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.

What did Obama know …

Time’s Michael Scherer has this interesting post on the magazine’s Swampland blog on potential dot-connecting between Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Cell 32) and President-elect Barack Obama.

To be clear, the bugging and wire tapping of Blagojevich suggests that Obama was not playing in the corruption scheme. The complaint states, “Blagojevich said he knew that the President-elect wanted Senate Candidate 1 for the open seat but ‘they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them.’ ” But that is not the operating factor here. U.S. Attorney investigations often end with indictments far from where they start. (See the cases of Valerie Plame and Jack Abramoff.) And Fitzgerald is going to continue to follow the facts, which means many more questions for people close to Obama. So regardless of Obama’s innocence, this will continue to be a burden for the president-elect and those around him. Politics, like life, is not fair.

Scherer’s post also points out that contradictions are starting to surface in what Obama is saying about his interaction with Blago.

At a press avail this afternoon, Obama said, “I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening.” But just a few weeks ago, David Axelrod, Obama’s top adviser, said this on Fox News, about Obama, the governor and the search for a Senate replacement: “I know he’s talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them.”

Later, however, ABC’s Jake Tapper updated a post on the subject, saying that an Obama aide said Axelrod “misspoke.”

The Obama administration is covering up before it even takes office.

How long will he last?

My prediction, assuming an Obama win, will be that he’ll not make it far into his first term without a nasty scandal. His inexperience will eventually trip him up. He will use intimidation tactics the like of which we’ve never seen. However, a compliant national media and Congress won’t hold him responsible. It will be like Bill/Hillary Clinton, only worse.

Talking out of both sides

First, John McCain says Barack Obama’s proposed policies are socialist:

CONCORD, N.C. – Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Saturday accused Democratic rival Barack Obama of favoring a socialistic economic approach by supporting tax cuts and tax credits McCain says would merely shuffle wealth rather than creating it.

Then, he criticizes the Bush administration for not being, apparently, socialist enough:

He also was sharply critical of the Bush administration, saying it should be more aggressive in buying up the home mortgages of those trapped by high interest rates and falling housing values.

Make up your mind, John.

A botched spelling jobs

Will the news media jump on this the way they jumped on Dan Quayle and his spelling of potatoes?

Sen. Biden needs to issue talking points on his gaffes.

Karl Obama

Karl Marx 

Was it one of the golden-tongued messiah’s famous gaffes, or did he really mean to say “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

This is known as redistribution of wealth. This is socialism. Which is a failure. Which apparently Barack Obama hasn’t yet figured out.

Are we in this?

Do you ever get the feeling that voters have nothing to do with an election? That it’s just a game among the media, candidates and political action committees, and that we’re simply supposed to follow whatever they decide?


Prosecuting bad punctuation

If the election for Peoria County state’s attorney were to be decided by sign grammar and punctuation, Republican Darin LaHood would win easily.

On one of his signs, Kevin Lyons improperly reverses the apostrophe before the year: ’08. It should be ’08. Plus, Lyons’ sign urges one to vote for him for “states attorney” instead of “state’s attorney.” You’d think after so many years of being one, he’d know how to spell it.

LaHood, however, has it right on both counts: ’08 and state’s attorney.

We’re not talking an ethical lapse here, of course. Just a leftover of 29 years of working for a daily paper and being easily irritated by lazy writing. It’s just too easy to hit that key for a single quote and not check to see if it’s pointing the right way.

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.

Cash/carry for whom?

Did Treasury look for a guy with this kind of name to head up the bailout office?

The official said Monday that Neel Kashkari, Treasury’s assistant secretary for international affairs, will soon be announced as the interim head of Treasury’s new Office of Financial Stability.