Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Nation's Interests Must be First

President Bush discussed the nation's financial crisis last night in a televised speech to the nation. Citing a spirit of cooperation he said, "In that spirit, I've invited Senators McCain and Obama to join congressional leaders of both parties at the White House tomorrow (today) to help speed our discussions toward a bipartisan bill."

Yesterday the McCain and Obama campaigns entered into a game of oneupsmanship. While I think McCain was right to suspend his campaign and lead from the front by going to Washington to do what Senators do I think it is important that President Bush get both of these men together today. This was a good move on the President's part.

While we all want to let the greedy people stew it is obvious that something has to be done by the government this week. It seems to me that our system is working. Opinions are flying as the President proposes. Everyone is talking consensus. We all must trust that the informed economists and smart people are working behind the scenes for the best interests of the nation.

We must pray that a consensus emerges and the nation moves toward financial stability. While eternal stability comes in the next life, we can hope that a renewal of personal responsibility will keep America strong going forward.

Read my wife's Christian thoughts about finances at her blog.

Mike Huckabee put out a fund raising email yesterday in which he blasted Congress and the President for the bailout. Huckabee's solution is:

1. Eliminate ALL capital gains taxes and taxes on savings and dividends right now. Free up the capital and encourage investment. This is the kind of economic stimulus the Fair Tax would bring and if Congress is going to lose money, let them lose it with lower taxes, not with public dollar bailouts of private market mistakes. 2. Repeal Sarbanes/Oxley. It has failed. It was supposed to prevent this. It didn't. Kill it. 3. Demand that the executives who steered their ships into the ground be forced to pay back the losses of their companies. Of course, they can't, so let them work and give back to the government and they can live like the people they put on the streets or kept there. It makes no sense to put them in jail—that's just more they will cost you and me. I'd rather them go out and earn money—just not get to keep so much of it this time. I'm not talking about limiting CEO salaries---just those of the people who now are up in Washington begging for help because they ruined their companies.
While I respect Mike Huckabee and these sound like good changes and actions they are too little too late. These policy prescriptions should be debated, and probably implemented, after we get through this week.

I'm no economist, but that's my sense of the situation. Perhaps some of these ideas can be worked into the bailout. Certainly the responsible CEOs should be held accountable.

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