It appears that enough people have spoken out against the initial proposal by Sec. of Treasury Henry Paulson that the hammer crew got together yesterday and very nearly came to an agreement on modifications. Those modifications, to my economically untrained mind, seem to have been good ones — give some oversight to the bailout, phase it in, put caps on executive pay in some way, and in some basic ways get something in return.

If you read my earlier posts on this subject you know I strongly objected to it in the original form. I felt, as did many, that yes, the government was going to have to do something but that needed to have protections, oversight, and returns for taxpayer money. Essentially, they were going to throw our money at Wall Street and hope it solved the problem. Now it appears that intelligence has prevailed. Or perhaps it was just taxpayer outrage that prevailed.

The economic stimulus package ($167 Billion) gave many of us $300 or $600 checks earlier this year which we were instructed to immediately go spend. Now we were being told that $2,300 per person was going to go to this $700 Billion proposed bailout program. Granted, this was not money that came directly from our pockets, it was tax money we have already or will be paying, but nonetheless, when you put the two packages side by side and look at them very simply, that is depleting tax money by 867 Billion dollars. That is a mindboggling amount of money.

A package will be approved even though House Republicans felt empowered to balk due to John McCain’s arrival in his “straight talk express” to save the day. They, House and Senate Republicans, need to remember their role in dismantling regulations that prevented this kind of economic meltdown. McCain has been a long-time opponent of regulation, just this week changing his stated opinion. Deregulation combined with the war in Iraq (See Think Progress, Sept. 26) are major elements of our current but foreseen by many financial crisis.

Chan Lowe
Sep 19, 2008

It seems to me that Congress must pass something soon, if not today. It has been announced, everyone is expecting it and now many of the problems with the original are being worked out. It seems to be the best of a bad situation.


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