Washington's political Establishment has taken careful aim and shot itself in the foot in its latest razzle-dazzle over the largest financial scandal in the nation's history -- the savings and loan mess costing hundreds of billions and still climbing. If the injury were confined to the mismanagers of government, the republic would get along just fine. Unfortunately, that bullet has ricocheted and is heading right for the taxpayers.
For months, Congress and the White House knew there would have to be new legislation by April 1 to supply the agency charged with the S&L clean-up with more funds to close down failing thrifts and sell off their over-valued assets. But April Fools Day came and went without action to replenish the Resolution Trust Corp. Surely something would be done before the congressional spring break began in mid-April? After all, the delay was costing $2.5 million a day -- an estimated $200 million overall. But that's peanuts to a government adding $1 billion every day to the national debt. So, again, nothing happened.
It is a matter of faith mixed with reason inside the beltway that the S&L problem someday, somehow will be dealt with. There still are thrifts out there that have to be liquidated or merged with stronger financial institutions. They have on their books hundreds of billions of dollars in real estate properties and other assets that have to be sold off or taken over in the deals the RTC negotiates.