Friday, July 17, 2009

Used Car Salesman in Chief

Perhaps it's just me, but I'm getting sick and tired of being pushed into hasty decisions.

Over the past several months it seems that there has been a race to pass legislation through Congress without much thought. Last year, the TARP bailout was raced through in weeks---ostensibly because waiting to give us a chance to think about what we were doing would mean than any action in ridding the country of the "toxic assets" that the TARP funds were to buy up would come too late to stave off the disasters that were looming in the shadows.

Of course, once the bill passed, the Bush Administration got a few better ideas...and we still haven't spent all the money appropriated. Well...not to buy any toxic assets, at least. We still haven't gotten around to that...though that $700 billion dollars sure came in handy for Congress and the new Obama Administration, since they now had a ready source of funds to hand out as they saw fit.

As the new adminstration was about to take office, there was another push---this time for another $787 billion or so---which was passed less than a month after President Obama took office, before anyone in Congress had the chance to read it. Recently, the "Cap and Trade" bill passed the House---with 350 pages or so of amendments added in the wee hours of the morning after Michael Jackson died. That, too, had to pass immediately, before anyone could read it---this time, one presumes, so that the members of the House could attend to more important matters. Like watching the wall-to-wall, 24/7 coverage of the death of Michael Jackson.

Now, amid talk of a few more trillion dollars or so in various bailouts---to prepare the way for the Health Care Reform package that the President insists is needed to save us from imminent bankruptcy---there is a push by Congressional leaders and the Administration to enact the plan...NOW, before it's too late. Today, in the wake of a Congressional Budget Office report confirming what most people instinctively thought---that current health care proposals will cost an awful lot of money---there seems to be a renewed push to get this done in a hurry. The President insists that waiting will result in a catastrophe for this country and future generations...and only quick, bold action can save us.

It strikes me that we've been down this path before. Quite a few times in recent months.

And it's starting to sound more and more like the typical pitch from the local used car salesman---that we need to decide now, because if we stop to think about what we're doing, we'll miss this golden, once-in-a-lifetime chance, and spend the rest of our lives regretting it.

Again...perhaps it's just me. But despite the glowing rhetoric, and the loft notions advanced by the current crop of politicians, it's starting to sound more and more like the high-pressure tactics of the used car lot.

These tactics didn't save the auto industry from disaster.

I doubt that they'll lead the rest of the country to anything but grief, either.

JEFFREY CAMINSKY, a veteran public prosecutor in Detroit, Michigan, specializes in the appellate practice of criminal law and writes on a wide range of topics. His books include the science fiction adventure novel The Star Dancers, the exciting second volume in the Guardians of Peace-tm series, The Sonnets of William Shakespeare, and the acclaimed Referee’s Survival Guide, a book on soccer officiating. All are published by New Alexandria Press, and are available on Amazon, as well as directly from the publisher.

No comments: