Sunday, September 21, 2008

Since I Already Have a Sinus Headache and Must Conserve What Functioning Brain Cells I Have for Homework

I've avoided thinking about the travesty that is the $700 million, strings-free, oversight-free, reform-free Wall Street bailout. For starters, I can't quite wrap my feeble post-cold mind around that sum: three-quarters of a trillion in taxpayer dollars. And, second, in terms of sheer hubris, it's like they're cranking the outrage meter up to Nigel Tufnel's 11, again, which is starting to do permanent damage to my psyche. I have, however, been wondering how Obama would respond to this proposal, given the almost-universal expert condemnation of it. I am pleased:

As of now, the Bush Administration has only offered a concept with a staggering price tag, not a plan. Even if the U.S. Treasury recovers some or most of its investment over time, this initial outlay of up to $700 billion is sobering. And in return for their support, the American people must be assured that the deal reflects the basic principles of transparency, fairness, and reform.

First, there must be no blank check when American taxpayers are on the hook for this much money.

Second, taxpayers shouldn’t be spending a dime to reward CEOs on Wall Street.

Third, taxpayers should be protected and should be able to recoup this investment.

Fourth, this plan has to help homeowners stay in their homes.

Fifth, this is a global crisis, and the United States must insist that other nations join us in helping secure the financial markets.

Sixth, we need to start putting in place the rules of the road I’ve been calling for for years to prevent this from ever happening again.

And finally, this plan can’t just be a plan for Wall Street, it has to be a plan for Main Street. We have to come together, as Democrats and Republicans, to pass a stimulus plan that will put money in the pockets of working families, save jobs, and prevent painful budget cuts and tax hikes in our states.

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