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Now don’t be so surprised, I actually have always liked and respected Barney Frank. I always have thought he was pretty straightforward and did what he said. So while I may disagree on many (ok, most) policy issues, I do have a better than average respect for the man. He came out and said how wrong he thought the lawsuit against JP Morgan for the actions of Bear Stearns prior to acquiring them at the behest of the federal government. The attorney general of New York obviously has aspirations of higher office and wants to use this as a pedestal.
I also agree that Bank of America and the Countrywide deal is a different animal altogether. If you go out and buy a company and have the opportunity to do your due diligence, then you buy whatever liabilities come with that purchase. I get that. However, if the government pressures you to step in and help out, and in doing so, you do not even have time to do due diligence and make a clear decision that is very different.
In fact, at the time, they lauded Jamie Dimon for doing a deal that might not make sense out of a patriotic sense of helping the economy. Sorry, Jamie- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.
I just read an article on the wide range of celebs and super rich saying they think they should be paying more taxes- well I just have one question, what is stopping you? If you think morally you should pay more, well you just make the check out to “US Treasury”- I am pretty sure they will cash it. You can even specify where you would like it to go- want to pay down the debt- just make a note. If it is such a correct and moral thing to do, why are you waiting for someone to force you to do it? Get out your checkbook and put your money where your mouth is!
Okay, so I could not help myself from tweaking the infamous phrase thrown at President Bush all the time. After last night’s debate, I think the Libyan debacle may have some legs. I will never understand why a quick mea culpa and move on does not seem like a good idea to politicians. It is ALWAYS the cover up. Now, I could have believed that a poorly coordinated State Department and Intelligence Community that is still loathe to exchange information led to confusion about what really happened.
After last night’s comment by Obama, which was so far out of the “spin” category it is just a plain lie. You only lie to cover up something you did WRONG! So now, I truly believe the administration purposely misled the American people for political gain. Obama knows he cannot run on the economy, so he was hoping his strength could lie in foreign policy. To admit we just suffered an Al Qaeda attack would undercut this dramatically. So he did what he does best, changed the facts to suit his needs.
I have heard much mentioned about the supposed success of Obama in keeping the economy from the abyss and getting what can best be described as a modest recovery going. But while we can argue about whether it is going in the right or wrong direction, there can be NO argument about value. Think of it like this, if I give you a Toyota Camry for $30,000 and then let you drive a Lexus ES500, you would undoubtedly say the ES500 is nicer and drives much better and you would like to have it. Now if I said it was going to cost an extra $5,000 you would say “give me the keys!” but if I said it was going to cost an extra million dollars, no one in their right mind would say, well it is a better car, I’ll take it!
That is the problem here. Even this anemic recovery has come at such a cost that the value in the recovery is nil. Anyone could have spent more than a trillion dollars and gotten the economy to start moving a little bit forward. The question is- did we get good value for the trillion dollars we spent?
It occurred to me the other day as I debated a young Obama volunteer on my front porch (yeah, wrong door to knock on) that we have heard precious little about what Obama would do if re-elected. Oh, we have heard how it is still all Bush’s fault and we have heard about how bad Romney is. But I think the fundamental reason Obama was elected the first time was because he carried a message (however absurd and unrealistic) of “hope”. He had some specific (if lofty) goals or ideas about what he thought should happen. Now he is silent. Is he out of ideas?
I will admit a low point came when I mentioned that most of the jobs created were minimum wage service jobs. I told her you could live on that. She then proceeded to tell me that she made minimum wage and lived just fine!
Then she exclaimed that all of the misinformation (translation, facts.) were making her antsy and she ran away, literally.
I could only hope she did not give up as I thought every door this young lady knocked on was a vote for Romney for sure!