It is most enjoyable to read in the Editorial and Opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal how George W Bush and his Administration have lost their way and are now resorting to regulations (read Government controls and interference) as a means to end a wide range of abuses. The securities and banking segments have jumped the tracks and running wild in unchartered fields and if not put safely back on the tracks will drag down the economy further and may take with them savings and pensions of millions of Americans.
There are always risks when the Government tries to regulate or control anything. History is full of examples where those who regulate or control miss the mark (especially as times change) and are in and of themselves, a cost tax payers must carry. Republicans and the Wall Street Journal traditionally carry the banner of “no Government is good Government” and so it is particularly interesting to see the Bush crowd reaching for controls. Why is this happening?
It would be nice to say that they have finally seen the light. I do not think that is the correct answer. I would suggest something more “Rovian”. The President has an approval rating of about 20% and Republicans (John McCain included) are facing an election where many of them are likely to get swept out of office. And with their loss will go the gravy train of political spoils. Republicans now think it is simply time to do something (anything) that will keep a system wide bank failure from taking place or a huge segment of the population being thrown out of their homes when mortgage interest rates are reset upward. There are no new policies in the Bush White House that looks to help Mister and Misses America. The Bush crowd is for Mister and Misses “top 1/2% income” people, and of course, themselves. They will try whatever would keep them in power.
The Bush Administration has been strongly linked with “I do it because I can”, “greed” and “the ends justify the means”, and these affirmations have gone no where. It is time for a new Administration that has the “common wealth” in mind. The next Administration, however, must also remember that big government can do harm as easily as it can do good. These past 8 years have marked an unbelievable period of incompetence in administering the US Government apparatus. We may find out after January 20th, 2009 that a big improvement is obtained just by running the Government with a well intended and fully capable chief executive. But you will not find that in the Wall Street Journal.