Bailout Plan Gets Tax Cuts And Other "Sweeteners" To Help It Pass

Despite the fact that unprecedented outcry from taxpayers overwhelmed the servers hosting the Web sites of the House and its members, forcing administrators to limit e-mails from the public for the first time ever, the steady push toward a bailout plan continues. The newest version of the plain contains what CNN is calling “sweeteners” — tax cuts and health care reforms that are meant to appeal to the holdouts.

CNN says:

The “sweeteners” in the package include:

  • An increase in the amount that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will insure in bank accounts: to $250,000, up from $100,000
  • A fix that would prevent middle-class taxpayers from paying the alternative minimum tax
  • A number of tax extensions favored by either Republicans or Democrats
  • Tax exemptions for renewable energy

  • A measure that would require health insurers to treat mental health issues the same way they treat physical illnesses

'Sweeteners' could make bailout package sour for House Dems [CNN]
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. JohnDeere says:

    again i must say….

    ummmmmm yes if it works and ummmmmmm no if it doesnt.

    and this time ill add: whats it supposed to do if it does work lol.

    • Gokuhouse says:

      @JohnDeere: No kidding. What are the measurable goals? How will we know if this works or not?
      Probably wait 10 years and then we’ll look back to see if it worked. That’s usually how it goes.

  2. battra92 says:

    Hell no, I don’t want this socialist bill even if it is wrapped in tax cuts. That’s like crap wrapped in bacon. Sure the bacon is good but you have to eat the crap too.

  3. chiieddy says:

    Why fix a problem that will fix itself given time and allowing the market to correct?

    • @chiieddy: How long are you willing to wait? 1 year? 5 years? 15 years? How much unemployment are you willing to stomach while it “works itself out”?

      Unfortunately, the consequences of this affects us all. The bailout should be written so that we’ll have a chance to regain some of the money spent in the bailout over time, and it should be passed to chill the market out.

    • Skybolt says:

      @chiieddy: Because markets do not always self-correct. Sometimes they fail, and sometimes they correct but do great harm along the way. The problems we have now are the results of letting the financial industry run itself. This is why government regulation, and sometimes direct intervention, is necessary to the functioning of any market economy.

      • pezhore says:

        @Skybolt:

        I’d agree with you Skybolt, but I don’t think this bill will do anything to help the underlying causes of this economic breakdown. Buying the bad debts still does nothing to help the liquidity of companies’ assets.

      • PacmanJr_00 says:

        @Skybolt:

        Except this collapse is not a result of a market failing. It is a result of too much government intervention. See Democrats pushing banks to extend mortgages to low-income families creating a push to subprime mortgages. See Republicans letting leverage go 40 to 1.

        • @PacmanJr_00: This is the result of too much government intervention?? Have you not been paying attention to the last eight years, where the only times intervention took place was when there were outrageous wrongdoings? Had the government intervened early on, I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have been so serious.

          • Trai_Dep says:

            @thnkwhatyouthnk: He would have preferred to say, “It’s the negroes’ fault” but realizes that probably wouldn’t sound quite right.
            It’s nice that a program that is twenty years old and covers only S&Ls & banks (not the mortgage brokers at the heart of this mess) is to blame.
            Added to that the fact that over 70% of the recent mortgages are re-fi’s, which bypass these minority ownership rules.
            So, it doesn’t make much sense. But it rolls off the tongue so much more smoothly than, “It’s the coloreds’ fault”, so I can see why it’s popular.

  4. zentex says:

    A measure that would require health insurers to treat mental health issues the same way they treat physical illnesses

    See that’s just common sense and shouldn’t have to be a ‘treat’ to get public approval. I actually didn’t know that Insurance Companies literally hated mental-health until last week when a friend was talking about her insurance and the therapy she was getting. She basically said she was approved (and had to get pre-approved), but that if a butterfly farted, they would yank said approval in a heart beat.

    crazy crazy stuff (no pun)

    • juri squared says:

      @zentex: It’s been dangled before, too. I badly want that measure to pass, and it’s insulting that they tacked it onto this piece of dookie.

      p.s. my insurance has really shitty mental health coverage.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      @zentex: Well sure, it’s a good idea and I’m all for that. But what the hell is that doing on this bill!?

      Er, lets not turn this into a Christmas tree.

  5. I hate the concept of this bailout, but the reality is that if it doesn’t eventually pass, the market will drop like a stone.

    Perception is reality – and the perception is that this must pass or the world will come to an end. People are literally panicking, and something has to be done. Even if it doesn’t help, it will calm people down and stabilize the market to some extent.

    • B says:

      @InfiniTrent: Will drop like a stone? Seems like we’ve already crossed that bridge. Although as much as the Market has crashed recently, it can crash a lot more.

