Poll: Do You Support The Bailout?

Lawmakers are hashing out the details of a huge taxpayer-funded bailout of Wall Street in an attempt to keep afloat the system of banks whose willingness to lend drives this economy’s growth. Constituents have flooded their representatives phone lines and inboxes with with their heated reactions. What do you think?(Photo: Getty)

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  1. Toof_75_75 says:

    A government “solution” for a government created problem…How about, no…

    • ThickSkinned says:

      @Toof_75_75: Damn straight. This latest economic crises was manufactured and purposefully done. Is it a coincidence that this is happening close to the election? And how did Bush act so quickly when he was unable to ever act quickly before? I guarantee the bailout plan has been drafted for months. George was hoping he could finally be the hero riding in on a white horse to save us all from economic armageddon. What he didn’t count on was the public and congress saying no to his ‘brilliant’ plan which gives the usual power with no accountability the administration is used to.

      And for anyone who has not called their congressman to voice their opinions, here is a link to find who you should call: [www.congressmerge.com]

    • boxjockey68 says:

      @Toof_75_75: You said exactly what I was thinking.

  2. NightSteel says:

    I think we need another option in the poll; “Yes, but with oversight and tight controls on what is done with that money”.

    • ironchef says:

      @NightSteel: Yeah. This poll sucks. It caters to oversimplifying the situation.

      Those against the bailout are simply cutting off their nose to spite the face.

      • picardia says:

        @ironchef: I agree. Something’s got to be done, but if we are going to spend this enormous amount of money, we should also address the causes of the situation to ensure that the bailout actually changes things in the long term, not just the short term.

        • Trai_Dep says:

          @picardia: Reasonable economists suggest that the solution isn’t so much with the paper, but the Wall Street firms find themselves undercapitalized after having to mark-to-market their fanciful valuations of the CDOs. That is, buying the bad mortgages won’t solve the problem (and there will be need for yet another bailout once we’ve spent the $700B.
          I’d like to see more investigation into this theory before we spend unimaginable gobs of money. As well as restoring the restrictions that allowed this to happen, of course. FDR FTW!!

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @ironchef: Yup. I’d like to see a poll with a checkbox type format with:
        * Swap equity in participating firms for loans
        * Only loan at rates likely to result in net gain for US taxpayers
        * Re-negotiate mortgages held by distressed homeowners
        * Replace (well fire, baybie!) Exec Staff of participating firms
        * Pair bailout with robust investigation of fraud and RICO
        * Ensure shareholders share the pain

        …what else would be reasonable quid-pro-quo for a jagillion-dollar handout to Wall Street?

    • @NightSteel: Yeah definitely need more options. I don’t like it but from what I am hearing it needs to happen or things will only get worse so I guess I support it.

  3. chris_l says:

    The poll isn’t really as robust as it needs to be. Are we asking if you support the “cut a blank check to Paulson so he can bail out his former employer with no oversight whatsoever” bailout, or Barney Frank’s “we didn’t lend, we bought a chunk of you” bailout?

  4. mac-phisto says:

    i support the “give them pails with no bottoms” bailout.

  5. JohnDeere says:

    umm, sure if it works. and umm, no if it wont. kinda a bad poll.

    • sir_eccles says:

      @JohnDeere: Good point. Further to which I don’t think anyone really knows:
      a) what will happen if we don’t do the bail out?
      b) will the bail out work?
      c) what does it mean “will the bail out work”?
      d) who is really benefiting from this?
      e) assuming a bail out is needed, is this the right way to go about it?
      f) insert question of choice

    • montecon says:

      @JohnDeere:

      It’s like having a poll saying, “Do you support taxes?”

  6. u1itn0w2day says:

    Some regulation changes perhaps but it all comes back to the GREED of the home buyers and financial institutions.

    And if the regulators were doing there job with existing laws or made more minor adjustments and changes things would be a lot better off.

    My favorite is ‘we don’t know what is in these things’-that’s an auditors job including the SEC.

  7. I don’t support ANY bailout for rich people on Wall Street while average people have no health care and are struggling to pay for $4 gasoline.

    I don’t care WHAT the details are, bailing out the rich is STUPID. It’s flat-out anti-capitalist, too. That they’d even suggest it is an obvious sign that our government has been taken over by corporations and their armies of lobbyists, who obviously would prefer capitalism-as-long-as-it-makes-and-keeps-them-rich.

    Fuck them. Twice.

    • nicklogan says:

      @Mary Marsala with Fries: yeah I whole heartly do not support this fucked up fix. Its great when companies make a profit and keep it themselves, but when they need a bailout the public has eat the bill. whats up with that.

    • Ajh says:

      @Mary Marsala with Fries: $1 for two valencia oranges. They were very good. My doctor says I should eat healthy..but I can’t afford it when gas cuts more into my grocery money, and food prices are rising… I wonder what I could do with all the money the wall street people actually have right now…

  8. K J says:

    If this:
    [online.wsj.com]
    has any basis in reality, then yes. (Quick summary – “My analysis suggests that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (a former investment banker, no less, not a trader) may pull off the mother of all trades, which could net a trillion dollars and maybe as much as $2.2 trillion — yes, with a “t” — for the United States Treasury.”)

