Who is to Blame for the Financial Mess?

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After being placed on the hook for a $700 billion financial bailout, I think we're due a few answers. First, and most basic is who is to blame for this big mess? Is it the oligarchs on Wall Street? Is it the politicians in Washington? Is it the Americans who have spent more than they earn for long periods of time? Is it the mortgage brokers who gave mortgages to people who could not afford them?

Those questions will of course, not be answered. But, just as important is to make sure that we are getting the right solution. And again, I am not confident that that will happen either. Is the best we can do is to make sure that it does not happen again? My class seems half full of optimism.

Last week, politicians and the media were telling us to act fast in order to get a solution into the works as soon as possible. After we porked up the bill, and earmarked $700 billion, the same politicians are now saying to go slow and not rush into things so that we do not make mistakes. I'm glad committing $700 billion did not involve any risk or bad judgment. We were told that once the bill passed, that the stock market would slow its decline in reverse its devaluation. After all, it dropped 800 points in one day because the bill was not passed. On the day it passed, it dropped 300 additional points. What does the media expect us to believe?

The timing of this is also a factor. Because we promised our 700 billion after October 1, will this tab be included on the 2009 fiscal budget? If so, Baarck Obama will be adding about $1 trillion to the federal debt next year. Unless of course, he raises taxes quickly like he has promised. When will the good times begin? We're paying the admission fee, it's time to begin the renaissance of the roaring 20s. Once again, will have a car in every garage and a chicken in every pot. But, hold on there. Even though we've committed the money, we are expected to have months (at least) of more financial pain. What does this mean for the taxpayer? We were sold a pig in a poke. And we all know where the poke will be felt.

Yes, this is America where you don't get something for nothing. However, when it comes to handing over money to the government, especially large sums, we seldom get a dollars worth of value for the dollars we put in. No, we won't get any straight answers. We may not even get bailed out. But the money is gone, and soon politicians will be asking for more.

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