My friend David Donadio takes on the bailout and our disappointing crop of candidates in the Baltimore Sun:
The case for action is clear: Things look bad, so we have to do something – and that, we’re told, means spending lots of money. But if the big bailout goes through, how will we know we’re not just putting the entire economy on stilts?
Sen. Barack Obama seems to have no problem with this, and neither does Sen. John McCain. It brings the grand total in new government spending to around $1 trillion: a $700 billion rescue plan for Wall Street, a $100 billion to $200 billion bailout for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and an $85 billion bridge loan for American International Group. To say nothing of the $1 trillion war in Iraq or the $1 trillion Medicare drug entitlement.
It doesn’t matter if we’ve never bought a house; we’ll pay for it. It doesn’t matter if we’ve never bought stock; we’ll bear its costs without its benefits. It doesn’t matter if we’ve never heard of AIG, or if the idea of financing a bridge loan sounds curiously like being knocked to the ground and robbed blind….
The sad truth is that when you consider what’s at stake for people our age this November, there’s little hope, little change and little straight talk to be had – just a choice of which suit gets to reach into our pockets and tell us it’s for our own good.
Whole thing here.