    • signine says:

      @InfiniTrent: Incorrect. No matter what is done, the market will drop like a stone, because it needs to. The only thing this bill will do is increase the federal deficit at the expense of maybe delaying the crash for a few more months or maybe a couple more years, and likely making the final crash even worse.

      It’s not like we don’t have market crashes and mergers because of them every decade or so anyway, it’s the natural corrective action of fiscal stupidity. The best thing to do is ride it out, because every time the government has ever stepped in when a market crash event occurred, they have made things worse…not better.

    • sirellyn says:

      @InfiniTrent: WITH Bailout Markets will be ok for a few more weeks and then crash anyway and hyperinflation will set in, in no time at all. A super deep depression would last a decade or more.

      Without the bill DOW would almost immediately crash to 8000 or so and we’d have a crappy year. And then it would be over.

  6. xphilter says:

    It sickens me that we allow our congress to bribe each other like this. Oh well…just buy some ultra short ETF’s.

  7. B says:

    I’m not sure how to vote here. I don’t exactly support the bill, with or without the sweeteners, but since destroying the economy is going to end up costing more in the long run, I think the bailout, as painful as it is, is the right move for right now. The sweeteners, if anything make it less palatable, because they’ll just make the costs higher.

    • Optimus says:

      @B: The main reason this bill is worthless is that it encourages the very situation it is intended to fix. By bailing out the people who caused it, it encourages them to continue the same unsafe actions.

      A secondary reason is that if they took the same amount of money and divided it evenly among every citizen in the US who is currently in foreclosure or close to it, no one would owe on mortgages and this “crisis” would be averted. It’s still rewarding people for stupid decisions, but at least it saves both sides of the equation and not just the banks’ side.

      • B says:

        @Optimus: Hmmm. I like your solution better. Too bad it has less of a chance to pass than this bailout.

      • crabbyman6 says:

        @Optimus: I’ve never gotten the email that references this, but I’ve seen a super simply analysis. The math in that email is off by two orders of magnitude. Instead of getting ~$200k everyone would actually be getting ~$2k, that won’t pay off very many people’s mortgages at all.

        (700,000,000,000/300,000,000 = 2,333 not 233,333)

        In the end, the only way I can even fathom supporting this bill would be if the tax payers stand to gain something from it(owning portions of the company), not just the possibility of selling off these loans and hoping they become profitable.

        • absentmindedjwc says:

          @crabbyman6:

          Lets give them the benefit of the doubt… it would be 700,000,000,000/~217,000,000 (approx population of adults). This number is only a little bigger (3,225), and is not even enough to pay for one semester of many colleges let alone someones mortgage.

        • kingofallcosmos says:

          @crabbyman6:
          My mother sent that email to me and I instantly saw that it was off by two or three decimal places. I cannot believe that people actually took it seriously at all.

      • SScorpio says:

        @Optimus:

        What about someone like me who bought a house last year. I purchased below what I could afford and I’m doing fine financially. Unless there is some way to get the money from the mortgages these people are holding. How is this fair to me? I should have just made bad decisions and reaped the rewards.

  8. chrisjames says:

    Not enough sugar to sweeten the turd.

    What’s the purpose of the FDIC increase? Is it just to assuage panicky consumers? Seems more like it’s just digging the shitpit deeper. If we’re going to be bailing anyone out, let’s not tack on future bailout responsibilities. Promote reform, not mollycoddling.

    • snoop-blog says:

      @chrisjames: If I’m going to eat a turd, I think I’d rather have hot sauce over sugar. Don’t ask me how/why I came to that conclusion.

    • pezhore says:

      @chrisjames:

      In theory the 250k attempts to counter inflation, although I agree with Jester down there… If you’ve got 250k, you’re probably not middle class and in danger of losing your house/being foreclosed on.

      • kaizoku80 says:

        @pezhore:

        Uh, if you have 250k in the bank you’re in solid middle-class territory.

        Also, if you have 250k in the bank you’re probably not foolish enough to sign for a mortgage you can neither afford nor understand (in the case of ARMs or interest only) and thus would not be in danger of losing your house/being foreclosed on.

        • tande04 says:

          @kaizoku80: Middle class is relative. IMO and my current state 250k is way past middle class. Its just part of the American ideal of middle class. You get people scraping by pay check to pay check whith no savings at all (possibly even on a program like food stamps) who consider themselves middle class and you and you’ve CEOs of major companys who consider themselves middle class (not to long ago there was a senator who lost his re-election because he said his $165,200 pay check made him middle class).

