Friday, October 10, 2008

Wacky Priorities

Do we still have a Federal government?

Yes, I know we still have all three branches of government, executive, legislative and judicial. We still have a great military. But our confidence level in all branches of government are at extreme lows and it seems no level of government intervention into our free markets makes any difference (except the stock market has gone straight down since they passed the bailout package).

Our sense of frustration is due in large part to the wacky priorities of our Federal government. Instead of allowing our markets to let things shake out, they bailed out our financial industry. And they picked those companies who will survive (AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) and those considered expendable (Lehman, Bear Stearns).

What about a bailout for our manufacturing industry? Not that I agree at all with this government intervention, but it now begs the question. Who allows you to pick and choose?

In the meantime, we are not being protected, which all agree is a legitimate function of government. Limited government inspections led to food supply scares in tomatoes and peppers. With the price of oil tanking every day and today 44% less than the July 2008 highs, our gasoline prices in Tulsa should be under $2.50/gallon. Gouging now exists and our government is looking the other way.

In Tulsa, we are about to vote on a street package of over $450 million over 5 years. This has little chance of passing in the current environment. It amounts to enabling our local elected officials a large pot of money and the excuse to not reduce spending or streamline services.

This is a time of reflection that will lead us back to the basics.