seem to put the lie to that belief. Who, exactly, will be president next year?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Spend Now, Think Later

"We just have to spend some significant money."
"We'll just have to use our best judgement..."

So spoke Senator Max Baucus (D., Spendthrift) when asked by CNS News what the Congress needs to do to quell queasy economic seas. The astute reader will note several things about the senator's two statements above. For instance, hasn't Congress already spent "significant" money? Or have we moved away from deficit spending the past few years, and I just didn't notice? No, I think spending "significant" money is well within the competency of even this Congress, the worst in history. Apparently Baucus expects our blessing for plans to expand even the current bloated spending.

On the second statement, well, doesn't it speak for itself? After all, when you think of the current do-nothing Congress, what word comes to mind before "judgement?" Okay, okay; Poor, appalling, abysmal, lack of, these are all good choices. The people who bloated the current deficits and brought the mortgage meltdown upon our heads now demand another trillion or so of our dollars to mend the damage they caused. Excuse me if I don't fall over myself writing you a check, and praising the judgement of you and your colleagues, Senator.

The senator followed his pronouncements with these gems:

“We’ve got to pay down the debt, (it) is getting bigger and bigger. The question is, when are we going to start paying the dues? We have got to start paying them.”

Senator, my head starts to hurt when I attempt to reconcile your plans to spend significant money and "pay down the debt." Where is this magical trillion dollars coming from? Sure, you'll take some of it from us now, with tax hikes of many sizes, shapes, and colors. More will come from borrowing. Which, Senator, increases the national debt. Sorry that I have to be the one to break that to you. Finally, inflation is the final arrow in Washington's quiver, allowing the Fed to print more money and use these dollars in the future to pay interest on the ever-increasing debt.

Does any of these three actions--tax hikes, debt hike, inflation hike--seem likely to hike us into prosperity? What do you think?

If you answered yes, you just might be clueless enough to be a U.S. Senator.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Chutzpah, thy name is Dodd

I wasn't sure if I was reading The Onion, or a serious news site. Senator Chris Dodd (D, Fannie Mae) has demanded the resignation of General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner before Congress bestows any loans on the automaker. This is Chris Dodd! The man who:

  • Obtained a below-market sweetheart mortgage from troubled lender Countrywide Mortgage just before it went belly-up
  • Scooped up more campaign contributions from Freddie Mac than any other Senator (Barack Obama was #2 on that list, by the way)
  • Told other Senators that soon-to-be-disgraced Fannie Mae head Franklin Raines was doing a great job running the taxpayer-guaranteed mortgage giant.
  • Ridiculed those--like George W. Bush and John McCain--who said Congress needed to rein in Fannie and Freddie before their lax lending practices blew up in the taxpayers' collective face
Apparently it is Dodd's contention that a person with responsibility for a failing enterprise should not benefit from, nor be in charge of, the bailout of that enterprise.

I'll sit back now and wait for Dodd to resign from the Senate Banking Committee.

Better pack a lunch.