          As I said, IMO, there aren’t very many people who I would consider middle class that are going to have $250,000+ sitting in a bank account so that is one of the few parts of the “bailout” I’m against. I do see it as a valuable tool for the small to medium business owner who could benifit from more cash on hand for payroll, inventory, and what not.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @chrisjames: it’s supposed to reassure customers that their banks are ok. the industry’s starting to get “the runs” as people try to re-distribute their funds to make sure they are insured.

  9. snoop-blog says:

    Misery loves company. With that said, I’m hoping for depression #2. My job just cut my pay (has nothing to do with bailout and everything to do with buyout, which the buyout has nothing to do with the bailout) so I might as well not have a job, move into my mom’s basement and finish the education I started. Main focus: EDUCATION. luckily the mo po I get, the mo free my school gets.

    • snoop-blog says:

      @snoop-blog: Unemployment, here I come. I’ll collect my 390/week go to school full time, and only put applications at chinese restaurants.

      • crabbyman6 says:

        @snoop-blog: oh god, that makes me sad. unemployment pays better than grad school for chemistry. :( Wonder if I can get my boss to “fire” me while I finish up.

      • freelunch says:

        @snoop-blog: sucks that you took a pay cut… but for the record – 390 a week is pretty decent cash for not doing anything…

        heck, I was ticked when my raise was single digit instead of double-digit… I guess I should be happier.

      • Bladefist says:

        @snoop-blog: Or instead of sitting around saying “pity me” or hoping for a depression, you could get off your ass and go look for a better job? You know? Ambition? Or not. Collect a check and rot.

        • snoop-blog says:

          @Bladefist: Yeah lmfao. No buddy, I’m sittin on un-employment for as long as I can. Sorry. I could only replace my current job for part time about $100-$150 per week due to my school schedule. I would be an idiot to not collet 390/week for as long as I can, and just focus on school. I’m a broke college student. I do what’s best for me. Call me what you want, I say “sticks and stones my friend, sticks and stones.”

          • snoop-blog says:

            @snoop-blog: Besides, The reason I may get fired tomorrow is because they don’t want an employee who is also a college student. No shit. I got yelled at by my boss saying this isn’t a stepping stone, after I’ve worked there 2 years and only started school this year (my third) only because of all this being the 3rd buyout in less than 3 years, and no one was sure what the hell was going to happen. So I enrolled in school. These assholes deserved to pay me that money thru un-employment.

            For the record: I was top salesman last 3 months and was going to school full-time the last month and a half. They don’t care.

          • Trai_Dep says:

            @snoop-blog: I didn’t know flaming commentators was allowed. :(
            Anyway, before he raises the next objection, I’ll head it off: unemployment insurance is just that. You pay for it, so that when you need it, it’s there. Done, done & done. :)

          • Bladefist says:

            @snoop-blog: Wasn’t trying to insult you. Just saying, you could get 390 for free, or, find a better job that pays 3x that. Which NBA idiot said “you miss 100% of the shots you dont take”

            • absentmindedjwc says:

              @Bladefist: jobs are rather hard to find these days, I have been looking for a little while. I had something similar happen to me (they cut my hours by like 75%) and expect me to give them my A game… right. They actually have the audacity to tell me that my work is taking too long… YEAH, THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CUT MY HOURS TO 10 GOD DAMN HOURS A WEEK!!!… ugh

              • battra92 says:

                @absentmindedjwc: I think, like anything, it depends on your field. What is your field and skills. Your local market may be an issue as well.

                We’re having a hard time keeping people around here because a lot of people are getting better jobs elsewhere.

  10. nova3930 says:

    I’m against any kind of Paulson slush fund regardless of what else is in it. There are simply better ways of dealing with this than putting Paulson in a helicopter with bags of cash to shovel out over Wall Street…

  11. Jester6641 says:

    Yeah, making FDIC insure more is…um…a great idea?
    Sure, it sounds like it’d make more people put more money into banks, but anyone who has more than 100k to put in probably knows how to disperse their money to not have to worry about it.
    Plus, I’d have to say that most people worried about 250k in one account are probably not what I would consider middle class.
    So, realistically, it’s a move to help rich people that in all reality don’t need the help.
    Great going guys, this is just the kind of hard work and forward thinking we expect from our elected officials!

    • TracyHamandEggs says:

      @Jester6641: $250k in an account is sure as heck not rich.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @Jester6641: By retirement age even people in the middle class could easily be sitting on top of over 100k.

      • juri squared says:

        @Corporate_guy: Usually not in a bank, though. Most people I know have it in CDs, 401k plans, IRAs, and the like.

