We have a bailout plan

Politicos worked out a financial bailout to be voted upon by Congress today. With a lot of details added, it is essentially the same one proposed last week, to spend $700 billion to buy up devalued mortgage securities. Bottom line: Should the Congress pass it or not?

Summit degenerates, but a new plan emerging

The summit presided over by President Bush–attended by congressional leaders, John McCain, and Barack Obama–degenerated into a shouting match, according to reporters. The plan to spend $700 billion to purchase bad securities is losing support, but House conservatives have put forward a plan for the federal government to insure the bad debts, not take them over. From what I can tell from the overheated article linked above, McCain seems to be going in that direction. That sounds far less socialist and expensive to me. It looks like it was McCain vs. Bush and Obama, who with the Democrats supports the president’s plan.

Small banks are doing fine

While the mega-banks are floundering, your little local bank is thriving. SeeSmaller Banks Thrive Out of the Fray of Crisis – washingtonpost.com. If you need a loan, go there.

The candidates’ day jobs & the bailout

What do you think of McCain’s gestureto suspend his campaign?

Both presidential candidates do have day jobs they should not neglect. They are both Senators. It is surely appropriate that they leave the campaign trail to come back to Washington to thrash out such an important piece of legislation as the bailout of our financial system.

A commentator on FOX said that now John McCain can present himself as riding in on a white horse, delivering the Republican votes, and so saving the economy.

Another pundit said that McCain should oppose the bill and thus present Barack Obama and George Bush as being on the same side. Of course, that’s not going to happen. On this major economic issue, the two candidates offer the voters no choice between them. They agree. In fact, they have issued a joint statement asking all Americans to come together on this.

What do you think? Were you convinced by the President’s speech? Are you coming together?

The government wants to buy up all bad loans

The way the proposed bailout plan works is that the government would buy all of those bad mortgages held by banks and investors. Now the plan has already been expanded to allow the government to buy up all “troubled assets,” including student loans, car debt, and even credit card debt (not from consumers, of course, but from the banks that aren’t collecting what people owe them).

Think of that. The government would be assuming the banks’ risks and bad investments. In regular socialism, the government at least nationalizes productive industries. In this government takeover of capitalism, the government is nationalizing only bad assets.

Opposition to this plan is growing, especially among the general public, even though both presidential candidates essentially support it.

Bush’s administration as the most leftist in history?

More from George Will’s provocative column:

The political left always aims to expand the permeation of economic life by politics. Today, the efficient means to that end is government control of capital. So, is not McCain’s party now conducting the most leftist administration in American history? The New Deal never acted so precipitously on such a scale. Treasury Secretary Paulson, asked about conservative complaints that his rescue program amounts to socialism, said, essentially: This is not socialism, this is necessary. That non sequitur might be politically necessary, but remember that government control of capital is government control of capitalism. Does McCain have qualms about this, or only quarrels?


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