"Economic Shock and Awe", as Arianna put it, indeed. In another parallel to the planning of the Iraq War, there is this curious answer given by Deputy White House Press Secretary Fratto at the end of The Bush administration's September 23rd Briefing that has me wondering just how long ago did the Bush administration know this crisis was coming? And if it was a long time ago, why didn't they stop it then?
Here is the quote, from the Fratto's answer to the last question he was asked:
This is -- this was not a program that was conceived of or put together hastily. There was an enormous amount of analysis and debate and discussion before we came forward with this program. I think we have anticipated a lot of the questions that members of Congress would naturally have about taking this step, but we have had -- some of the policy staff have had months to think about what a program like this would be like and how it would work. Others have had at least weeks to think about it.
"...policy staff have had months to think about what a program like this would be like and how it would work..."
If "policy staff" were thinking about this months ago, then that means their bosses - at least some of them - were thinking about this months ago too. Which bosses? I do not know.
But what I do know is this: There is a difference between governing and plotting (or perhaps I should say "scheming").
When you are governing a country, you address problems when you first think they might occur and fix them before they become full blown disasters.
But when, in actuality, you want to do something that will not benefit the country... but, instead, will benefit your friend and associates... then you purposefully let a problem fester until it becomes an emergency that allows you to propose the "only measure" that will work... one that benefits you and your friends.
Now, I do NOT know that the Bush administration has been secretly plotting to wreck the US economy by letting this problem become as huge as it is. I do NOT know that they waited this long so that their friends on Wall Street wouldn't have to pay for the party they've been having for the last 8 years.
All that I have is the words of Mr. Fratto. I know that - if I had been governing rather than plotting and scheming - I would have brought members of Congress into the process of developing a solution months ago... when my "policy staff" first started working on one... not a week ago with all sorts of "do this now or the world will come to an end" talk.
But that's just me. I was once a program manager with the Army Corps of Engineers. And if I knew there was a problem, I let people know about it right away. I didn't let it turn into an emergency if that was at all possible.
Oh, and there are two other things I know. First, the Bush administration always wanted there to be a war with Iraq and created a special group to sell the American people on the need to go to war. Second, the Bush wing of the Republican Party has a long-standing wish to "starve the beast" that is the Federal government. They really hate government. (Remember President Reagan saying "Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem."?)
Therefore, it is possible - and I repeat, "possible" (as I have no proof) - that the Bush administration has been planning to let the Wall Street crisis develop to this point so that it could force the spending of $700 or more billion, so that the next administration would have no money to spend on any domestic initiatives... so that "the beast" will possibly be starved beyond its ability to recover.
There is only one way to find out for sure, of course. And that is for all the professional investigative reporters out there to find out what Mr. Fratto was referring to on Tuesday the 23rd.
Please all you professionals out there: find out what the Bush administration has really been doing for all of these "months" that Mr. Fratto says they were working on all of this.
Thanks for the help. The future ability of our government to help build a better society for us all may just be at stake.