    But no way I’m supporting a blank check with no oversight, based on recent history. (see Iraq, Dept. of Homeland Security, FISA, Justice Dept., etc.)

  9. nataku8_e30 says:

    I guess I would have to interpret the support the bailout option as “do you support a government bailout in any shape or form” not just with the specific previsions that have already been suggested or agreed on. Some of the arguments for the bailout are valid, but will require the government to actually manage the loans directly and re-negotiate interest rates and payment terms with the loan holders. Even with this management, there will still be defaults due to a) people who could pay off the mortgage, but won’t because their house is now worth so much less than they owe that it doesn’t make financial sense to do so and b) people scamming the system, but neither of these should actually account for $700,000,000,000. In addition, if the government can actually prevent some foreclosures, it should help alleviate the areas whose property values are plummeting due to the number of foreclosed homes in the neighborhood that are just decaying.

    Also, I think it’s necessary to distribute the blame for this situation a little more evenly. It’s not entirely the federal government’s fault and it’s not entirely Wall Street’s fault. There is also some culpability that lies with home owners who lied about income, loan officers who encouraged this and other irresponsible lending practices, realtors who helped to artificially inflate home values, etc…

  10. HIV 2 Elway says:

    Given the alternative? Yes.

    • HFC says:

      @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: Which is what? People who made bad loans go broke (and the businesses who thought they were a good idea)? Fat cats who have been making millions of dollars on the stock market lose some of their wealth? The country disintegrates and we all die?

      • HIV 2 Elway says:

        @HFC: Good businesses not having access to needed credit. Companies borrow all the time and must be able to do so if they are to continue to succeed. If they can’t borrow, you don’t get paid. All of which can lead to a run on banks which leads to chaos. No one wants increased inflation but given the paths we have to go down, it’s the lesser of two evils.

  11. mtarget says:

    Only if they march the bastards that caused this whole thing off to the big house.

    • socialSTD says:

      @mtarget:

      They should also make the top level execs put some of their own money into this. Considering they made oodles of money while destroying this countries economy.

  12. @chris_l: To my mind the latter is not a bailout per se. It is the gov’t investing in a troubled, but profitable business.

    There needs to be a definative process for deciding to whom and when those funds are distributed. Like Sweden did back in 1992. Before the gov’t would even consider giving out monies they company had to sell off all of their depreciated assetts for whatever they could get for it (generally 20% of original value or less). Then if they still felt they needed money they could ask for a gov’t investment.

    • ivanthemute says:

      @valarmorghulis: Agreed and then some. Some of the companies involved, like AIG, are generally sound but need cash to cover an emergency shortfall (maybe we ought to do it like a payday loan (kidding))

  13. VeryPlainJane says:

    I guess Republicans are not so much for a Free Market anymore?

  14. TecmoTech says:

    Hmm, the early poll results point strongly to “No”. Why is this being passed again? Are our Representatives not representing us?

    I don’t get it.

  15. RStewie says:

    I don’t support it at all. Let them burn. America needs to rise up from some ashes every once in a while.

    And this whole “DO IT NOW” is complete and utter bullshit. The market is working, no one is dying from these banks not being bailed out as of today. Let it go, and enact changes as they are needed.

    Giving anyone a check for $700B is a bad idea, and even worse when it’s paid for by the sweat and equity of America’s working poor and middle class.

    • writegud says:

      @RStewie:
      This is dead on.

      Remember all those stories we’ve been told about the great American spirit? And how ideas laid carefully over the ideals of our founding fathers made this country great? Well, no one on Capitol Hill does, so no wonder the rest of us have lost sight of them, too.

      We all need to get off our lazy I-want-it-now asses and get back to work. Innovation and creativity are tools of the people because they are free. Use them, America and maybe we won’t have to have this discussion any more.

    • PDX909 says:

      @RStewie:

      I completely agree with you. It’s a slap in the face to people that work hard, live within their means and borrowed knowing they could repay the debt. If I know my heard earned money is going to contribute to a $22 million dollar paycheck for some Wall Street suit then I’m going to be pissed.

    • camille_javal says:

      @RStewie: they burn, we burn.

      My choice would be option #3 – get in a time machine and intervene to an lesser extent when that would still be enough – but it’s too late. If we don’t put money into the system, it will stop. Banks will not lend money. Businesses tend to operate on a constant flow of lent money – there are very few businesses without debt. The economy will pretty much grind to a halt.

      As many others above mention, I believe in the government investment bailout, along with obviously increased oversights (hey, how about 99% of your assets not be in liabilities?). But the repercussions of just letting them burn involve a lot of people who had nothing to do with any of the investment banks getting laid off, and that affects all of us.

      • RStewie says:

        @camille_javal: My main issue with this is the huge price tag that can’t be associated with any actual costs. There are other banks out there that are still going strong, and a lot of credit unions and other institutions that didn’t blow their wad on hinky mortgage-based bullshit investments. These are the insitutions we need to save.

        The others…they’re collateral damage to their own board members and CEO’s greed. Let them burn. The market will right itself in time, and yes, it’s a hard road to walk, but it’s not right to just give away the bank, hoping that it will do something (anything).

    • RvLeshrac says:

      @RStewie:

      Unfortunately, you can’t enact changes “as they’re needed.”

