Wednesday, April 02, 2008

it's the economy, stupid

That we are plunging headlong into a full-blown recession is the accepted opinion of all the so called experts. It is undeniable when everyday we hear more stories about people losing their homes because they were granted ridiculous mortgages that they couldn’t afford. The cost of gas and diesel fuel isn’t just inching upward, it is racing up the ladder of inflation. Thousands of jobs disappear every day, or at least head overseas to a more congenial economic climate. The stock market fluctuates wildly and scares the common cents out of the common investors that make the markets go. Before long the dollar will apparently be worthless on the global economic scene.

So why aren’t the three still standing presidential candidates talking about all this. They are more interested, it seems, in discussing their candidacies than with the issues that we, the electorate, are concerned with. There is more talk about the allocation, distribution and commitment of super delegates than there is about the allocation, distribution and commitment of our tax dollars.

Barack Obama made a brilliant speech about race in this country; now he needs to make a brilliant speech about the economy in this country. Hillary Clinton seems to think that the federal government can bail out all those overextended mortgagees by renegotiating those mortgages and then throwing money into the pot and then claiming that it won’t cost taxpayers anything in the long run. The Republicans think they can cut taxes and still bring in more money. Is it any wonder that John McClain admits to not having a clue when it comes to economics?

At this stage of the presidential race to the nomination, it would appear that our votes should be aimed at the candidate who will assemble the ablest group of experts who can manage this economic crisis. Unfortunately, we don’t know who those experts will be until after the election. From what the candidates have said so far, they don’t have any more of a clue than we do, so it’s off to the experts we go. The trouble is, isn’t it those same experts who got us into this mess to begin with?

Granted, this is a very complicated issue with its tendrils reaching into a cauldron filled with contributors to the problem. Immigration, foreign trade, the ever-rising cost of health care, and of course the infamous war on terrorism, all have something to do with the current economic problem we face. Throwing $1200 government checks at us isn’t going to solve anything, though. After all, that money is coming from you and me to begin with through our tax dollars, not from some generous sugar daddy who just wants us to feel better. And it seems to me that the constant drumbeat of disaster predicting journalists in the various media contributes an unnecessary rhythm as we march ever closer to economic instability. The more they prophesize recession, the more likely it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There are no easy solutions, but is it too much to ask that the current crop of presidential wannabes at least acted interested? I would feel more confident if they would seriously address the economic issues we face in our lives everyday. It is not good enough to just get elected and then come up with a plan. We need to know where you plan on taking us before we get on that bus.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with you Bob. Part of my dilema in choosing a candidate this year is that none of them are really saying anything. So many of our government programs aren't working, the tax system is a nightmare of inefficiency and none of them are talking.

Carrie said...

To be fair about the "gas price crisis" thing, we've been falsely decreasing gas prices in this country for a long, long time - gas SHOULD cost what it costs in Europe (around $9-12US a gallon). The gas price increase is the best thing that could happen in this country - people in America are incapable of change unless forced to do so, and then we become very resourceful. I can't wait until people can't drive everywhere without thinking about it and are forced to take public transportation and use bikes and their legs. And when cities are actually forced to make public transportation a viable option. Come on, gas prices, let's reach $10 a gallon!!!!!!! You can do it!