News

$700 billion question: Why rush?

BY Ken Clark

“Secretary Paulson’s proposal for a $700 billion grant of power with no legislative oversight and no judicial review…is an invitation to corruption and tyranny.”

Who wrote that? Some left-wing nut job out to smear the administration? No. That’s Newt Gingrich, the scheduled speaker at the ProDealer Industry Summit, scheduled to take place Oct 2.

“We could very well spend $700 billion, and not resolve the crisis.” Who said that? Some ranting blogger trying to score cheap political points? No. That’s Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican Senate Banking committee member.

Ladies and gentlemen, for years this industry has objected to reckless and poorly reasoned government intervention in the affairs of business. And now comes this $700 billion cash for trash proposal to prop up Wall Street?

Many see wisdom in the plan. The situation is dire, The economy requires major surgery to fend off disaster. We can pay now, or pay much more later. This is the position that’s eloquently defended by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). In its most recent statement, the association of the nation’s builders said “there’s no time to waste” and urged legislation that would rescue the U.S. economy “before conditions deteriorate to a point that could trigger a global financial meltdown.”

By coincidence, NAHB president Jerry Howard is also scheduled to speak at the ProDealer Industry Summit. (Note to summit staff: good job getting topical speakers!)

News flash: This editorial writer doesn’t have the solution to America’s financial problem. But I do have healthy skepticism for any hurry-up-and-approve plan to spend $700 billion of taxpayer’s money.

The Treasury Secretary who is calling for the bailout hasn’t shown what I consider to be an admirable record in anticipating the effects of government bailouts and intervention. On Sept. 15, for instance, he championed “the soundness and resilience” of our financial system. At press time, he’s saying something very different. Who knows what he’ll say later?

This legislation has to be crafted in a way to avoid the recklessness that got the economy into this mess. Taxpayers should get something to show for their money in the form of equity. Executives on the receiving end of subsidies have to feel some pain—it’s only fair.

“I believe companies that make bad decisions should be allowed to go out of business.”

Who said that? Somebody out to discredit the president? Actually, that was the president himself, speaking directly to the people late last month. Of course, he went on to explain why he intended to act contrary to that belief.

Why not just let them die and be done with it? That may be as reckless as investing in subprime mortgage-backed securities. My personal feeling: do something, but don’t do anything so fast.

There’s a chance this editorial came too late: a law may have already been enacted by the time you read this. If that’s the case, just apply the above to the next bailout.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

How concerned are you that a trade war could hurt your business?
News

Arthur Blank named chairman of Golf & Tennis Pro Shop

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank has been named chairman of the board for Golf & Tennis Pro Shop, owner and operator of PGA Tour Superstores. The move also marked Blank’s debut on the company’s board of directors.

Blank replaces Golf & Tennis Pro Shop founder Bill Hamlin, who is retiring, according to a statement from the company.

Blank is described as having been a “significant investor” in the company since 2006. He also serves as CEO of the Atlanta Falcons.

“I am honored to be leading the board of this exciting retail concept,” Blank said in a statement. “PGA Tour Superstore has real potential to further solidify its leadership position in the golf and tennis retail segments, by continuing to enhance its business model and through future store growth. I, along with our other board members, look forward to guiding the company in both these areas.”

The company was founded in 2004 and has since grown to 10 superstores nationwide.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

How concerned are you that a trade war could hurt your business?
News

Vermilion Hardware to close after almost 150 years

BY HBSDEALER Staff

After nearly 150 years — 62 in the same family — Vermilion Hardware in Vermilion, Ohio, will be closing its doors before the end of the year, according to the Chronicle-Telegram newspaper.

The store, purchased by Henry and Edna Bailey in 1946, is now being run by their granddaughter, president Denise Fahrney, 34, as well as Fahrney’s father and sister. It is the oldest business in Vermilion.

Andy Grote, one of 10 store employees, said the store will probably close by mid-November.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

How concerned are you that a trade war could hurt your business?