I remember in 2008, after the crash of Lehman Brothers, and after the Treasury secretary let them go out of business, and watching President Bush look completely lost, waiting for the next domino to fall, as the financial markets had frozen, no credit was flowing.
Huge tankers were stuck in port with no funds to cover their fuel.
I had just come home to Berkeley from a New York trip where I wasn't sure if I wouldn't be stranded in NYC because the economy had crashed. I remember looking at the headlines of the Times and Daily News and feeling like I was living in a movie, this didn't feel real.
I was driving on Solano Ave in Berkeley with my friend Tori, and noted how normal everything looked. All the shops and restaurants were open. People were out on the street. I wondered if it would all be there a year later. I asked Tori if she thought it would. She said yes. I made a note to remember that. And it seems I have. (She was right, btw, it all was there a year later, as if nothing happened.)
I told that story to a young friend at dinner last night. We're all worried about what's coming next. We're pretty sure that our current president, the one who took over for Bush, could get us out of most crises, as he did then. But the Republicans now taking over are going down the exact same path that led us to the financial collapse of 2008.
They aren't even in office yet, but you can see the tax cuts coming, and dramatically increased spending. All of a sudden deficits aren't a problem. We suffer for years of deprivation and an unmanaged economy because the Repubs obstruct in Congress, until they take over, and now the checkbook is out, the credit card is about to be maxed, and you can be sure their friends and probably POTUS himself will be on the receiving end of our largesse. All of a sudden future generations be damned. Run up the deficit. Send more of future generations' money to the 1% of the 1%.
One of these days we won't survive a Republican-induced crisis. Right now, if Tori were here, I wonder what she would say (I'll send her a pointer to this story). Will the lights still be on one year from now? Me, I'm not so sure. ;-)