      We’ll be lucky if we get a responsible bailout package within the next month. Congress cannot act fast enough to put out a fire, they can only work to (hopefully) prevent it.

  16. K J says:

    It also makes me nervous that everybody working on this plan in Congress were bought and paid for by the guys needing the bailout.

  17. CarlR says:

    Whatever “oversight” is built in, you can bet that the administration’s response will be that it doesn’t have to tell anyone how much money it gave to what companies, when it was given, or what the terms were. For “national security concerns”.

  18. @ironchef: Agreed, it should clarify wheither it is refering to any bailout-type action whatsoever, or the current 3-page $700B gift being discussed now.

    As for your second statment, care to expand upon that? I’m a little confused by the oversimplifying of the situation.

  19. xerotope says:

    If we can afford to socialize Wall Street, then we can certainly afford to socialize health care.

  20. nicemarmot617 says:

    I support a government intervention. I don’t support *this* government invention which strikes me as nothing more than another evil attempt by this administration to take taxpayers money and power and place it in the hands of the corrupt few.

    • startertan says:

      @nicemarmot617: Agreed. As most people have said, something needs to be done but it needs to be monitored and scrutinized with a fine tooth comb. My other thought is that if these a-hole CEOs leave those companies with any kind of “bonus” then there will literally be hell to pay. I think we will see actual rioting if this occurs.

  21. MissPeacock says:

    I’d like to see an “I don’t know” option, because even though I’ve been reading a lot about it and hearing from both sides, I’m honestly torn as to what is best for our country. It feels like a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario. I’d also like to see how many others are confused on the issue.

    • Ajh says:

      @MissPeacock: I’m not entirely sure what the results of not giving them the money will be, but I do know that either way we’re heading for hard times…and what better way to start it than by not helping the criminals that caused all this.

  22. WickedKoala says:

    So I’m assuming that everyone against the bailout is ready to deal with the alternative? Enjoy!

    • Notsewfast says:

      @WickedKoala:

      I think the ‘NO’ responders are probably those who believe that it should not pass as it is currently slated. Very little damage will be done to the economy if this process takes slightly longer and yields a fair and well thought out plan.

      Passing legislation as a gut reaction is the kind of thing that causes problems long term. We’ve done that once or twice this decade, i think most people oppose rushing into something that is ‘a sure thing’ nowadays.

      • WickedKoala says:

        @Secret Agent Man:

        I agree that the original proposal by Paulson and Barnanke was, for lack of a better word, bizarre.

        From what I can tell, the changes that are being made should appease to a lot more people.

        The market reactions should tell you exactly how this is going to play out. It went up on just the idea that Congress will pass a bill – imagine them not doing anything at this point – it will retract probably upwards of 30% – at that’s just with the news and not necessarily because any other banks have failed.

        • Notsewfast says:

          @WickedKoala:

          The stock market is up, sure, but there is a difference between the financial markets and the economy. Stock prices will rise on speculation that banks will turn themselves around with a big check from the government and our problems will be solved, but that doesn’t meant it will happen. The Federal reserve’s primary concern should be the economy, i.e. the fundamentals of our financial system, not the swings in the currently volatile stock market. It worries me to hear The President on TV speaking about movements in the DJIA. The markets should react to The President and The Fed, not vice-versa.

      • Jakuub says:
  23. lpranal says:

    I thought that this was supposedly a loan that would have to be paid back, with a lot of interest that would go to the taxpayer?

    Or did that idea not sound opulent enough to the hedge fund managers?

  24. Notsewfast says:

    My gut reaction is ‘no’, but thinking it through, here’s what I think should happen:

    1. The federal government should be the lender of last resort. I think an agency, either public or private (preferably private), should be created to bridge the gap between homeowners and mortgage-backed asset holders and negotiate terms to ensure as little failure as possible. Only after they are able to show that they fall below a certain risk level will they be able to qualify for a loan from the taxpayers.

    2. If a qualifying institution is still in need of a loan, the federal government will receive an equity stake in the institution (proportional to the size of the loan) in addition to the return from the loan.

    3. Those companies that take out a loan are required to forgo any bonus programs (including severance) for their executives until the loan is paid in full.

    This will fix the problems from the top & the bottom while ensuring that institutions don’t fail and bonuses aren’t paid with taxpayer money

  25. xamarshahx says:

    Most people think this is free money, it is not, the government will in the end make money off these deals on interest if these companies pull out and do well. If they collapse, all of our 401ks and investments would suffer greatly since a lot of them are probably with the big guys like Merrill and Lehman. The bailout AIG got means the US government now owns 80% of AIG (a $1 trillion dollar company on paper) and gets repaid at 12% interest on the $85 billion loan. With the $700 billion, their should be new regulations put in, years of lack of oversight caused this, but now we need to fix it, and make sure it does not happen again. Punishing these companies will mean lost money for us and 100,000s of layoffs across wall street which would significantly effect the economy. Not everyone on wall street makes a million dollars a year.

    • lpranal says:

      @xamarshahx: Thanks for clearing that up. That’s what I thought , I wasn’t sure if something had dramatically changed. From what I understand, the companies are getting raped on the interest rates as well. Damn well better be, it’s my money! In any case, The problem is that while AIG , for example, has all that collateral – in the case of default, the government can’t just sell off the company bit by bit – AIG has to do that. But still, A trillion dollar company is about as strong backing as it gets these days, outside of a big ole’ pile of gold. Speaking of which…. why haven’t we sold fort knox yet, again?

