While in Indiana on Monday, Obama said the nation is facing “an economic crisis as deep and as dire as any since the Great Depression.”

OK, I know rhetoric is part n parcel of political discourse, but a good argument can be made that the early 1980s recession was much worse. And whatever happened to “hope” as in “Hope and Change”?

S.C. senator points to dangers of bailout

While I disagree with U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint’s, R-S.C., speculation that we’ll “have riots” is the automakers bailout is passed, he has some wise things to say about the eventual economic impact.

“There is no question this will result in inflation,” DeMint said. “The amount of money we’ve borrowed, the amount of money we’ve printed has put us in a more dangerous situation than we’ve ever been in as a country. We may not see the inflation as long as the economy is slow. But, I’ve talked to some economic experts and once the economy starts picking up with so much money in the money supply and so much debt, we’re likely to see very high interest rates and very high inflation rates.”

On the other hand, higher interest rates wouldn’t be a bad thing for people who actually save some money instead of spending it all.

I have little doubt, though, that the automakers bailout will pass, and that the  nationalization of the U.S. economy will continue under an Obama administration.

Who would’ve thought? We should’ve

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Chicago) sounded amazed on the Don Wade and Roma show on WLS-AM 890 this morning.

Who would’ve thought, he said, that the financial and economic disaster we’re enduring could have been brought on just by trying to offer low-income people the opportunity to have an affordable mortgage so they could participate in the American dream of owning a home?

My question is: Why didn’t more people see it coming? Easy credit is not the only cause of the current problems, but the government’s requirement of banks to make risky loans to people who, in any other situation, wouldn’t qualify because of bad credit or low income is one of the factors that has led to where we’re at today.

The availability of subprime mortgages, which also put the “American dream” into reach of many whose income and credit history wouldn’t otherwise have been able to get loans.

Here’s what economist and columnist Thomas Sowell wrote back in August:

The Community Reinvestment Act lets politicians pressure lenders to lend to people they might not lend to otherwise — and the same politicians are quick to cry “exploitation” when the interest charged to high-risk borrowers reflects that risk. The huge losses of sub-prime lenders, some of whom have gone bankrupt, demonstrate again the consequences of letting politicians try to micro-manage the economy. Yet with all the finger-pointing in the media and in government, seldom is a finger pointed at the politicians at local, state and national levels who have played a key role in setting up the conditions that led to financial disasters for individual home buyers and for those who lent to them.

The U.S. government has had to get involved in “rescuing” the market (instead of, apparently, letting it work itself out over time, because we’re too impatient for that) because of unnecessary government intervention in the loan process. This is a prime example of why the government needs to leave as small a footprint as possible in business and society. This is plainly the result of social engineering: government meddling in the markets to guarantee a social outcome.

Nothing good ever comes of social engineering, Rep. Jackson. Government should protect rights, for sure, but guaranteeing home loans at the expense of taxpayers? That’s forced equity, and won’t stand in a free market.

As should be obvious by now.

Hey, at least gas prices are dropping

Oil prices sunk below $90 a barrel Monday for the first time in eight months, a key price support level, on expectations that a widening financial maelstrom will drastically reduce global demand for energy.