Today’s testimony before the House Financial Services Committee by the usual suspects — Paulson, Bernanke and Bair — had a familiar combative tone.

Congress has made it clear that it wants funds from the $700 billion TARP program to be used to help consumers renegotiate toxic mortgages and prop up the automotive industry, among a host of other issues. Paulson now insists that his new direction of buying equity in financial institutions is the more prudent move, and he wants to preserve some dry powder for the next administration.

The problem with locking horns time and time again and letting politics hamper efforts to put the economy on track is that we — the consumers — are the losers of this debate. At some point, both sides must realize that there is no one solution.

There is no single answer. While this is the nature of politics, now is not the time for the same antics on Capitol Hill. As each day passes, more and more Americans are losing their jobs, losing their homes and losing hope in the American Dream.

If this is a time for “change” in America, then wake up, Congress, and realize that means you too.

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