"We are now witnessing the end of prosperity," said Arthur Laffer in The Wall Street Journal. "Financial panics, if left alone, rarely cause much damage to the real economy." But the government isn't leaving this one alone, and if you think Washington politicians have done a bad job running the post office, Amtrak, Fannie Mae, and the military, "just wait till you see what they'll do with Wall Street."

There's plenty of bad news out there, to be sure, said Donald Lambro in The Washington Times. But the great Warren Buffett is "bullishly" running around snapping up bargains, "declaring there is no better time to buy a piece of corporate America at fire-sale prices." Stocks and home values are sinking in the wake of the mortgage and credit debacle, but "the good news is that the government has put in place all the tools necessary" to pull us out of a sharp recession early next year.

Our next president will have to make some tough decisions to put us back on the right track, said Jim Gomes in The Boston Globe. Unfortunately, both John McCain and Barack Obama are busy spouting "sunny bromides" about America's greatness instead of spelling out how to fix a nation addicted to foreign oil and debt spending. Sorry, guys, "it's not 1958 anymore."