Monday, September 29, 2008

Back to the Drawing Boards

Anyone else cheering? Here's the bottom line: this bill was bad news. It didn't even accomplish the 'little things,' like capping executive pay and preventing "golden parachutes" as these executives are pushed out for basically ruining the entire economy. The execs who brought us this disaster don't deserve parachutes. They deserve to feel a semblance of the pain regular citizens have been feeling for close to a decade during the Bush economy, knowing that if the slightest thing goes wrong (health, job loss, etc.), they could hit the economic pavement from a thousand feet in the air, head first. This bill did nothing for proper oversight (do yourself a favor and read that link), ceding control over to the Bush admin and the people who were originally responsible for this failure, at least until Obama came in office - $350 billion too late.

Of course, we'll see another bill - and soon. Congress is not going home. My advice to Frank and Pelosi: focus on the Democrats, not the Republicans. There's 95 Democrats who voted against this thing. If they want this thing passed, they've got to get 70 or 80 of those Democrats on board. How does Frank and Pelosi manage to do that? Write a bill Democrats can be proud of. If the President were to veto it, it would only go to show that they clearly don't think this is a crisis. At that point, the Democrats have done their job and can feel guilt free in letting predatory lenders go bankrupt.

It shouldn't be too hard to get a majority in Congress just from within the Democratic Party. Make this a much smaller bailout that keeps the companies afloat while we seriously look at the industries needs - and prevent this from being just their last opportunity to raid the cookie jar. Obama can then come in and build a coalition from within Congress, without having to worry about Bush's veto pen.

Better yet, use Wall Street to solve Wall Street's problems - and make this bailout revenue neutral. Tax each transaction on Wall Street .25 cents a transaction and this government raises $350 billion a year, paying for whatever bailout Wall Street needs. That's the only way to make sure more wealth in this country isn't redistributed from Main Street to Wall Street, while also sending the investors who started this whole mess a message that they are going to be held responsible for it one way or the other. No, we're not going to let the economy go in the tank because of greedy scum who can't manage their way out of a paper bag, but neither are we going to pay for it, either. That's true accountability - and that's something the American people could rally behind.

No comments:

About Ryan's Take