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ASK THE EXPERTS

We are fixing the wrong thing

POSTED: December 28, 2008 5:00 a.m.

George Bush, Ben Bernanke, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reed and Henry Paulson went out for an afternoon sail on the ship of state. Ben, who is a highly trained observer of things, noted that the boat had a hole in it and water was coming in and fast.

  

They all got together to talk about what to do and Henry said that the obvious solution was to let him have a drill and he would drill a hole in the bottom to let the water out.

  

Everyone agreed, but Harry and Nancy wanted him to use a bigger drill.

  

Now that is about where we are today.

  

The root cause of the present financial disaster is the same as that which caused the Great Depression.

  

We have extended too much credit to too many people who can never pay it back. We have margined just about everything. We have “leveraged” and then re-leveraged around the globalized world. Credit default swaps, derivatives, double and triple mortgages, no money down and no payment required, are the order of the day. Not only have the slick tongued investment banker bandits done this, but so have many of us, the common people. Up to our eyeballs in debt.

  

If excess credit has been the cause then we are doing exactly the wrong thing to fix the problem. We all need to save more and spend less until we get our house in order, but the federal government is drilling another hole in the boat by trying to make more and easier credit. We are like drunks who want another bottle because we think that will improve things.

  

Common sense would be to use the money at the federal level to put people to work earning good wages on “great works” like paving roads, fixing culverts and bridges, building parks, building public transportation, putting in new highways, constructing dams, etc.

  

Those being laid off in the private sector would have good paying jobs and earn money to jump-start the economy. And at the end of this effort, the people would have things which will last and which will improve our lives.

  

And as a bonus, we would not have to give money to Wall Street thieves or to those sorry citizens who will not work.

  

Gary Pichon

 

District 1 Dawson County Commissioner

 

Dawson County

 
 

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