  26. Crymson_77 says:

    I voted Yes and I will tell you why. Without the bailout, the world economy will crash. You think things are expensive now, try paying $20 for a gallon of milk. That is the type of problem we would be facing if the bailout did not occur. We narrowly avoided this when they lent $89 billion to AIG as their collapse would have caused the same thing to occur. The financial markets and their drivers, the banks, are a fickle beast that doesn’t play well with others when it is sick. Because of that, and the fact that these same markets are what is behind every business in the world, we need to be extra careful about how we proceed. Throwing money at the problem is, very unfortunately, the only solution that is likely to cause the least amount of shakeup.

    • xphilter says:

      @Crymson_77: but if we bail them out now wouldn’t it be safe to assume that the same people (greedy people) will do the same thing (be greedy) and we will be facing another, larger, collapse in a decade or two? Why not let them fail now and deal with the consequences? Just load up on rice now and you’ll be fine =)

  27. chauncy that billups says:

    Man, do people not understand? This bailout, for worse, is now linked inextricably to the market. If it fails, market reaction will be overwhelmingly negative -say 20 -30% contraction. People may say “let it happen.” I wonder if you’ll be saying that when your banking site is down and the local branch has locked its doors, and you can’t get to your checking account. A bank run is a very real possibility, and anything that prevents that is necessary. Sure, its a bad plan. At this point, doing nothing is far, far worse.

  28. K0MMIE says:

    700 billion is such an odd number, lets just go for 1 Trillion.

  29. alexcassidy says:

    @RStewie: Thank you!!! That’s what I’m saying. It seemed as though a lot of people I know have been saying “Well, I think the bill should include X” or “…shouldn’t include Y”. Why is there a bill at all? Let ‘em burn, dammit. Wall Street made their bed, they shouldn’t be getting a CENT of my money. There are a lot of better things that could be done with $700B.

  30. u1itn0w2day says:

    I keep on hearing we have to get the housing prices back up and housing contruction started again.

    W T F-the ‘old’ housing prices or artifically high/inflated prices they’re talking about were created by this subprime mess.

    Then with an over supply why do you want to go on another mandated building boom.

  31. ElliottCaffeina says:

    No, there should be no bail out. I would rather the money be used to set up regulation, auditing, and quality assurance jobs to manage the rest of the economic mess.

    I would also prefer that any company bailed out by the federal government have the C members (CEO, CFO, CMO) have all their family assests seized and pieces of the company autioned off, such as computer equipment, office space, etc.

    That way the stock price will be frozen and the proceeds can be used to pay the stock holders first.

    I like how we use social responsibility to alleviate private debt…hmm sounds like bankruptcy, and I think those laws should be changed as well.

  32. holocron says:

    Provide a “bail out” of citizens. We’re saddled with debt (some from our own mistakes). Bail out the consumer and they will give the consumer Liquidity. They will then inject that liquidity into the market as they see fit.

    • WickedKoala says:

      @holocron:

      To let Wall St. essentially fail yet provide money directly to tax payers would cost infinitely more money in the end for it to have any effect. Providing a couple grand to someone with a foreclosed home will not do anything to help their situation. They may pay off a credit card, but that home will still sit there empty and the bank, if it still exists, will still be holding the bad mortgage. This is why it has to start from the top.

  33. Cupajo says:

    I support A bailout. I just don’t support THIS bailout. You know, Paulson’s plan. The one where he gets to spend 700 billion dollars of our money without any oversight or transparency.

  34. outinthedark says:

    Why are these people that brought this problem not being thrown in jail? There has got to be something these people can be charged with?

    I watched the address last night and had a good long chat about it with my girlfriend [who is financially set thanks to a trust fund]. I don’t see how this will help the problem. $700,000,000,000 is absolutely ridiculous. Where the hell is this money coming from?

    It was pretty easy to find out how much in debt our country is at $9,700,000,000,000 so I’m just really wondering where this money is coming from.

    At 21, working my ass off for a devalued dollar is making paying off my student loans nearly impossible. I had to put my two 12% interest loans into forbearance with partial payments because I simply cannot afford to live anymore. When my lease is up on my tiny apartment I may have to move back in with my parents because I cannot afford to be on my own. I’d rather live at home and help them pay their mortgage off.

    WTF is going on? I make decent money. Enough to live on week to week. Nothing is being applied to savings because I simply cannot! I am technically poor according to my tax filings and yet my only debt is student loans that I simply cannot afford to pay.

    How is this $700,000,000,000 “bailout” going to help me? I don’t have a home. I outright own two depreciating assets, a motorcycle to save on gas and a pos car for when it’s raining that was given to me. Why the fuck are there CEO’s of these companies getting paid millions a year for ruining our economy? They are ruining everyone’s way of life and yet they are worried about their $5 million severance pay? $5 million are you serious?

    So all I have to say to our government is “What the fuck”?

    Excuse my language really but I just feel like we are being lead like cattle to an abrupt end. We are being stretched far too thin and soon it will snap back right in our faces.

