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Reese Schonfeld Headshot

Bush League Economics

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Back in the 1990s, when George W. Bush was running the Texas Rangers, before he was running the United States of America, he attended a meeting of major league owners to discuss "revenue-sharing." The meeting was intended as an introduction to the subject and an instructional guide to how it would operate and how teams might best accommodate to it. It included a Power Point presentation from the Commissioner's office, followed by a question and answer session.

The following information comes to me from a single source. He is one of the most reliable and ethical business men with whom I have ever dealt. He was in the room with George Bush while the presentation was being made. Several years ago he told me under a strict rule of non-attribution that George Bush was the only baseball man there who could not grasp the principles of revenue-sharing. Despite the Power Point, despite the Q and A, Bush couldn't figure out what it meant to his team.

Following the meeting, the Commissioner's office arranged for a one-on-one tutorial session with Bush to walk him through the plan and explain all its details in the simplest possible language. Bush still didn't get it. I was told that it wasn't until the Commissioner's office flew people into Dallas and briefed Bush's staff on revenue-sharing that Bush and the office were satisfied the Rangers knew how to operate under it.

All of the above came back to me over the past week as I've watched the President attempt to explain to the American people why our economy needed help; listen to him stammer and stumble through his teleprompter speeches as he vainly attempts to acquaint Americans with the nature of our "serious financial crisis." So far, despite his speeches, and his occasional brief live statements, he has yet to convince Americans of the urgency of our financial situation. He looks and sounds like he's just reading other people's words, and I think that's all he's doing.

Based on what I know of his experience with baseball, I don't think the President himself has any understanding of what may happen to our economy unless someone steps in and takes charge. He isn't the man for it, and the Congress of the United States has demonstrated that it doesn't accept Secretary Paulson as the man for it either. The solution to our problems to our problems seems out of Bush's league -- we have a bush league President trying to deal with a major league problem.