Honest Answers about the Financial Collapse

Deregulation, Disaster, and What Happens Next
Filed under Uncategorized

The Generals in charge of our economy have taken a page out of the Administration’s Iraq strategy. They have decided that only a massive infusion of resources – an astounding $700,000,000,000 in taxpayer money – can save Wall Street from the terrible forces of the marketplace.

This is a make or break moment in American history, and it’s becoming clear that Congress is not up to the task.

Wall Street’s demand for a bailout of every imaginable “bad debt” ought to be rejected out of hand. Instead, we are seeing draft legislation paying lip service to Main Street as a face saving gesture that will cloak passage of a bailout by Friday, so that members of Congress can leave town Friday night. No one on the Hill wants to be responsible for slowing things down – even though that’s exactly what’s needed.

I was a lobbyist for Public Citizen, the D.C.-based citizen advocacy group, back in the late 1970s when Congress panicked in the face of the Gulf states’ oil embargo and passed $20 billion in federal subsidies for “synthetic fuels” and a $37 billion publicly-financed, privately-owned natural gas pipeline from Alaska. Both were boondoggles whose beneficiaries were banks and energy companies, not Americans.

Buying a house requires ten times the amount of paperwork that this $700,000,000,000 bailout is going to require if Congress just rubber-stamps the Treasury plan.

A hasty financial “surge” is going to be a catastrophe for taxpayers.

Comments Off on Congress to Okay “Surge,” Get Out of Town? Posted by Harvey Rosenfield on Monday, September 22nd, 2008


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