    • SinisterMatt says:

      @outinthedark:

      Maybe the government is trying to make the national debt an even 10 trillion before Bush leaves office? I kid, I kid.

      The market is supposed to have down and ups in the system. That’s how it’s designed, and it has happened that way for about the last 225 years. Though it may be painful, perhaps this is what is needed to get things back on track.

      Cheers!

    • Etoiles says:

      @outinthedark: You and me both on the student loans — I pay $800 a month on mine (at age 27) and it’s crippling me financially for the next, er, rest of my life.

      That said, 12%?! I consolidated my federal loans the week after finishing my undergrad program and, thanks to two years of flawless repayment, am down to 2.25% interest on those. Even my utterly usurious go-burn-in-hell-please private loans are only at 8.25%. Is there a way you can consolidate those?

      • outinthedark says:

        @EtoilePB: Those are two private loans I’ve been trying to consolidate and get a better interest rate. Believe me I have been looking at all the options when I actually have spare time.

        My government loans are under 3% I just wish these private loans would be much lower. $420 a month for one and $300 for the other bleh. Cannot afford it and it’s crippling me financially.

        I cannot imagine trying to save for my future right now the way things are.

        • Etoiles says:

          @outinthedark: I understand. I wanted to try to consolidate my private loans but then pretty much every reputable company in the country stopped taking new consolidations. Then they collapsed. I’m hoping that 2-3 years from now I’ll have the option again, so at least maybe my 30s and 40s will be less broketastic than my 20s.

          Take heart, anyway: I managed to get a better-paying job and I now live with my boyfriend so the income between the two of us means that I no longer have to worry if I can eat three meals a day (and none of them is ramen anymore). Things got a lot better, even with the craptacular loans, between 24 and 27.

  35. fuzzymuffins says:

    let them die by their own swords.

    the financial sector insisted on deregulated open markets and freedom of ‘competition’. they swallowed all the little guys and called it ‘fair’

    and now that they’re in trouble they want a handout to ‘get back on their feet’? … they now expect to be treated just like the people on ‘welfare’ and ‘public assistance’ that they called ‘freeloaders’….

  36. econobiker says:

    Only if we roll the laws back to say 1990 versions and put people into enforcement who are NOT “pro-business”. Anyone with a need to know why should listen to NPR’s This American Life recent show about the SEC’s Chris Cox and the lack of enforcement of SEC rules.

  37. I think the Government has done a piss poor job in communicating how the crisis affects ordinary people and why the bailout is necessary. Just saying “It’s necessary and we need it now” isn’t really a good way of convincing people.

  38. Etoiles says:

    As far as I can tell, there’s a world of difference between, “useful, comprehensive government plan that would not only help us work our way out of this but also prevent it from happening in the exact same way in the future,” and, “the crap that’s been proposed this week.”

  39. Stonecutter says:

    The last swift (“trust us, we know what we’re doing”), bi-partisan response to a national crisis got us the PATRIOT Act. And that’s worked out great for everybody involved.

    Fix the problems, but please be transparent. Everyone involved has gamed the system for their own benefit for the last 5 years. I have very little faith that this will solve anything.

  40. Islandkiwi says:

    Nope, free market means there’s bad times along with the good. If you want changes, add regulatory procedures, but that’s it.

  41. UnStatusTheQuo says:

    I weep for the Constitution and the Free Market.

  42. ShabazOSU says:

    They’ve been telling us for how many years now that by what, 2015 or something, social security will only be able to afford to pay people $.48 cents on the dollar, yet they can come up with a solution to bailout these banks in a matter of 3 days.. yeah, that sounds about right.

    • nrwfos says:

      @ShabazOSU: It’s an election year. Lots of angry people will make it their business to vote. Many of them have this issue on their minds. Meanwhile – what else is going wrong that we don’t see because of this debacle in front of us?

  43. tape says:

    I didn’t see an option for “no, no, no, no, no, no, no, for the love of god no, are you completely nuts, NO!”.

    so I just voted “no”.

  44. LeoSolaris says:

    I voted ‘No’ and while I am just a college student, here is my perspective for what it is worth…

    Currently the ‘bailout’ is a blank check that the Treasury Dept. can do with as they please. That’s just a bad idea all the way around.

    Even if it changed to reflect a slightly more sane regulated bailout that is more in line with AIG’s loan, it would simply prop up banks that have proven, time and again, that they are not fit to survive, let alone continue regulating our money supply.

    I am in favor of allowing them to fail because, while it will cause huge tidal waves, we need to eliminate things that do not work from our system, otherwise this will happen again, and probably much much worse.

    My econ teacher, (yes, I opted to take more econ classes than necessary for my degree because of this issue and because of the Consumerist) made a statement about the US economy… this is a permanent restructuring of our economy. That our economy is going to radical alter it’s form, much the same way it did after the Great Depression. I wonder if it will become even more socialized now…

    Tossing more money into it is only going to make the collapse bigger, because now there would be an additional $700 billion tied up in it that could and should have gone to their regularly scheduled departments. That our taxes will rise to cover the extra expense, and if you think it will ever come down against significantly… you’re dreaming.

    • nrwfos says:

      @LeoSolaris: Good response. You have to stop rot at the source by cutting it out…lots of there will be collateral damage but it will be a lot less if it’s done sooner than later.

