Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eight years and three crises ago

With the election looming, I thought I would give a little bit of perspective on the past eight years without endorsing either candidate.

When George W. Bush came to office he faced at least three major issues. First there was a small bunch of terrorists living in the mountains 10,000 miles away that wanted to kill Americans. Second, there was an education crisis looming with an increasing number of people dropping out of high school. Very soon large percentages of the population would be unemployable and on welfare. Third, there was a debt crisis. Millions of people were in debt up to their eyeballs with overextended mortgages and credit cards. This would sooner or later cause a credit crash, causing many banks and financial institutions to fail, resulting in economic disaster.

September 11, 2001 proved that the terrorist had the will and ability to carry out their threats. The Clinton administration had already identified Bin Laden as the leader but failed to act on his threats. Out of retaliation as much as anything, we are now involved in two expensive and drawn out wars.

“No child Left Behind” was enacted to try to stem the tide of high school dropouts, but has had questionable success because the problem is a culture issue not lack of money or testing.

Republicans tried unsuccessfully to regulate the mortgage industry fearing massive bank failures if subprime and freewheeling mortgage markets continued unabated, but the Democratic congress didn’t want anything that would making it harder for low or middle income people to buy a house or have easy access to credit, so nothing was done.

Here we are: the credit crisis happened, largely due to a Democratic Congress, but the Republicans didn’t really help either. The high school dropout rate is higher than ever which nobody seems to have any good answers or is even addressing. Wars continue that we should have never been involved with in the first place and we have done nothing to try to convince the terrorists that they need to reconsider their agenda.

I don’t see a lot of answer for these questions from either party. Just my opinion.