Economic bloodbath required for Bush's impeachment

It was George Santayana who felt patience and courage are necessary human virtues to our existence. And for many of us waiting for the impeachment of George W. Bush is certainly very trying with our patience… virtuosity aside.

Congressional legislators of both parties probably have it right to keep impeachment off the table. It would be a very unpopular thing to bring about when much of the nation, politicos as well as citizens, have been complicit to the happenings in Washington either by condoning the administration’s deceit, or by being part of it. Americans are just not quite ready to put themselves on trial. Accusing Bush and Cheney of high crimes and misdemeanors on the Iraq war is nothing short of passing sentence on ourselves.

Some of us can clamor to the four winds for the malefic-duo’s impeachment, but we know that it won’t do any good. We can reason that it might be the only way to get our credibility restored in the world, and our sense of morality retrieved, but the truth is that people don’t seem to much care. We can also appeal to our inner humanity by pointing to the pain, death and destruction brought about by these wars of choice that we are engaging in, but the compassion strings simply won’t play in tune with our pharisaical congregations during Sunday’s sermons.

Continuous deceit and criminality in government just don’t seem to warrant a high profile trial in the United States these days, and a handful of righteous congress people will never garner the support of their peers to get the vehicle started; much less to get anywhere with it.

There is, however, a sure-fire way to get Americans up in arms. All that’s needed is a reality check on the economy, and that may not be long in coming. And when that light goes on, people will forget their share of the blame, setting aside any thoughts of greed and waste, and start pointing fingers at the Bush Administration that got us there. Bush could easily become the Herbert Hoover of 2008 sans the brains or the compassion, even if the recession does not go into full bloom until the November election.

A river of blood that has been Iraq appears not to have faced Americans in a big way, but waking up to an economic bloodbath in late 2007 or early 2008 could easily enlist over two-thirds of the population in rebellion against a government that has been not only deceitful but incompetent and wasteful as well. At that time, even if Bush has only a few months left in his presidency, there will be calls for his head to roll… and there could be a major popular outcry for impeachment; and many of the religious, social and fiscal conservatives will repudiate him… if for no other reason than self-preservation.

The Fed is still painting a rosy, if cautious, picture of the short term economy, somehow dismissing, or at the very least downplaying, the true impact that the housing slump will have on the overall economy. But just as housing inflated to unsustainable values with 5, 10 or 15 trillion dollars of “hot air,” it will deflate much the same way, and we could be in for more than just a 3-5 year down cycle, experiencing something similar to Japan’s real estate purge which lasted over a decade. Home ownership, politically- touted for reaching almost 69%... is a wrong statistic to give when in “real equity” of land-brick-and-mortar actually owned (without fluff) Americans likely had a greater overall stake in their homes four decades ago.

Deceit as to the real state of the economy has been comparable to that given by the White House and Pentagon on the war, with both Fed and administration “ideologically” joining forces to achieve a form of political stability likely to bring dire future results. And in terms of economic blame, high crimes and misdemeanors were committed not just by Bush Son, but also by the Fed’s pontiff of almost two decades, saxophonist turned economic-wizard, Alan Greenspan.

Housing price-meltdown is likely to occur by late summer this year with repercussions in Wall Street within the following two quarters as corporate earnings start to deteriorate with little or no geographical padding for multi-nationals since the recession will have a global face. When all that happens, there will be no economic tools left for the Fed to use, or misuse, and fiscal and monetary policy won’t be able to save the day; or at least postpone the inevitable a little longer as it has been doing in the past, allowing crises to be passed on to future generations.

Without trying to appear as a latter-day Nostradamus on economic forecasting, I have had a contrarian view for at least a decade from that espoused by most mainstream economists, the National Association of Realtors and “for the most part” laughable monotonic choir at CNBC. But if results are in the pudding, I will say that I had the dot-com bubble burst perfectly pegged in both timing and severity almost two years before; and it’s starting to look as if my predictions two years ago on the current housing fiasco are happening true to course. I also indicated at that time that its sibling, commercial real estate, would undergo a comparable collapse two quarters thereafter in an arena that will appear even bloodier.

On that sad economic note, however, we will find some form of consolation by getting Messrs. Bush and Cheney impeached, and perhaps even some members of their retinue of political and corporate hacks indicted. And we might even find the courage and display the patriotic cojones to turn over some of these folks, who have masked themselves as public servants, to the International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague to be tried for war crimes. That will go a long way into restoring our credibility with the international community, and serve as a moral down payment on what we owe Iraq for the crimes we have perpetrated against them.

Patience and courage, George Santayana asks of us to attain virtuosity. We’re trying.