McClatchy Newspapers on Friday:
The next president will take office in January with little hope of getting his pet programs enacted quickly, if at all, because of already-massive budget deficits likely to balloon even further from the hundreds of billions expected to be used to bail out Wall Street.Time magazine today:
For at least the next year, and perhaps for years after, Treasury's spending authority will make it harder for the next President to fulfill campaign promises and pump money into new priorities.I added the italics.
The problem with both of these passages is that they turn this into a story about the problems of a politician. The idea that it's only this poor soul's "pet programs" and his ability to "fulfill campaign promises" that is hurt is complete and utter garbage.
While it is factually true that the new president will face problems, his tussles will be tiny compared to what's going to happen to the rest of us.
This bailout -- no matter how necessary -- means that you and I won't get universal health care, at least not anytime soon. Crumbling bridges may well not be fixed because the U.S. government won't have the money. (Can anyone say "Minneapolis?") FEMA may be even less effective than it is now. Financial aid for college students could well shrink. Medical research and other scientific research could be hampered because the U.S. Treasury is strapped for cash. The list goes on and on.
There will be much less money available to provide the kind of services citizens need and should expect from their government.
By framing the story as being about presidential problems, journalists make it appear as if this is a mere political hassle for one guy who lives in the White House. Who cares if a politician has to wrestle with campaign promises?
From my vantage point, the Bailout looks a tad too much like highway robbery. It could hurt all of us for decades to come.