Sometimes the end can come swiftly. I am hoping we are not on the precipice of the end of the United States as we have known it. This abject and total failure of a President who has occasionally sat in the Oval Office over the past eight years has driven the nation into massive debt when he attacked and occupied the wrong nation; gutted civil liberties of American citizens; and now has misled us to the verge of our entire economic system going down and taking us all with it.
Now while I know Bush didn't do it all by his ignorant little self, it has been said when the team is losing, the coach takes the blame. And Bush has been much more than a coach, but more of an active participant, instigator, and cheerleader for the failed policies of his administration.
Now I am no economist, so perhaps the greedy investment bankers have gotten us to the point where without government (us) bailing them out, the economy could sink into the abyss. Or perhaps it is more of Bush's scare tactics, the same tactics he used to convince Congress that we should invade Iraq. The same scare tactics used to spy on innocent Americans. The same scare tactics used to kill habeas corpus and to put people in prison with no charges, no legal representation, and no date for a hearing or release. Maybe the Bush who cried wolf is partially right this time, but who knows?
The Republican drive to deregulate everything in sight, including these investment banks, has led us to this point. When the history of these times is written, I believe it will make an interesting case study as to how quickly a powerful nation like the United States imploded. I also believe history will record that the Bush administration was not only worse than that of Herbert Hoover, but will rank at the bottom with that of James Buchannan who saw the republic disintegrate as states began to secede from the union, and civil war broke out.
It was largely deficit spending in an arms race that led to the demise of the Soviet Union. I don't think these United States are far from a similar fate themselves.
Sadly, despite Bush's claim that Al Qaeda hates us for our freedom, that is not the problem. Do you think Osama bin Laden was sitting around Tora Bora one day and happened to read the Bill of Rights and think, "Man I hate these people for this. Let's attack them!"? The 9/11 attacks on America were targeted at our economy as much as anything else. The Bush war deficits and the greed of these capitalists have handed the victory to bin Laden. Game over. Please insert $700-Billion to continue playing.
As for today's vote in the House of Representatives to deny the passage of the bailout bill, I believe it to be one of those instances of even some of those members voting against it were hoping someone else would vote for it. They are too concerned with their own jobs to worry about yours and mine. When it gets down to it, if we enter another Great Depression, it is those of us who did nothing wrong who will pay the price. It will be our children and grandchildren who will pay the price; and who will be left to figure out how to fix the mess we are leaving behind.
Regardless of the outcome we have seen that a purely socialist economy doesn't work, and now we see the same thing about an unregulated capitalist economy. As I have often said, some things work better as collectively-provided services (e.g. police, fire protection, air traffic control, national health care, etc.) The unfettered capitalist model eventually destroys the nation by taking from the middle class and redistributing it to the top, until the entire top heavy mess collapses upon itself. If the economy collapses, that will make twice in a mere 79 years. Greed is its own undoing. Though I am an ardent critic of religion, there are some nuggets of wisdom in the various sacred texts. The New Testament book of I Timothy says that "the love of money is the root of all evil." I think we see some of that playing out right before our astonished eyes.