  45. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    When it comes to implementation the mortgage debt will be overvalued and the gov’t will pay too much. It’s ripe for abuse with bulk payments based on nice round numbers and no vetting of the portfolio being purchased. Corporate recipients will be laughing at our folly and making out like Iraqi contractors. It’s just another windfall for corporate buddies.

    It’s throwing money down the drain. Using the govt’s rationale (of buying bad debt to allow more lending) why don’t they just spend the +$700 billion to pay off consumer’s credit card debt?

    At the end of the day the $700 billion would have purchased nothing. No properties, no notes on the properties, and no equity in the corporate recipient’s business.

    Trickle down didn’t work and that’s all this is – “trickle down”. Throw $700 billion at rich guys and it will trickle down and help everyone. Fool me once… don’t get fooled again…

  46. bbbco says:

    I am extremely concerned about the government’s quick band-aid action to the recent financial crisis. $700 billion dollars is not just money to throw around; it is our hard earned money as tax payers that will be going to these dishonest companies and individuals. Giving them this money and bailing them out like this will just result in the pat on the back that tells them its OK, we’ll always be there to bail you out whenever you need it. No! They are the ones who have gambled by throwing the dice, and they have lost. Just like in Vegas, they need to accept their losses and move on, do their best to scrape together and start again.

    The thing that really ticks me off is that this “bailout” is being postulated as the one and only option available by both the government and the media. How can they get away with pushing this through so quick without a real analysis of alternative options? Do you realize what will happen when the government gives away $700 Billion? The only way the government can get this money in the first place is to print it, which will thereby decrease the low value of the dollar even lower!

    So has anyone taken any time to consider some of these alternative options? Former Presidential Candidate Governor Mike Huckabee wrote a blog about his frank disappointment with the way his party (the Republicans, President Bush) has handled this crisis. But he does not just criticize, he offers some alternative suggestions:
    “If Congress wants to do something, here are some suggestions:

    1. Eliminate ALL capital gains taxes and taxes on savings and dividends right now. Free up the capital and encourage investment. This is the kind of economic stimulus the Fair Tax would bring and if Congress is going to lose money, let them lose it with lower taxes, not with public dollar bailouts of private market mistakes.

    2. Repeal Sarbanes/Oxley. It has failed. It was supposed to prevent this. It didn’t. Kill it.

    3. Demand that the executives who steered their ships into the ground be forced to pay back the losses of their companies. Of course, they can’t, so let them work and give back to the government and they can live like the people they put on the streets or kept there. It makes no sense to put them in jail-that’s just more they will cost you and me. I’d rather them go out and earn money-just not get to keep so much of it this time. I’m not talking about limiting CEO salaries—just those of the people who now are up in Washington begging for help because they ruined their companies.”
    [www.huckpac.com]

    Another option I have heard is about something on the table in Washington to “change the mark-to-market accounting law and to extend insurance but extend no loans.” Supposedly, doing this will help open up the market for a far less price. “If the government insured those mortgages, they would then be marketable. And could sell them. And the companies would stay afloat. And we, the people, don’t have to get into the mortgage business.”
    [www.daveramsey.com]

    So why have we not heard about any of these as viable alternative options?

    We the people of this nation should not be punished for the greed and misconduct of the companies and executives as a result of their asinine gambling and risky stakes that they have taken because of their corruption and greed!

    Ah, that’s just my thoughts…

  47. MercuryPDX says:

    Also would like to add Bush stated that w/o a bailout credit would be a lot harder to obtain. Considering where we are now, how is that exactly a BAD thing?

  48. moore850 says:

    Do I support a 700B purchase of bad assets? hmmm, no.

  49. adamkantor says:

    I voted no… but, at the same time I also don’t support the US economy getting any worse, which it most certainly would without intervention.

    When I was a student I spent all my Student Loan money on alcohol, junk food and video games. Luckily my parents bailed me out and sent me an infusion of cash… it never happened again, and hopefully neither does this.

  50. snoop-blog says:

    One thing I do think, is that John McCain would rather not be in the public eye right now, and that is why he does not want to continue with the debate. I find that to be bull-shit. Now is the time when we need to hear from each candidate the most. I cannot vote for someone who wants to bury their head in the sand everytime trouble comes their way. I don’t understand what role either candidate could take right now to help the crisis that would require so much time they couldn’t adress the american public for an hour.

    • Toof_75_75 says:

      @snoop-blog:
      But you didn’t think the last few months where Obama refused McCain’s continual invitations to town-hall meetings were bull-shit?

      Also interesting is the fact that you damn-near quoted Obama, “Now is the time when we need to hear from each candidate the most.” Keep rockin’ that mouthpiece.

  51. RvLeshrac says:

    Said it before: Only agreeable bailout is one which includes executive pay and benefit caps and cuts out the “no review” and “blank check” provisions.

    I support *A* bailout, but definitely not the current one.

  52. vdragonmpc says:

    Why not forgive Student loans? We made the ‘investment choice’ and apparently the big companies do not like paying US citizens to work for them anymore.

    Why bail out companies that need ‘credit’ when they shipped production overseas? Why help investors that speculated their tails off and got burnt? Why help people that have more money than the entire consumerist forums readers will earn in a lifetime?

