Independence Party Candidate and former US Senator Dean Barkley has an op ed in the SC Times today, discussing our nations economic crisis.
I wish I could tell you there was an easy solution to the economic crisis gripping communities across our state and country, but doing so would be just as disingenuous as the politicians and Wall Street barons who have spent the past decade telling us good times are here to stay.
Congress cannot wave a magic wand and simply undo home foreclosures and right the volatile stock market. There are no easy answers, only hard truths. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either foolish or lying.
We are where we are today because for too long Congress and the executive branch — including members of both big parties — have abdicated their regulatory authority. While subprime mortgage lenders were padding their profits with shady loans, Washington knowingly looked the other way.
Now the American people are left holding the bag as economic reality sets in and the debt-ridden federal government is forced to spend $900 billion bailing out the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., Sallie Mae and other major players in the banking and finance industry.
While we can — and must — encourage lenders to work with homeowners to adjust mortgage rates and restructure payment schedules, the most realistic long-term plan is for the government to responsibly re-assert its oversight authority to help ensure we’re not in the same situation again a decade or so from now.
The deep wounds our economy has suffered at the hands of politicians and their sponsors on Wall Street won’t heal overnight. It will take time and responsible leadership before the market begins to stabilize again. Once it does, we’ll see a dependable stream of capital to back new mortgages and spur sustainable economic growth.
Until then, however, Washington and Wall Street would be well-served to learn from their mistakes.
This is the opinion of Dean Barkley, the Independence Party’s Senate candidate.