Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bailout Alternatives

Let me be crystal clear. My objections to the Bush-Paulson bailout package definitely do not track with the reasons offered by the conservative House Republicans. I have nothing in common with those people other than this: we agree that the current administration bailout plan is wrong. That's where the similarity ends. The conservative ideologues who voted down the plan yesterday did it because it offends their principles. They still cling to the nonsense of unfettered free market and minuscule government foisted upon us by Reagan. These people want no government, basically, and certainly no government intervention into the affairs of business. Needless to tell you, I am precisely the opposite.

As I've said over the past week or so, I cannot stomach this plan not because government intervenes, but because it intervenes by rewarding the financial industry for recklessness and greed. As Congressman Dennis Kucinich points out the premise of the proposed bailout is ridiculous. Borrow--BORROW--$700 billion and use it to buy unadulterated dung, the toxic waste investments on the balance sheets of the biggest companies on Wall Street. And, secondly, because no serious consideration has been given to any other proposal other than Bush's. The Bush plan is the only plan.

Well it isn't. Here is a list of alternative plans. I'm not aware that the party leaders (and certainly not the Administration) have given any thought to these at all:

1. Bill King Plan
2. Republican Study Committe plan
3. House Republicans' proposal
4. James K. Galbaith plan
5. Senator Bernie Sanders' plan
6. John Paulson plan
7. Lucian B. Bebchuck plan
8. Noriel Rubini's plan
9. "Swedish model"
10. Ten alternatives listed on RGE Monitor (some duplicates)

My point is not that any one of these plans is the solution. (I think #5 is the best one.) Indeed, there are serious flaws in several of them. The point is a host of alternatives that do not involve sticking the taxpayers with Wall Street's garbage have been proposed to solve this crisis. To pass the Bush administration's kiss-the-ass-of-Wall-Street bailout because he and Paulson have put a cocked gun to the Congress's head is the height of folly. The absurdity of rushing into a new $700 billion debt without due and studious consideration needs no further discussion.

Bye the bye, the stock market is up 260 points as I write this.
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