    So now unemployment is soaring and banks are failing… Do we think giving firms money will bring jobs back? Will the companies do the right thing for US citizens or just continue the run of theft?

  53. snoop-blog says:

    @bbbco: Yeah screw the cap. The executives should be fired. Sarbanes/Oxley made them sign off, but apparently they still didn’t read what they were signing. Either that, or they were just to greedy to give a shit.

    What the hell ever happened to business ethics in this country? People use to actually give a shit about one another. Now they only care about Benjamin Franklin.

  54. HoseaCebriones says:

    EXACTLY! This is the root of the whole problem! Consumers have overextended themselves and now that it’s time to pay, people don’t have the money.

    That’s what drove me crazy during the boom… prices went through the roof, but salaries stayed the same. Add health care, insurance costs and higher taxes to the mix, most people are worse off, but with large mortgages.

    We are in for hurt for a long time, until salaries can rise to the point where daily life is affordable again.

  55. Throw 700 BILLION to the assholes who caused this mess in the first place?!?!

    FUCK THAT SHIT!

    I suggest that ALL the people responsible for this clusterfuck liquidate ALL their assets to be used to pay for the bailout. THEY made this mess, THEY should clean it up.

    Also, all credit card and student loan debits should be forgiven, so that the public can stop rolling the rock up the hill like Sisyphus. That $800 a month you used to pay student loans can be put into a savings account instead!

  56. marslady says:

    If you truly don’t support this bailout then prove it and vote for Barr… I doubt many people will put their vote where their beleifs are but it’s definitely an interesting paradox. Incidentally, do you support getting paid by your employer, getting a loan if you need one etc because if there is no bailout, there will be no credit and that will mean a whole lot more “nos” for all of us. Now I don’t need a loan, a house or a car anymore, but I do want my company to be able to continue to access credit to pay me so I have no choice but to support the bailout given my personal wants/needs.

    • Darren W. says:

      Yes, @marslady: Yes, the Libertarian Party is the solution to this kind of BS. Frankly, if the Fed hadn’t been messing around with interest rates to boost the economy post 9/11, we wouldn’t have had the housing bubble, and none of this crap would have happened! Leave the market alone people!

  57. RStewie says:

    @RvLeshrac: Of course you can enact them as needed. there’s no need to throw $700B into the market and hope that a handful of people with no supervision and no accountability will take that money, use it appropriately, and save the financial world. If you believe that will happen, you are insane.

    “As needed” is: Ok. Here’s a problem. Mortgages. How do we fix this? Ok. Here’s a problem. Under- or over-valued bonds. How do we fix this?

    There are too many and too varied issues with this meltdown to hand over money and expect ALL the problems and ALL the issues to be effectively addressed and resolved. Take them one and a time, take your time, and get it right.

    Everyone wants to be sarcastic and say “oh, it’s fake money anyway” but it’s not. And America can’t afford to have to do this again. As it is, my son and his kids will be dealing with the fall-out from Wall Street’s f*ck-up. I’m not happy about that.

  58. RStewie says:

    @tape: I was looking for that option, too.

    Also the option that notified my Congress-people that this will vastly influence my vote.

  59. P_Smith says:

    Imagine a group of mountain climbers, and one falls over the edge while the rest have no strength to pull him up by the rope. They have a choice: keep hanging on and everybody dies, or cut the rope and one dies.

    Why the fuck aren’t they cutting the rope on AIG, Lehman, and all the other idiots? They’re not mountain climbers, they’re corpulent corporations acting like kings expecting servants to carry them to the top of the mountain of money. Fuck the fat guy, the people carrying the litter (in this case, taxpayers and consumers) should save themselves.

    Unfortunately, like all fat and lazy kings, the corporations have a military force to make the servants save their porcine selves: the government is forcing taxpayers to foot the bill.

  60. Optimistic Prime says:

    Where’s my bailout for not researching my last major purchase before I bought it? Oh, that’s right, only the rich wall street types get bailed out.

  61. Kaisum says:

    A bail out will not fix the problem but only make the hole bigger. We have to stop digging and fill in the holes we’ve already dug.

    • nrwfos says:

      @Kaisum: this wholesale bailout is a part of a “perfect storm” for our economy. Billions for a never-ending war, corrupt corporate thieves, crushing oil and gas markets that signal an end to affordable energy sources that many credible people foresaw many decades ago. And the beat goes on because there are more crises that aren’t given much press like the nation’s crumbling infrastucture including airports. For the amount of a bailout like this one we could be(or have had) energy alternatives that work – that we would own that would cut us free of a huge amount of dependence on oil. Just like we saw in WWII the government saw fit to find the scientists necessary to invent/discover and develop much more modern weapons and delivery systems – and it helped us “win” that war. Well this really is a war and we aren’t giving it our best in finding ways to conquer our problems…we should have used all this money that apparently we can afford to give to people who have billions but don’t bother to do their jobs responsibly into research and development on a fast-track and be independent in the world – in the process we could be licensing the things our people develop to other countries. We should have done this back in the ’70’s when we had the shortages then – but, no, the bigshot people were in government then and Big Oil won out and are still winning. If you wonder why I think this – no one problem has led us to this disaster – it’s a domino effect and the last domino is about to fall. We’ll be totally broke and other countries (you know who they are) will have monetary/economic control in our country. And those countries don’t have the same ideas, mindset or values that allow us to have most of our shrinking rights and privileges. Generally, I’m not a gloom and doom type of person – but I learned from my family members who had to live through the Great Depression, and it isn’t something I want to experience.

