The fear that deficits and mounting debt will suffocate economic recovery and impede healthy growth has been tested over the last several years, and the results are not just unimpressive -- but painful when one looks at unemployment levels.
The election of 2012 raises two perplexing questions. The first is how the GOP could put up someone for president who epitomizes the excesses of casino capitalism that have nearly destroyed the economy. The second is why the Democrats have failed to point this out.
So sure, let's have a strong Volcker Rule. But how about a second rule -- call it a Common Sense Rule: Banks big enough to tank the world's economy should be held to standards at least as strict as the standards struggling homeowners have to meet.
We need to realize that it's the econometrics, stupid. If we do not, we will continue to develop, promote and implement policies, plans and programs that are mediocre at best and counter-productive at best.
Much like the 1930s, our slow climb out of the Great Recession has been made all the more difficult thanks to the unwillingness of austerity hawks in Congress to pass the president's jobs bill and other pieces of stimulus legislation.
Would you take money that your daughter needs for braces and make a short term loan to a Wall Street firm? Probably not, but if you've put your ready cash in a prime money market fund, those are the kinds of places where your money may be sitting now.
The choices being made today by leaders in Washington will determine if the titanic U.S. economy stays afloat or sinks further underwater. Choices that tilt in favor of the wealthy would come at the expense of those who are most vulnerable.
While it is tempting to blame the succession of economic crises on greedy executives, sub-prime mortgage pushers and others of that ilk, it is in fact much more a system problem than a sudden widespread collapse of human nature.