Presidents must provide leadership that leads us away from crisis if they see it coming. If they didn’t see it coming, they must get us through it.
The current financial crisis that our nation is being warned of could have been avoided if we acted on some of the preventive measures that would have averted the recent need for a 700 billion dollar rescue package. Not avoiding it is something that I blame President Bush for. Note, I do not blame him for the problem but I do blame him and the administration for not seeing it coming. I blame him for not heading the advice of others who warned us about the mortgage lending practices which have inevitably threatened every other, major, area of the economy. People like John McCain who in 2005 proposed measures to correct our course and avoid the ice field.
Someone was asleep at the wheel on this one. It was akin to being on duty in the watchtower and still not seeing the iceberg that sunk the Titanic.
I will blame the President for allowing the issue to get to this point and requiring an historic, expensive hurried, solution to what should have been avoided, but I will not blame him for creating the problem that he did not acknowledge until it was too late.
This was a problem created, in part, by the Clinton era.
Under the Clinton administration mandates were created that forced FannieMae and FreddieMac to extend high risks loans to low income and minority applicants. Clinton‘s National Homeowners Strategy was a financial scheme that promoted insanely low down payments and coerced lenders into giving mortgage loans to first-time buyers with unstable financing and incomes. It was a way to increase homeownership. That is an admirable motive but as usual,the liberal mentality, forced government to do that which it should not have done. Essentially, the Clinton era initiatives that forced government action on private sector interests led to the need for government to take over FannieMae and FreddieMac. This is not to say that private sector greed and bad business practices did not add to the wrong minded government policy, it did, but what happened here is that government solutions to one problem, created another . Now, ironically, the government which helped to create this problem is having to solve it.
There are many lessons that can be learned from this. Whether you refuse to learn those lessons is up to you but the lessons are there. The left , under Nancy Pelosi, want to point fingers at Republicans and blame the entire problem on their tendencies for deregulation. That could almost be plausible if it was true. Unfortunately for liberals, it is not true. Conservatives are not for no regulation. Conservatives are for less regulations. They are against government regulations such as the Clinton era housing initiatives which forced FannieMae and FreddieMac to enter into high risk loans that should never have had the opportunity to be defaulted on. Republicans are against the type of regulations that prevent reasonable growth of our economy that is based upon sound policy and business practices.
Such was the case in 2005 when John McCain sponsored the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act which was specifically aimed at reeling in the higher than acceptable risk taking of FannieMae and FreddieMac. It was also designed to reign in many of the shady recording practices that both institutions were conducting.
The Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005 was, as it’s name indicates, a bill of regulatory reform, a bill that would have reformed the regulations which have added to the creation of the current economic crisis. The bill was ignored and denied by Democrats and the Democrat chairmen of the committees responsible for the bill. Congressman Barney frank and senator Chris Dodd did not act on this corrective initiative. Yet today, they join with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in blaming Republicans.
Between President Bush sleeping at the economic wheel and the house Democrat leaders’s lack of ability to accomplish anything, we need a leader to step forward. For me that leadership should come from the next President. It should come from the individual who will be steering our economic ship with whatever the burden of the solution to this crisis is.
Barack Obama and John McCain are incumbent senators. They have a responsibility to live up to in those capacities and they should not use a political campaign as an excuse for avoiding that responsibility.
John McCain was right when last week he suspended normal campaign activity in a stated attempt to deal with the legislative package aimed at rescuing the economy. He was wrong to back away from this original position. In doing so we are back to square one and Nancy Pelosi’s lack of leadership along with that of President Bush and Committee Chairs Dodd and Barney still leaves us crying out for effective leadership.
John McCain is no Nostradamus, but on this issue he has been ahead of the curve and his instincts have been right, at least since 2005 when he proposed measures that would have not allowed things to spiral out of control and bring us to this point. McCain should continue with those instincts and apply them in his capacity as a sitting senator.
I understand that neither McCain or Obama sit on the House Financial Services Committee or the Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee, which are the primary committees handling the bailout package. However, their involvement on the issue,along, with their colleagues can interject some much needed initiatives and direction into those committees. To believe that since they are not on the committee, they have nothing to do with it or no ability to influence it is absurd.
If either of these two men have the capacity to lead us that their individual campaigns would have us believe than now is their chance to show it.
Now is the time for them to demonstrate their purported abilities to solve problems and unite people together to properly address our national concerns. If either of these men have the answers to our problems, than now is the time to provide those answers. If the economic dangers we are witnessing are truly a crisis, now is the time to answer their calls to duty.
Get off their high horses and get behind their legislative desks of responsibility. Do not politicize the crisis in stump speeches before adoring supporters in Ohio, Pennsylvania or Colorado. Go to Washington, D.C. and rally the legislative geniuses of Capital Hill together behind appropriate, legitimate legislation that will address the crisis.
I want McCain and Obama to present their rescue packages. A package of legislative measures that:
A. – Produces an acceptable level of fluidity in the credit markets
B. – Prevent the abusive practice of an overextension of risky loans.
C. – Tightens the recording practices of all federal monetary institutions.
D. – Eliminates the Clinton era National Homeownership Strategy policies
E. – Levees a payback with interest on any and all monies invested in bailout packages
F. – Eliminate golden parachutes for executive officers responsible for insolvency
Obama and McCain may not sit on the committees charged with hammering out such a package but they are
charged with the responsibility to create a package that the proper committees must address. Through their leadership they can create a plan that is good enough to garner support and strong enough to rally behind. If they cannot do this than they have no right to comment on the process and use it to advance their candidacies for President.
I want them to demonstrate through deed, not word, how good their abilities are to resolve problems and deal with crisis.
If either McCain or Obama want to demonstrate that they have the ability to accomplish things as President, now is the chance to show it, not just talk about it. The cry for leadership in this crisis is loud and clear and if Obama and/or McCain refuse to answer those cries, than neither one should be asking for the chance to lead our nation for the next four years to come.
Last Wednesday, when McCain embraced the issue and suspended his campaign, he was on track. It was the right thing to do. Since than he has strayed off this track and now we still do not have a rescue package in place. Now, more than ever he needs to get back on track, suspend his campaign and take the lead on the issue. Develop a plan that can win the day and help propel him to the White House.
A campaign is a great forum for ideas to be expressed but a time of crisis is a great forum for leadership to be practiced. McCain and Obama need to practice it now.
A Guide to U.S. Newspapers
4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand the Washington Post. They do, however like the smog statistics shown in pie charts.
5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country, if they could spare the time, and if they didn’t have to leave L.A. to do it.
6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country.
7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country, and don’t really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.
8. The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who’s running the country either, as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.
9. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure there is a country, or that anyone is running it; but whoever it is, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority, feministic atheist dwarfs, who also happen to be illegal aliens from ANY country or galaxy as long as they are democrats.
10. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country, but need the baseball scores.