Tuesday, September 30, 2008

There was something about that 777 number yesterday that told me, "Don't despair. The sky is not falling. This could be our lucky day." If you know me well, you know I'm always looking for "signs."

Try as I might, I did not fully comprehend the implications of the failed bailout bill. I still don't. I did understand that our terror alert had been raised beyond orange and into the red. It's been the modus operandi for Bush and Company ever since the towers fell. "Be afraid! Be very afraid!" My initial reaction was one of distrust and suspicion, but the more I heard people say, "Nobody knows what the solution to this problem is," the less confidence I felt in any proposal that was put forth. McCain's impetuous movement toward a bailout and Obama's reticence to rush into heroic measures confirmed for me that panic was probably not the best course of action. I'm coming to appreciate Obama's studied, serene, cerebral approach more every day.

So here we are on the morning after the night before, a little hungover from drinking too much hype, but not afraid to see what the new day brings. Maybe the bailout bill needed to fail. Maybe the greedy people who got us into this mess will be the ones who suffer the most severe losses. If that's true, then so be it. Wall Street has a way of correcting itself when basic principles are violated. If that is all that is happening, and some say it is, then why are those of us who are not rich and have not speculated wildly trying to make the quick and easy buck worrying so much about what will happen? Yes, the inflated gains on my IRA's are back down to pre-inflated levels, and could possibly fall to less than the initial investment, but they could also gain again if they are well managed and the market goes up. My bank funds do not exceed the insured amount. My house is still worth more than I owe, so, for now, I'm satisfied to sit back and watch how this "crisis" plays itself out.

The Republicans may have done us all a favor yesterday by getting their feelings hurt and refusing to go along with the Democrats. Maybe they jeopardized their re-elections back home, maybe they didn't. Maybe a better plan is being formulated that will address the real concerns of us average Americans. $700B would go a long way in helping to rebuild the failing infrastructure of a nation whose resources have been largely wasted during the Bush years. If Bush wants to preserve any kind of legacy worth preserving he will own up to his years of mismanagement, just as Reagan did when he accepted ''full responsibility'' for the Iran-contra affair: ''As the Navy would say, this happened on my watch.''

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