        That said, my 60-year-old father’s 401k has lost 25% of its value in this mess…

        • tande04 says:

          @jurijuri: Thats was my thought too. Yeah, they might have that much accrued wealth but odds are it isn’t sitting in a savings account somewhere only getting the 1.8% APY or whatever it is that b&m banks offer these days. Its in an IRA (which is already insured for that ammount) or more likely a combination of several IRAs coupled with somekind of 401k (457 ect) and hopefully (though its rarer now) somekind of set pension.

          As I said in a previous threaded comment, middle class is relative. None of my relatives, young, old, or even like my father, already retired have over $100,000 sitting in the type of normal bank account that we’re talking about here. That part, to me, doesn’t help the average middle class individual at all. Now it may help the small or medium sized business that person owns but as far as I’m concerned, anyone as an individual who doesn’t have anything better to do with $250,000 but let it sit somewhere and rot is rich.

    • madanthony says:

      @Jester6641:

      The theory behind raising the FDIC limits is for small businesses more than individuals – companies often do keep that much money on hand (for things like payroll and expenses), and are apt to pull it out at the slightest threat of trouble. Supposedly, some of the bank failures/near failures have been exacerbated by businesses pulling out deposits, putting the banks below the threshold of cash on hand to continue operating.

      The other argument in favor of it is that the 100k limit was set in 1980, and 100k in 1980 is worth around 266k today.

  12. Finine says:

    One reason the emails to congress are being limited is that Dave Ramsey has created a “common sense fix”, posted it on his website, and emailed it to the thousands of members of his message board, encouraging them to contact their state representatives with this proposal. More than likely the sites are being overwhelmed, DR has a huge following. Read about it here: [www.daveramsey.com]

    • pezhore says:

      @Finine:

      Oy. Form letters serve to do nothing. One of the key reasons why so many Congressional delegates responded to their constituents displeasure in the bill is because it didn’t appear to be an organized campaign. Ordinary people were pissed about the government bailing out multi-millionaires with taxes, it was this unorganized clamor that broke through. The only thing dave ramsey is doing is creating unhelpful noise.

      - my 2c

    • Aisley says:

      @Finine:

      Dear Mr. Ramsey:

      With all due respect, and you know I respect you a lot, let me say a few things about your plan here:

      1. “Pray for them…”
      I hope this won’t hurt your feelings, but it may be already too late. At the level things are, more than pray for them, we may need to perform quite few exorcisms. At this point we’re all asking were are we going, and why are we in this basket!

      2. “Send The Common Sense Fix to your Representatives and Senators…”
      My respected Sir, common, of all the senses is the least common; and in government is non-existant.

      3. “Next, copy the info on this page (text file). Then send it to your Senators and representatives by copying and pasting the text in the web form you’re sent to.”

      Uh, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but “chain letters” or “chain emails” don’t work. I have never worked with any congressman or senator, but my cousin have. And you know what happen to these “chain emails”? They assume that it is the same person sending them over, and over, and over, and over…catch my drift?

      We need to have each and every voter call their respective c & s at their offices in their districts and locations (please don’t call to their offices in DC; they don’t care about them). Give them a piece of your mind, or two. THEY WORK FOR YOU! not the other way around

  13. pezhore says:

    As much as I have my own feelings about Newt, he raised some excellent alternatives in this article: [newt.org] – and I too find it hilariously stupid that Republicans, who historically have been hands off the free market, are suddenly drumming up support that essentially props up a failed economy and directly contradicts small government ideals.

    Never before have I felt so ashamed to be a Republican.

    • snoop-blog says:

      @pezhore: They only support socialism that benefits them. It has nothing to do with helping the little guy.

    • bbbco says:

      @pezhore:
      You are exactly correct…there have not been any viable alternatives postulated by the government or the media. Instead we get crap dipped in chocolate to make it palatable, so that we go ahead and swallow the huge $700 Billion + in order to “save our lives”. Come on people…get a fricken legit second opinion instead of letting the greasy back-alley fix-em-up-with-this-wonder-pill doctors convince them to take it or die.

      Newt, Dave Ramsey, Mike Huckabee, and many others have given great alternatives that the big-wigs refuse to listen to.

      The bailout/rescue is just feeding the monster that will eventually fail unless something legit happens.

      • pezhore says:

        @bbbco:

        Hell, I won’t even go so far as to advocate any particular alternative… just fecking look at alternatives! We’re getting lambasted by the “ZOMG!! Wallstreet is teh looser!!” side of things – through mainstream media and even the stupid presidential addresses. We need to stop, take a deep breath, and consider before we in debt the nation with almost a trillion dollar debt.

    • kaizoku80 says:

      @pezhore:

      That’s because the so-called Republicans of today are actually the Democrats of 30-40 years ago, and the Democrats of today are the Communists of the same time period.

