Sunday, November 16, 2008

A sensible politician.

John Howard is very sensible.  He is also, unfortunately, both Australian and retired (defeated?). He was until this year the Prime Minister of Australia, a conservative and a stalwart ally of our War on Terror.  (I hate that name.)

I caught an interview he did yesterday with Neil Cavuto.  I've tried to find a video, transcript, anything, because what he had to say was so clear and so simple.  Neil asked his opinion of how the worldwide economic collapse had happened.  Howard was very clear:  you can't force the financial markets to carry out your social policy.  Let the financial markets carry out their purpose, and let your welfare be welfare.  So the U.S. incentives (strong-arming?) to provide mortgages to people less than fully qualified for them was completely ill-advised, in his opinion.  

I like that...I don't mind providing welfare for some people, but call it what it is.  Don't call it "subprime mortgages," and don't call it a tax rebate for people who never paid taxes.  Just call it welfare.  There is power in the language that you use.  And if I can find a copy of the interview, I'll post it.  Howard's speaking style is striking, direct and clear, not only because of that Aussie accent.

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