Monday, October 13, 2008

Sounds Like Leadership....

Picking up on a thought at the end of my last post....

Remarks from Barack Obama yesterday:

"Part of the reason this crisis occurred is that everyone was living beyond their means – from Wall Street to Washington to even some on Main Street. CEOs got greedy. Politicians spent money they didn't have. Lenders tricked people into buying homes they couldn't afford and some folks knew they couldn't afford them and bought them anyway. We've lived through an era of easy money, in which we were allowed and even encouraged to spend without limits; to borrow instead of save.
Now, I know that in an age of declining wages and skyrocketing costs, for many folks this was not a choice but a necessity. People have been forced to turn to credit cards and home equity loans to keep up, just like our government has borrowed from China and other creditors to help pay its bills. But we now know how dangerous that can be. Once we get past the present emergency, which requires immediate new investments, we have to break that cycle of debt. Our long-term future requires that we do what's necessary to scale down our deficits, grow wages and encourage personal savings again."

This is a fairly easy thing to say (though it is more than any American President since Carter has been willing to do). Assuming he is elected (still a big assumption) we'll see if Obama has the courage to put some policy muscle behind this sentiment. But I like and applaud the thought.

One final remark - these are NOT the words of a crazy tax and spend big-government liberal. I'm not about to say that Obama is not well to the left of center, but I think this is another data point that suggests that the baby-boomers definitions of "conservative" and "liberal" will (mercifully) be obsolete when the new generation takes power (perhaps as soon as 3 months from now).

1 comment:

Kristy said...

Thank god someone is finally saying it. I realize that with the political situation (at every level) as tense as it is, it's highly destructive for anyone to tell regular Americans that they're the cause of at least half of our current problem (taking on obscene mortgages and levels of credit).

I strongly believe that this situation won't improve in the long term until our generation and our parents' generation (both of whom, let's face it, had never really faced significant large-scale economic hardship) learn that we have to stop living beyond our means. So I agree that while the mess we're in right now will really hurt for some time to come, what doesn't kill us will make us stronger--providing that we don't forget what got us here.

I hope that whichever man is ultimately elected in November has the guts to tell America the truth next year, even if it means being a single-term president. Little kids like to pout when their parents tell them "no." Let's hope the American people are a bit more responsible when the president tells us we have to stop gorging ourselves as well.