Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bailout Mania

About the bailout:  Our immediate reaction was, and remains, faintly favorable.  We don't know much about economics, but it appears that this is the sort of thing governments do, on a smaller scale, to prop up their economic systems.  They pour cash into the thing to keep it going, much like a car owner pouring cash into, say, his '91 Mercedes 190E with fairly low mileage and some emissions issues (which is, by the way, available for sale to interested parties).

Yeah.  We know that, pace George Will, it isn't socialism.  We know that it is probably the right thing to do.  And we know that this is a big deal, the sort of play you really don't want to call wrong.

But here's the problem:  the Bush Administration is telling us to do it.  And we just don't trust them anymore.  Not even a little bit.  Not even on matters as seemingly basic as preventing a nationwide depression. 

They have -- and the President personally has -- completely exhausted any reservoir of credibility.  Eight years of secrecy, lies and denial have finally brought us to a place where we simply don't believe a thing that comes out of the Executive Branch any more. 

How deep is this distrust of the executive branch, you ask?  Well, obviously we disbelieve the White House itself, as well as all the various national-security agencies.  But that's only the tip of the iceberg.   The military, for all its principled efforts to stay neutral, had its top leadership selected for years by Donald Rumsfeld, while the middle ranks are slowly turning into a Christianist phalanx.  Given what we know about the Department of Justice, we can't trust any senior people in federal law-enforcement -- not even Elliott Ness himself.  The Education Department has spent seven years selling us a national program of which professional educators seem unanimous in contempt.    Do we need to explain why, at this juncture, no sane person can trust the secretaries of State, Treasury or Energy?

No.  Here's how bad it is.  When we drive on interstate highways, we don't trust the exit signs anymore.  Why?  Because Bush's Department of Transportation puts them up. 

7 comments:

mark said...

"emissions issues"? EMISSIONS ISSUES? What language is that? Do you mean that you have a "problem" with your exhaust system? (It drives me berserk to have all conflicts, problems, difficulties, disagreements, and I suppose wars, subsumed under the term "issues". Just another post-modern attempt to avoid responsibility for everything.) Whew. Sorry about the rant . . .

mark said...

Post-scriptum: here's how bad it is, Fr. A - The LCMS has a radio program entitled: Issues. Now I double dare you to use that word.

Father said...

Umm ... joking. Playing with modern cant, as well as amusing myself with the sorta-pun, since "emission" and "issue" are the same word.

But, since you will push the matter, consider that there is a bit of an "issue," in the sense that politicians use it -- a matter for debate, whether rational or not. In this instance, I think the car runs beautifully, and so does my mechanic. No "problem" at all, from our perspective. The State of New York, however, thinks that it emits too many ppb of something bad, and requires the addition of an expensive catalytic converter.

This, my car's emissions are an issue in the sense that abortion, or the income tax, are issues. The law is clear, and yet there are thoughtful (if mistaken) people who hold firmly to the conviction that the law is in error, and thus bring the subject up at every opportunity. As I have been doing with my cat lately. Which is for sale -- did I mention that part?

Father said...

"Car," that is. My cat is not for sale. Except, perhaps, to somebody willing to trade an OEM Mercedes catalytic converter.

Anonymous said...

pouring money into a car with minor issues hardly compares to pouring money into a system that had been overlooked and from the persspective of the middle class american, abused and used for over a decade creating a false sense of well being in the nation. our elected senators and representatives have fattened their coffers & bellies on this fragile econoy and now cry for their constituents to bail out the whole financial colapse. the ceos have been mentioned but still we need to rail against their willing participation to abet the failure of their fortune 500 companies. this is not comparable to needing repairs on a car that has been well maintained. this financial system ain't been maintained.

Father said...

I dunno. Senator McCain seems to feel that the fundamentals are sound -- like my engine block. And our president does have an Ivy League MBA, so it isnt as though there wasn't a trained mechanic nearby. Of course, back in March, Senator Obama warned that the fundamentals were not sound -- and now the car won't drive.

So apparently my car is a partisan issue. It's still for sale, though -- maybe now to a collector of campaign memorabilia.

Anonymous said...

Since Father A is well versed in these matters, I'd like to know if there is a link between the bail out and the Montauk Monster.