Tonight the Senate passed the most fiscally reckless bill in history. We fought a tough fight and even won a few battles but the reality is the war is likely over. A fear mongering campaign by Bush, Paulson, CNBC, CNN, and Bloomberg accompanied by a 777 point plunge on the Dow probably likely sealed the fate.

The media blitz was the financial equivalent of Bush’s “Mushroom Cloud” speech that suckered Congress into a needless war in Iraq. The US has wasted a trillion dollars in Iraq for nothing, and now the Bush Administration with cooperation from Congress is going to waste $250 billion to $700 billion more at a bare minimum fighting an economic slowdown that is coming no matter how much money is wasted. I suspect the total will $trillions before all is said and done.

This is what we were up against.

  • President Bush
  • Treasury Secretary Paulson
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • House Finance Chairman Barney Frank
  • CNBC Cheerleaders
  • CNN Cheerleaders
  • Bloomberg Cheerleaders
  • Prime Minister Gordon Brown
  • ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet

That is a pretty formidable list. We shocked the world on Monday when the bill failed to pass the house. No one expected that result. We also won a lot of concessions, at least in theory. It will be interesting to see if any of them are worth a damn in actual practice.

For all the fear mongering about financial Armageddon if the bill failed to pass, it is fittingly ironic that that the futures are in the red as I type. Perhaps the stock market rallies on passage in the House, perhaps not.

Regardless, the market will eventually come to the realization that this bill is not going to create any jobs, spur lending, help the stock market, or put sour consumers in a better state of mind. Instead, $250 billion was just wasted with more (up to $700 billion total coming).

There is always a chance the next president (Obama) comes to his senses and does not ask for whatever Bush and Paulson do not waste, but I suspect the entire $700 billion may be long gone before Obama is sworn in.

I personally am going to continue faxing Congress, actually everyone in Congress. If you wish to continue the fight, and I hope most do, concentrating on the Congressional Most Endangered List and your own Representatives is a good place to start.

And although I am carrying on until the bill passes or is killed in the House, I am not going to propose any new campaigns. There are enough examples out there and enough ideas already. You are on your own as to whether to participate or not. I hope many of you do.

I want to thank everyone who took the time to phone, fax, or email Congress. Maybe we made a difference on the amount that is going to be wasted. Maybe not. But we did all we could, and then some. You can all be proud of your efforts.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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