Eric LaMont Gregory
Few presidents have had to face the array of problems as our last three administrations have had to grapple with.
This is, of course, what they invested so much time and effort to achieve, that is, the office of President of the United States, with all that that entails. In the beginning each administration has had an advantage in the fact that the American people looked forward to their stewardship, and beyond our shores a world community had a renewed respect for what this country stood for.
We, the American people, expect our chief executives to restore balance in the relations between the branches of government, and return that noble institution that is the federal government to the service of the people. America was not without its share of problems before the current economic crisis. A crisis that is clearly man-made. And, will be addressed and solved by men of goodwill.
This is not the first crisis of this nature, and it will not be the last. In our recent past when inflation threatened economic security, economists could do no better than to increase unemployment to take the steam, as it were, out of spiraling prices. This was not in the best interest of many people. And yet, time and time again this was the strategy to treat inflation. A man-made crisis addressed poorly by the decision makers.
This is also not the first collapse of our thought to be rock-solid financial institutions. The demise of the Savings and Loan Associations in America was not unlike the present crises i.e., ballooning valuations of property and other financial instruments without the underlying assets to support them. And as a result, the middle-class and the poor who relied upon these institutions lost heavily.
I should like to suggest that we steer a different course than that which our executives are discussing among their advisers and with the Congress, but those strategies will be of benefit to many people and as many people are in rather dire straights those plans ought to proceed.
It has not escaped the attention of the American people that there was not a level playing field in the approach that Congress took in relation to the failing financial institutions as opposed to the Detroit Automotive Industry. The failure to impose FBI scrutiny on the financial institutions' use of bailout funds was glaring, and I trust that even at this late date procedures will be put in place to address this issue.
I have suggested that a balance ought to be restored between the branches of government and one tool that is necessary is the line item veto. Without that power many of the best plans to move our economy ahead will be rendered a lot less than they could be, and in some cases the effect will be quite the opposite than that intended.
The line item veto is vital to the success of all economic recovery plans.