The Aug. 27 newspaper says 9.9% of U.S. mortgage holders have missed at least one payment, down slightly from April 30′s record high, when it was above 10%. The newspaper did not have a headline that screamed the good news, like my headline above.

Seriously, being behind on a mortgage, being out of a job – or both – is tough. This is partly because the rich, who provide a lot of the U.S.’s net capital formation, are frightened. They have been promised higher taxes (the health care levy alone is large), bond rates are bouncing lower as the U.S. skirts lower credit ratings, and corporations – which are economic drivers, too – have hunkered down, shedding employees and inventory, so they can be lean and mean.

Did I mention the uncertainty over estate taxes? George Steinbrenner had to be a genius, right? He died in 2010, when there was no estate tax. People – the rich especially – hate uncertainty.

At any rate, this problem seems to feed upon itself. The rich are scared, corporations are frightened, and government is an uncertain trumpet (with apologies to Maxwell Taylor). We need certainty. Washington needs to state, without equivocation, what is going to happen. It seems to me only Washington – that wishy-washy place on the Potomac – can remove the doubt. We don’t need academic discussion; at least, I don’t think so. We need action, leadership and truth.

Have a sensational week.

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