Mired in Ash
When I awoke last Thursday morning, I was interested in television reports of volcanic ash spewing into the atmosphere, but I did not connect the dots. I did not think that I would be sitting in a friend’s flat in London three days later with absolutely no hope of returning to the United States any time soon. It is a beautiful day in London. But for a light dusting of ash on parked cars, and a sky eerily empty of air traffic, one would never know that Europe is paralyzed.
You may think it is somewhat self indulgent for one to complain about being marooned in London. That’s fair enough, I guess. It’s not the Green Zone. None the less, I have two things to say in my defense:
1) I’ve travelled enough in my life where there is no place I’d rather be than home, and
2) My family is in Houston, and I’m not.
I knew I might be in for it this morning when I logged on to the Cunard website to check on the availability of a transatlantic voyage as a possible means of getting home; only to find out that the next voyage is April 22nd, and it is sold out!
Switching gears, I watched the first ever UK equivalent of a televised presidential debate on Thursday night. I have two things to say about that too:
1) Nixon and Kennedy did this in 1960, and it is happening for the first time here?
2) Listening to the liberal democrat, labour and conservative candidates was frightening. The liberal democrat and labour policies make ObamaCare look like a walk in the park of fiscal restraint.
The Europeans and Brits have already got to where the President and his cronies so desperately seek to take the United States. Life here has already transcended the notion of equality of opportunity. It is now all about equality of outcome. The UK and Europe are great, festering, bloated melting pots of redistribution.
How about the government going after Goldman Sachs yesterday? Look, I think any objective observer can see how our banks took the securitization of these bad loans to an extreme. The quest for profit did indeed exacerbate the problem. But fundamentally they did what they are in business to do. Ours is (for now, at least) a private sector driven economy. Our politicians and federal-backed institutions created the environment and easy money for the mortgage crisis to occur. The banks took the concept and ran with it. If government policy had not been geared toward free money and homes for everyone, the issue would be a non-issue.
On both sides of the Atlantic, the “bankers” are an easy target for the politicians. And so the bankers are in the hot seat. Indeed, after W, the bankers are next in line in the gotcha blame game. Come to think of it, the Houston Astros are off to a horrendous start. Sue Goldman Sachs!
Free time is a dangerous thing. After my third Starbucks espresso this morning, I began thinking about the November elections. What if the Republicans can actually pull it off and regain a majority? What should they do? The answer is clear to me. They must not, under any circumstances, agree to any legislation involving an iota of increased tax or spending. Further, they should pen legislation to extend the Bush tax cuts. Put the President in a place where he has to explain why implicit (just letting the Bush tax cuts expire is an insidious tax hike) and explicit tax increases are the right thing to do. The democrat party cannot get away with the cynical, fraudulent “Bush tax cuts for the wealthy” war cry forever. The people are beginning to wake up and smell the tax increases.
Enjoy your weekend.