Friday, December 10, 2010

The Audacity of Common Sense

As the Christmas season ensues the American public is given the present of seeing how buffoonish and inane our elected representatives can be. It would be a nice present, if once, just once, these wacky guys and gals would do what they were sent to Washington to do and act in the best interests of their constituents. Of course this would mean compromise and unselfish behavior aimed at improving the economy, creating jobs, ending DADT, approving a treaty to police nuclear arms, extending unemployment so people can eat....just little stocking stuffers that most people with a third grade education agree are in the best interests of the country.

President Audacity of Change seems to have left his competitive spirit on the basketball court in all this holiday hoopla. Maybe that elbow in the mouth left him with a concussion and he needs to be taken out of the game pending a thorough medical workup. Despite his 2008 mandate and best wishes of most, he has managed to let the Republicans post him up time and time again. Last time I checked nobody is mistaking McConnell for Dwight Howard. A hard foul now and again goes a long way toward keeping those with lofty intentions out of the paint. Time for a Louisville left hook change-man.

If would be nice to garner hope this hopiest of seasons, but it does not look good for anyone, but the Wall Street crowd and those three percent who own the rest of us. Economics being what they are, nobody has much of a clue as to what to do to create jobs on a massive scale, but from deep down in the roots of the grass I have a few ideas.

First, go back to lending money to unqualified buyers to buy houses to stimulate the housing market. The government can provide cover in the way of loan guarantees, but this time make sure that people are actually buying houses they can afford to own. Given the landslide of housing prices, it shouldn't be hard for just about anyone to find an affordable house these days. Next, force the big banking concerns to break up and start creating a system of local community banks that are oriented to their neighbors and responsive to the needs of the communities they do business in. When I was a kid the local bank was owned by those who lived in my town, who had kids who went to the same school my parents kids did, making it a lot easier to talk to them about getting loans or resolving issues. Also, revamp the credit reporting and debt collection industries. Isn't it about time that the average American be given access to the arcane formulas that credit bureaus use to come up with credit scores? Next, make it illegal for potential employers to use credit reports in assessing job applicants. Finally, institute a program to allow those with student loan debt to make offers of compromise, ala tax debts.

Just a few ideas that seem to make sense to this Grinch; try to have a happy holiday season.

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