Posted on September 22, 2008
Think of the current U.S. economy as having cardiac arrest.
The doctor (Treasury Secretary Paulson) wants to go into the operating room immediately.
But the Congress wants to take its sweet time, looking at all the options.
Some members agree that there is a problem, but think they have a better solution.
What the patient needs, along with bypass surgery, is more pork.
Other members complain about the cost. How much will this surgery run us?
Who is going to pay the bill?
Still others think that the patient deserves to die. What has this economy done for me? Why should we pay to keep this patient alive?
Sometimes, the patient needs to be wheeled into the operating room and worked on immediately.
This is one of those times.
The economy’s arteries are clogged. They need to be unclogged immediately, or the economy will die, and it is unclear if it could be revived.
Ben Bernanke is a student of this kind of procedure. He is the foremost authority on the causes of the Great Depression. He believes that without quick action, the patient is in serious trouble.
Many can argue about how we got here. Perhaps it was the high-living high leverage life style. Perhaps it was the influence of corrupt government officials and greedy Wall Street barons. Perhaps it was a breakdown in the regulatory system that couldn’t adapt to a rapidly changing financial world.
Whatever the cause, the fact is the economy needs surgery now.
Many can argue what should happen once the patient gets out of the hospital. Perhaps it is a diet of fiscal sanity and wholesale reforms of the financial system.
But that only works if the patient gets out of the hospital.
Let’s give the surgeon a chance to work. Enough of the second guessing and political posturing. Let’s get the patient back on his feet and then we will talk.
Let’s give Paulson the tools he needs to get the job done. Our economy’s life hangs in the balance.