  14. EBounding says:

    If it weren’t an election year, this thing probably would have gone through unanimously. :/

  15. Darklighter says:

    There’s no amount of sugar you can put on this bailout bill to make it palatable. It’s a bad rush job of a bill and it shouldn’t be passed. I’m in favor of a bailout, but writing Paulson a $350 billion check is not the way to do it. Doing it fast and doing it right don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

  16. krom says:

    Absolutely no mention of REREGULATION of the industry that got so horribly out of control to get us in this boat? Tax cuts and some health care crap is the best they could come up with? WTF. Oh, and how are we going to pay 700 BILLION plus fund increased insurance on savings accounts if we have LESS tax revenue coming in to pay for it?

    Fire them all. Let’s just put the whole US Government into a Swiss conservatorship and be done with it.

    • saj1 says:

      @krom: The regulation you’re talking about has already been in the works for over a year or so. FAS 157 – fair value mark to market – is the accounting regulation for how to value these derivatives and CDO’s. Most of what is causing the financial problem are level 3 derivatives traded on an unobservable market that FASB has been trying to regulate. I’m not saying it is going to fix everything – but at least its helping these companies write off their crap derivatives now rather than later (when their stockholders would be most pissed). Most companies are actually in compliance with FAS157 – which is why we’ve seen huge write-downs. Contrary to popular belief, they’re actually a good thing.

      To finish my rant – at least the gov’t isn’t standing around doing nothing. Not to say that this is the best thing they could’ve come up with either, but at least they’ve known about it and are trying to fix the regulation part of the problem.

      • Kounji says:

        @saj1: I was just thinking about FAS 157 on the way home today. Yeah, it basically does everything that you say it does and did everything that you said it did. Things could have been a lot worse. Long live FASB

  17. kingmanic says:

    Congress: Right, So I’d like to fuck you in the ass but in exchange I’ll pay for your grandma’s arthritis medication and make sure your boss can pay a bit less taxes. Please pull down your trousers and brace yourselves, I’m monstrously hung.

  18. When the words “hundreds of billions” “rush” and “government” are used in the same sentence, anything that comes out of it will not be good. When did we forget along the line that investing involved risk, such as the risk you might lose it all? That why they call it “gambling” and not “winning.”

    • pezhore says:

      @AbsoluteIrrelevance:

      I was watching an episode of The Daily Show from last week and they put up side-by-side the presidential addresses before the Iraq war and before the bailout bill. They were nearly identical. How come people are suddenly taking him at his word? Look how well it worked last time we were rushed into a decision that will tie up billions of dollars in an uncertain future? I suppose the only good thing about this bill as opposed to the Iraq war is that we have a better estimation on how much this will cost the American people.

      • Scoobatz says:

        @pezhore: I suppose the only good thing about this bill as opposed to the Iraq war is that we have a better estimation on how much this will cost the American people.

        Really? The $700 billion number was pulled out of thin air. “It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.” Congress doesn’t know how much is needed for the bailout, therefore, I would assume that noone really knows what it’s going to cost the taxpayers.

        • Bladefist says:

          @Scoobatz: Congress doesn’t have a clue what they are doing. What is the job requirements to be in congress? Anything in there about knowledge? Intelligence? Familiarity with economics, foreign policy? Nope. But wooden arrows are safe.

  19. The problem is the earmarks. I will support a bailout bill ONLY if it includes punishment for the people who caused this (going back several decades if need be), and if it has no earmarks.

    From the bill:

    Sec. 503. Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for use by children.

    WHAT

    THE

    FUCK

  20. MustyBuckets says:

    Hmm, so the choice still stands, suffer now, maybe be jobless as the economy tanks, or recklessly give money out with very little oversight, little hope to ever see it again, and have a job, but watch my money fly away in taxes… Wonderful.

  21. aduzik says:

    None of this “sweetens” the deal at all. In fact, they just remind us of stuff the congress should have been doing all along. Treating mental illness like any other disease? That’s a friggin’ no-brainer, and $700 billion is way too high a cost for legislation we should have already had for years.

  22. pezhore says:

    If anyone cares… the Senate debates are going to begin pretty quick (in theory) on C-SPAN2 [www.c-span.org]

  23. SciotoSurfer says:

    um… isn’t this like “putting lipstick on a pig”?

  24. howie_in_az says:

    ‘Sweeteners’ I would’ve liked to see:

    - CEOs whose companies take bailout money forfeit their salaries and stock options until their company is back on its feet and the taxpayers are repaid. Additionally, they should be unable to sell their shares in the company stock until the taxpayers are repaid or the taxpayers get 75% of the sale price.

