Saturday, September 20, 2008

Credit Where Credit is Due and the Road Ahead

Don't get me wrong, I feel pretty strongly that this administration has led us to the point where we are today on many fronts. But credit is due for some unusually good late second term appointments.

I don't know what actions Secretary Paulson might have done differently earlier to avert the current crisis, but left with the choice between a bad choices and a terrible choice, he has seemingly taken the bad choice. With the bad choice of bailing out the banking industry comes a lot of risk in accruing more massive debt and devaluing our currency, but the ramifications could be a lot worse. Paulson has seemingly "convinced" congressional leaders that this is the path to follow and deserves a lot of credit in navigating these tough times. This is not a guarantee of success, many difficult roads are still ahead, but at least the immediate calamity is behind us.

President Bush has a few other late term appointments that have proven equally adept or even more so (Robert Gates and General Petraues are the most obvious) . President Bush will largely go down as one of the worst Presidents in US history but were it not for some strong leaders late in his second term it could have been a whole lot worse.

Which brings us to where we are today, just 6 weeks to the election. Given our massive debt, only getting bigger, the two candidates need to be honest with us. We can neither afford to make the Bush tax cuts permanent (McCain) nor roll back taxes on the middle class (Obama). I agree that the middle class needs a tax break with all the wage compression and inflationary pressures, but our immediate concerns need to be to take drastic action on our national debt. Spending cuts alone aren't going to get it done. I just wish that either candidate would come out and be honest and say the tax cuts in their plan two weeks ago are no longer affordable.

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