  62. Craig says:

    Bail them out and they’ll just repeat the whole debacle at some point down the road. Let them take responsibility for the mess they got themselves into and suffer the consequences and they may just learn something in the process.

  63. Ajh says:

    We are not their mommies and daddies. They are big boys and girls now and need to deal with their own mess.

  64. framitz says:

    NO,NOT on tax payer expense.

  65. azntg says:

    Long story short:

    NO for corporate bailouts.

    YES for corporate bailouts on a strict case-by-case basis.

  66. Angryrider says:

    Why not? The Government doesn’t work for the people anyway!

  67. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I support the bailout only to the extent of preventing major economic collapse. What I don’t support is letting financial executives keep their $4 million homes, penthouses and extravagant salaries…whatever. They should completely gut top management and only save whatever pieces are necessary to prevent the system from collapsing.

    It also bothers me that for years these companies have cried foul at the slightest attempt at any attempt government regulation, but when things go bad, they’re right inline pleading for help…and that it’s all about bailing out the rich..while as usual, the working stiff gets no help with the rising cost of fuel, food, college tuition, healthcare and whatnot. It doesn’t seem fair at all that the average person who is already in debt just to support themselves and keep their family fed should go into debt even further to bail out a bunchy of smug fat-cats living in Wall Street penthouses.

  68. nerdychaz says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m against the $85,000,000,000 bailout of AIG.

    Instead, I’m in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in

    a ”We Deserve It Dividend”.

    To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000

    bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

    Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman

    and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

    So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.

    My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a

    ‘We Deserve It Dividend’.

    Of course, it would NOT be tax free.

    So let’s assume a tax rate of 30%.

    Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.

    That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

    But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500 in their pocket.

    A husband and wife has $595,000.

    What would you do with $297,500 to $595,000 in your family?

    Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.

    Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads

    Put away money for college – it’ll be there

    Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

    Buy a new car – create jobs

    Invest in the market – capital drives growth

    Pay for your parent’s medical insurance – health care improves

    Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else

    Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks

    who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company

    that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed
    Forces.

    If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it…instead of
    trickling out a puny $1000.00 (‘vote buy’) economic incentive that is
    being proposed by one of our candidates for President.

    If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail out every adult
    U S Citizen 18+!

    As for AIG – liquidate it.

    Sell off its parts.

    Let American General go back to being American General.

    Sell off the real estate.

    Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

    Here’s my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn’t.

    Sure it’s a crazy idea that can ‘never work.’

    But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

    How do you spell Economic Boom?

    I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion

    ‘We Deserve It Dividend’ more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in
    Washington DC .

    And remember, The Family plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because
    $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

    Ahhh…I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

  69. TechnoDestructo says:

    I’m for a bailout – with public executions.

  70. nrwfos says:

    So really we are bailing out the rich bozos and ripping off taxpayers (again). Capitalism reaches out to save the rich guys with socialism. Once again the rich get richer (keep their money) and the less than rich get screwed. How does that help anyone that really got hurt? Have to look at the long-term. I don’t think we need to invite the government bureaucrats further into private business. Why don’t the sharks have to abide with “the strongest survives” standard that everyone else has learned (or swallowed)? Those CEO’s with their platinum parachutes need to forfeit those big bucks even though it won’t come near to covering any large part of this mess.

  71. ZukeZuke says:

    The more details I hear about this ‘bailout’, the less in favor of it I am.

    I say let the greedy banks/bankers drown and let the people who took out loans they couldn’t afford become renters now (as they should’ve been from the start). LET THE MARKET CORRECT ITSELF! I can’t believe we’re actually privatizing the profits from the fraudulent ‘good years’ and socializing the losses now. I have about $4,000 in emergency cash in the house and own guns, so let this alleged threat of a run on the bankS happen! This threat is paralyzing people with fear and allowing the politicians to ram this save-their-asses plan down everyone’s throat!

  72. doodaddy says:

    They wanted $300B a few months ago. Now they *need* $700B. I agree with Newt Gingrich, that this amount probably won’t do it either. All that money and non solution?

    Why can’t the government just loan them money at 10% interest until the capitalization issue passes? If they bankrupt then they do. Even better would be to have the companies create bonds that pay out before other bonds, but can’t be superceded in turn, and buy those.

  73. thancr says:

    This isn’t a real $700B, most of the assests that the plan would buy are worth something and would most likely be bought at market value. Market value right now appears to be considerably less than what the assests will turn out to be worth in the end, not all subprime loans are bad loans.

  74. HooFoot says:

    Not just a “no”, but a HELL NO!

  75. banmojo says:

    I don’t support a bailout plan payed for by the American people. let the rich fat cats give up their millions plus Xmas bonuses this year to pay for this fiasco.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      @banmojo:

      I’d be all for that, but allowing the government to, carte blanc, take the money from the executives sets a dangerous precedent.

      On the other hand, if legislation was crafted to specifically allow for the dissolution of the contracts held by these executives, we might have something.