    - Education for consumers on what interest is, what money is, and what budgeting is. This probably shouldn’t be done by the gubment as they’re not exactly the bastions of good budgeting with their $9.7 trillion deficit.

    - Tons of oversight on the whole financial market because they apparently require it. Banks should no longer be allowed to over-leverage themselves because they obviously cannot handle it.

    - Raising FDIC-covered insurance to $250k makes it sound even more like the bill is for the wealthy. Keep the limit at $100k or lower it.

    When a child is bad you take a toy away. When they start behaving you give them their toy back. If they again misbehave you take their toy away. Apply that logic to Wall Street.

  25. So…they’re thinking of borrowing $700B of tax money for an undisclosed amount of time and they think lowering taxes goes well with that?

    You can’t make this s**t up.

  26. Trai_Dep says:

    The Dems should have seen the writing on the wall, then started from scratch.
    Rather than using the Republican Bail-out as the template, “fixing” a flawed concept to begin with, they need to create a Progressive alternative that gets enough Dem support (and moderate Republicans, whichever few remain) and deliver it to Bush.
    If he vetoes, the wrecked economy is on their shoulders. Well, twice.

    This is why they end up throwing non-finance melt-down items on the bill, which is precisely what we DON’T want if the point is reassuring the global markets. Let Dems rise or fall based on their ideas.

    I HATE it when the Dems in Congress walk into a political fist fight accepting any GOP position as the starting point. It’s like smearing lipstick on a pig. Err, pit bull terrier. Err, hockey mom. No matter what you do to it, you still don’t want to kiss it.

    • bbbco says:

      @Trai_Dep:

      After the bailout failed by the house, all we heard was the Dems blaming the Reps for causing the bill to fail. However, the Dems had enough to pass it…they were just too chicken to step up and pass it themselves. They wanted this to be a bi-partisan bill just so that when it did fail, there could be no blame on them.

      Thus the Dems will not rise or fall on their own ideas. They will rise and fall with everyone else because the “progressives” refuse to be mavericks.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @bbbco: I think it’s bigger than that.
        One side is assuming that the other will realize the world’s at stake and that it’s time to behave responsibly, in an adult fashion. Negotiate in good faith, trim off the excesses from either position and reach a (barely) palatable accord – how democracies run by adults deciding the fate of the globe do. Not, y’know, running off in a pouting fit because the other side called their ideology out for being responsible for the conflagration we’re now bathing in.
        The problem, of course, is that one doesn’t negotiate with bomb-throwers who put party and elections over our country. You cut them out. Pass a new bill that will pass with Dem majorities that puts people first, and give it to Bush to sign. And, as you say, let their fate stand (or fall) on their values.

        And, in what Bizzaro universe do you live in that you call the Republican Treasury Secretary’s bail-out plan, pushed by the Republican President and whose Republican nominee for President “suspended” campaigning to shepard this bill thru to victory* is a Democratic failure?

        * Hey, I haven’t been keeping up: how’d that work out? Since he put 110% of his credibility into getting this bill passed, what does it say for his potential for being a good President? Think Palin would do better?

        • HIV 2 Elway says:

          @Trai_Dep: You’re right, Pelosi’s speach was highly productive.

        • bbbco says:

          @Trai_Dep:

          I’m just saying that the Dems were the majority in the House, they were the ones pushing hard to get the bill passed.

          Hey, I’m not saying I agree with how President Bush has handled this, and how the T-S is pushing this as the only option. Or how both presidential nominees are trying to help matters.

          However, it was the Dems who were blaming the Reps for not passing the bill in the house. You can’t deny the facts. They could have done it themselves, they have the majority.

        • Bladefist says:

          @Trai_Dep: Obama said “call me if you need me”

          Real presidential.

          • Trai_Dep says:

            @Bladefist: No, very Presidential Candidate-al.
            He’s not Prez, neither is the other really, really old guy. It’s inappropriate for them to drop in out from the clouds and behave as if they were. The Constitution matters.
            We saw what happens when a candidate goes showboating w/o the ability to back it up, and it was neither pretty nor effective. In fact, it’s a pretty lethal blow to any claims he might have had about his ability to marshall his party in times of crisis. And if he can’t do that, it’s Exhibit A of what an awful President he’ll make.

  27. misteral says:

    Aren’t “sweeteners” akin to “Pork Barrel” spending… What do medical changes have to do with Financial Bailouts?

    Isn’t someone out there “fighting against it”. I don’t quite remember who, but I’m sure he couldn’t win Miss Congeniality in the senate

  28. I’m going to follow my constituency…

    Then vote the opposite, because it’s opposite day.

    (insert your local rep’s name here.)

