The Cowardly Lions

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Lew, this scenario has played out “off Broadway” many times before. In the early ’80s, bankers came to Capitol Hill and warned Senators that “the financial system of our country would collapse” if we didn’t bail out the NYC banks for their Latin American loan disasters (I was there).

Then we had to bail out the S&L’s or “the financial system of our country would collapse.” Then it was bail out the banks that had lent to Mexico, corrupt to the core, which we had to bail out or “the financial system of our country would collapse.” So Paulson is just a walk-on in the rerun of the same old movie.

Here is the intriguing ingredient: the goal of Paulson and Co. was intimidation — all bluster. If they failed — if the truth got out — they would all be hanging from lampposts by next weekend. So they browbeat the constitutionally elected representatives of our country with threats that would make the 9-11 fearmongers proud: ““When you listened to him describe it you gulped,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. “We have never heard language like this,” said my old pal Chris Dodd, chairman of the Banking Committee.

I’ll tell you what language wasn’t heard from these bogus “leaders”: None of these “statesmen” told that glorified crook, “Look, Mr. Paulson, if the government is going to commit a trillion dollars to bail our your buddies, we’ll do it right here in the legislature, according to the Constitution — but don’t hold your breath. In fact, shut up or we’ll send you a subpoena.”

No, our elected representatives, who are notoriously ignorant regarding economics, let themselves be herded like sheep, guaranteeing that all the guilty parties will prosper, while the taxpayer and anyone else holding mere paper money suffers. No one wanted to take the blame for telling the truth.

So no one is telling the truth, since no one will ask the trillion-dollar question.

9:30 pm on September 19, 2008