Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Smartest Guys In The Room
On Sundays, besides reading the Sunday New York Times, I watch a couple of the news programs. I started watching MEET THE PRESS when I was a young boy with my father. Back in the 1950’s, the program had a moderator and a panel of newspaper reporters and they would ask the guest questions. That must have been more difficult for the politicians and other guests as the panel had time to listen to the answers and ask tough follow up questions. Today the format is more of a one on one, and even a not so smart politician can get through the interview.
Talking about not so smart politicians being interviewed, John Boehner (R) Ohio, 8th District, was on MEET THE PRESS Sunday. Congressman Boehner I do not think has a Ph.D. in economics like former Senator Phil Gramm, which I think is a good thing because Senator Gramm, John McCain’s economic advisor during the presidential campaign, said that the recession was a mental recession, just in our heads, and that Americans were being a bunch of wieners.
Congressman Boehner lead off with the words, “I don’t think it will work”, when referring to the Obama administration’s stimulus plan. He does not think America can borrow and spend our way back to prosperity. For the last 8 years a Republican President, George W. Bush, and a Republican Congress has created a trillion dollar deficit and now they are the smartest guys in the room. Give me a break.
Now I would like to relate a story I read several years ago in The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal is, in my opinion, a damn good newspaper. While I did not agree with their editorials, the articles that appeared on the front page were well researched and very informative. One that I remember well was about a company in Massachusetts that wanted to sell a particular metal to the Defense Department. The Defense Department had plenty of that metal in stock, and did not want to be forced to buy more. But, the Congressman from their district got the Defense Department to buy the metal from the company anyway. Which brings me to the point, One man’s pork is another man’s what? Congressman Boehner thinks there is too much pork in the stimulus package that the Obama administration has put together. Whenever the spending is not for something related to defense, it is pork to the Republicans. Waste more money on metals that even the Generals in the Department of Defense do not need or want, but do not spend money on education, health care or infrastructure. Personally, I do not think that the Republicans in Congress, like John Boehner, are the smartest guys in the room. If they were, we would not be in the situation we are in today. Yes, I lay this recession and the financial meltdown directly at their feet. It is time for the men with the pretty faces to step back and let the guys with some brains take over.
I would think that the Republicans in Congress would be smart enough to get behind this president and his administration and work their butts off to help bring this country out of a recession that is, in my opinion, largely attributable to the incompetence of the Bush administration. That is, unless you believe that the Bush administration was successful in almost destroying the middle class and that was their objective. Take your pick, either they knew what they were doing and they achieved their desired results, or, the Bush administration was a bunch of incompetent hacks. Either way, the country is in the most serious place it has been economically since The Great Depression.