A wise man once said "the difference in a pessimist and an optimist is the pessimist is better informed." If this is true, than I must be better informed than the dynamic duo of Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke. I don't have a degree in economics like them, but I am definitely a pessimist.
You know Paulson and Bernanke, our Treasury Secretary and chairman of the Federal Reserve? The two guys who met in September with Nancy Pelosi and leaders in both Houses. At that time the know-all, see-all pair declared imminent economic collapse. The end of our financial system as we know it. And we must pass a bailout bill without hesitation.
Yet these men of higher learning who possess economic degrees failed to see this train wreck coming years earlier. Not only do we need to pass and approve a bailout bill, but do so without question we were told.
I was always taught when someone tried to sell you merchandise and you had to make a decision right then and there, you should walk away. Get a second opinion, get perspective and take a closer look. But do not buy. We never had that option.
The wisest man in the world, according to the Bible was King Solomon. He wrote that we should never make a decision or form an opinion until we have heard both sides. On the contrary, there is not time for such trivial matters.
Why, even Barney Frank and Chris Dodd agreed: We must act now! They even blamed the bailout's failure earlier in the week on the fact it was called a bailout. "It is not a bailout," they cried! "It's an economic recovery Bill."
Let there be no doubt in anyone's mind. This is a bailout. It's a bailout of irresponsible lenders, irresponsible borrowers and the fat cats on Wall Street, and for leaders like Paulson and Bernanke who were asleep at the wheel, whose job it was to make us aware of what lay ahead.
Rest assured this will cost us more than $1 trillion in the not-too-distant future. There is still underlying debt that has not surfaced. A not-so-little thing called "credit default swaps." We, our children and grandchildren will be gone before this debt is retired.
They talk of buying bad paper and selling it for profit. First, to buy and handle that volume will require a totally new bureaucracy. This has not been factored in.
Second, why should we believe they could be successful in this endeavor? They have not succeeded with Social Security, Medicare, tax codes, even Hurricane Katrina response. Do you really think this will be different? As our own Rep. Nathan Deal said Friday, "This is going to have long-term financial implications in terms of acquiring bad debt." Just what we need, more debt.
Whether you are red or blue, left, right or center, someone should be held accountable. We live in a day and age when no one wants to take responsibility for their own actions. It's time we start. Let us start with the heads of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. If time permits we can take a glaring look at Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox. This is no different then Enron, and someone should pay.
Now, enough of my pessimistic outlook. We do have a reason to be optimistic. With the passing of this bill it has created a red-letter day for the wooden arrow industry. The last time someone scripted something this good it came from Hollywood. Those cinema blockbusters "Airplane" and "Naked Gun II" actually pale in comparison to the wooden-arrow tax break.
The inmates have taken over the asylum. Anyone who is not offended or insulted, regardless of your political affiliation, by this rancid, maggot infested pork is not worth their daily ration of salt.
Now let's talk about wisdom and discernment. This should come as no surprise to anyone. Once again, Deal, the dean of our congressional delegation, rose to the occasion and voted against the bailout. Nathan voted the wishes of his constituents. He represented the people. He voted for less government, less debt, less pork, no socialism and a free market system.
Webster's defines friend as "a person on the same side in a struggle; ally." We in the 9th District do not have a better friend and ally than Nathan Deal as we struggle for conservative ideas, values and principles.
Nathan please accept my sincere appreciation and thanks for the way you stood up for everyone in the 9th District as well as for our nation. You showed true courage and wisdom. This is the reason you are a statesman rather then a politician.
Kerry Cook is a Flowery Branch resident.