What did government do? Under the Bush administration, try to sweep the bank problem under the Troubled Asset Relief Program - literally, a TARP.
That having failed to spark confidence, the Democrats topped it with an $862 billion "stimulus" program of their own.
Newspapers across America now routinely carry tiny announcements about grants to towns or water systems or dance companies or municipal baubles - trickledown from the "stimulus" program.
Go to www.recovery.gov to see the nationwide picture. The map of the United States looks like a case of poison ivy superimposed on chickenpox and shingles.
It's both comical and tragic.
Each federal agency got money to throw around in each state. The recovery map records each spending decision, dot by dot, state by state, burg by burg.
And what do we have?
Not recovery, certainly. Not confidence. Not even the appearance of normalcy.
And small wonder. Government, here to help you, has piled $13 trillion in debt on people who lost $11.2 trillion of household net worth.
Confidence in the leaders of Wall Street, big banks, big insurance companies and big auto companies is at an all-time low.
Confidence in big government is lower still.
Americans trusted in delusional leadership in both cases.
Mathematics will not be denied.
Security comes from spending less than you make, and the western world is not doing that.
Individuals are not. Local governments are not. States are not. The federal government is not.
The western world needs a new political party, the Accountants, Mathematicians and Actuaries Party. In the short term, we need people who will do the math.
The long-term answer is inescapable - more personal responsibility and less welfare statism. We've proved that on both sides of the Atlantic.
Maurice is editorial page editor of the Daily Mail. She may be reached at 348-4802 or ha...@dailymail.com.