  29. pezhore says:

    Sweet fucking moses. Sen. Judd Gregg – “We’ll sell those assets at a later, we may break even, we may not, some people even tell me we could make money…”

    Well heck! If there’s a slim chance we won’t go in the hole 700bil I’ll sign up!

    • pezhore says:

      @pezhore:

      Hahah, Gregg just said if down the road we end up losing money we can go back to the businesses when they’re stronger and get some money back. Right, I’m sure they’ll be all over that.

  30. craptastico says:

    i don’t think half of the posters here understand 1 iota of this so called “bailout”. people are outraged as if the gov’t(ie taxpayers) are handing the banks $700 billion dollars. This couldnt be further from the truth. The govt is setting aside $700 billion to buy junk mortgage securities for about .50 on the dollar. assuming real estate values drop less than 50%, the govt(ie taxpayers) will probably profit from this in the long run, just like our bailout of Chrysler. Whether we profit or not, if you couldnt pay your mortgage, and the govt offered to buy it from you for half of what you paid, it wouldn’t feel like a “bail out”

    • tande04 says:

      @craptastico: No one seems to understand it which has been the main problem. Calling it a “bailout” was problem number one. If they would of had Suze Orman on TV explaining it with a neat little cartoon maybe it would of had a chance but when you’re talking about a “bailout” of “wall street” people think you’re some how paying those guys in the little green coats who make too much as it is.

    • bbbco says:

      @craptastico:

      Do you really believe that buying these junk bonds will become profit in the future? Do you really believe that the taxes taken from us for this bill will eventually be returned to us (at the equivalent cost with inflation plus interest)? You are naive if you really trust the government to do this. That is why we talk about the bailout as if the money is just being taken away from us…because essentially it is. That is why it was called a bailout in the first place. No one first presenting the bailout really believed we would really be able to get any returns on this.

    • Brontide says:

      @craptastico: Umm… I think people are quite informed. The Fed has *not* stated that it will buy distressed assets at .50 on the dollar, quite the opposite in fact. The only way this could work is if these securities are purchase at “model” pricing which would, at best, be cost ( not counting on inflation, debt financing, continued downturns in the housing market, CDO’s, ….. ) and at worst would be a complete write off to the taxpayer.

  31. legwork says:

    Screw sweeteners, I want jail time for execs, management, and this corrupt administration. Then it’s time to find Mr. Greenspan’s private island and raise hell. Mr jiggly-jowels, we’re coming for YOU!

    Seriously though, big crimes have been committed. Collectively it might as well be an economic act of treason. Any bailout that doesn’t include recovery of ill-gotten gains (parachutes, crazy bonuses) from those involved is a kick in the groin. Nail the slimes up along the Beltway. Call it a “motivational tool” for our dear reps.

  32. Imakeholesinu says:

    This is going straight to the Senate also, which means it will never make it to the house. I seriously urge people to write their senators and tell them to vote no on this. This is not the proper way to pass this law. This bill needs to go back before the House before it can be sent to the Senate. That is the process.

    • juri squared says:

      @Imakeholesinu: What if my senator is busy running for president? :(

      Ok, time to write Dick Durbin.

    • tande04 says:

      @Imakeholesinu: Huh?
      Only bills that deal with rasing revenue have to start in the House. This isn’t that kind of bill. It isn’t skipping the House, it would still need to be voted on there before being signed into law, and nothing said or done has indicated that it won’t be. It isn’t the same one that the House failed to pass yesterday. Its a “new” bill (with most of the same stuff in there).

  33. kc2idf says:

    It still doesn’t address foreclosure prevention. Add that, even without all of these other goodies, and I’d back it. Not doing anything to keep people in their homes misses the whole point.

  34. ILoveVermont says:

    I’m leaning towards accepting the deal, but: anytime someone calls and says “you gotta take the deal today or else…” (the or else can be anything: it won’t be offered tomorrow, it’ll cost twice as much tomorrow, etc. etc.) red flags start rising. It sounds a lot like a scam.

    I’d like to see some of these guys and gals that made millions creating and selling this stuff LOSE THEIR HOMES JUST LIKE THE POOR SUCKERS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HEAP. Someone’s got to pay for this (other than the taxpayer).

    Long live Senator Sanders, from the proud citizens of the People’s Republic of Vermont.

  35. Geblah187 says:

    As long as it’s not being sweetened with high fructose corn syrup … you know what they say about it, right?

    Right?

  36. jimv2000 says:

    Seriously, what is wrong with Congress? The people said loud and clear that they do not want any bailout, but these retards are still trying.

    I guess when your approval rating is as low as theirs is, there’s nothing left to lose.

