Steven Pearlstine, economics writer for the WaPo, writes today:
Browsing through the Style section of yesterday's Post, I happened upon an article about new Washington "power couples" that made reference to one Jeremy Bernard, a Los Angeles fundraiser for President Obama who recently landed the plum job as White House liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities.
White House liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities?
Let's get this straight: We're up to our necks in the worst global economic crisis since the 1930s, the government is putting trillions of dollars of borrowed money on the line to rescue the financial system and stimulate the economy, tens of trillions of dollars in paper wealth has vaporized, millions of Americans are losing their homes and their jobs, nearly all the top jobs at the Treasury Department are vacant, yet somehow the White House has found the time and the money to hire a liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities!
It's a small point, I realize, and I mean no disrespect either to Mr. Bernard or the humanities. But it highlights what seems to be a glaring problem: There is still way too much business as usual going on in Washington, on Wall Street and in the media....
What we are facing is the economic equivalent of a war -- a war that caught us by surprise and threatens much of what we have taken for granted. It's a war we can win, but only if we have leaders and opinion makers who commit to difficult sacrifices, a sustained effort and serious changes in the way things are done.