    • Skybolt says:

      @jimv2000: It is not the job of Congress to just do whatever the people demand. If that was the case, we could just take weekly polls and hire a manager to carry out whatever the majority happened to want. It is possible that Congress keeps trying because there is an actual crisis, requiring a prompt solution, and that the people don’t know what they’re talking about.

      But in fact, the polls I’ve seen don’t show overwhelming opposition to a bailout. It’s pretty even among those who favor a bailout, those who oppose, and those who are undecided.

  37. dukrous says:

    What part of no bailout is hard to understand? You want to solve this? Set up a $700bln federal loan program…trade your shitty loan for this gov’t loan. Interest rate is capped at the bank lending rate, which means you’re just paying off at the rate of inflation, so when your loan is paid off there has been no net loss or gain in a fiscal sense. If you default on that loan, it goes to a gov’t auction as anything else would. Add in a clause for making white collar crimes capital offenses, increase the FDIC limit to $250k, and you will QUICKLY see the US populace support that. If you want to bail anyone out, bail out the people buried in debt in a way that lets them be responsible about it. The lending institutions deserve to fail for the predatory schemes they created and should not be bailed out. I wouldn’t mind my taxes going to help someone keep their home. You bet your sweet ass I won’t support my taxes going into some banker’s pocket.

    • kingmanic says:

      @dukrous: That plan is sensible. However the real problem isn’t that people only took legitimate loans and can’t pay them due to unfair terms. That is part of the problem but the larger one is a lot of these loans are outright fraudulent and the borrower never expected to pay for it and the lender never expected it to be paid. Both assumed some chump would com along an buy it and both borrower and lender would profit (a lot of the balloon interest loans are aimed at this market, real estate speculators).

      That is the class of the loans the bail out is supposed to help. That is the class of loans the market is shitting itself over. You are the chump who’s coming along to bail both of them out.

      You can see how you plan won’t work in light of that situation. The market is shitting itself because it has no idea how many of the loans are actually like this. they could figure it out but it’s devalue those loans and if the government is going to bail them out then they’d rather not and leave the price inflated. So the longer we talk about a loan the worse it will get because the market is panicking because it doesn’t know how big the issue is and it doesn’t want to find out.

  38. costanza007 says:

    The ONLY reason that the mental health “sweetener” is in there is because spending bills are required to originate in the House. So the Senate is attempting to draft their own spending bill, but can’t, and therefore attached it to a bill that was already approved by the House.

    In reality, it may be a $700 billion mental health bill that has to then go back to the House (by way of committee) for approval.

    There is not an ounce or prudence in the Legislative branch.

  39. hi says:

    The only reason for the mental health add-on is so when the american public revolts they can claim mental issues and be spared.

  40. Segador says:

    As a Psychology student, I can see this having a rather huge impact on the field – and being very unpopular with health insurers.

  41. HIV 2 Elway says:

    Look at the vastly different results that Sweden and Japan had when faced with similar problems. This is the right move.

  42. NotATool says:

    An increase in the amount that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will insure in bank accounts: to $250,000, up from $100,000

    Where is this money going to come from?

    A fix that would prevent middle-class taxpayers from paying the alternative minimum tax

    Middle class still means all of us making less than $5 million, right? Then I’m all for it.

    • tasselhoff76 says:

      @NotATool: The additional insurance will come from increased premiums charged to the banks, as the FDIC is an insurance company and the banks pay to carry it. It’s quite possible these increased charges will be passed onto the consumer in bank fees. However, all of that being said, if the FDIC were to run out of money, the federal government would (almost certainly) step in to bailout the FDIC.

      This is a good measure because it will keep people from pulling their money out of banks, which a lot of people have been doing, and banks need cash.

      And yes, the AMT patch is good for lots of people.

  43. tasselhoff76 says:

    I don’t think people fully understand this economic situation. Banks won’t lend. And yes, sooner or later banks or someone else will lend, but it will likely be at a higher interest rate or too darn late for lots of folks.

    What does that matter? Well, if a company can’t borrow money to make their payrolls or to supply their inventory, that company is going to go under quick. That increases jobless rates, which compounds the weakening economy.

    All of this has happened before. There have been economic crises before and bailouts similar to this one. Just not quite like this because this is real estate. The system has never really been changed or reformed in any meaningful way. People keep talk about greater regulation to keep this from happening again but the counter argument will be if we regulate more, companies will stop being listed on our country’s exchanges. This happened somewhat (the story goes) after the Stearns Blech Oxley Act passed. Same goes with reduced compensation for executives. Although, I still think relation is needed to avoid these messes.

    This is a tough spot because we are bailing out these companies that got themselves into this mess, but make no mistake, the American people let them do it. No one was writing their Congressional Representatives with such ferocity during the boom years, and the economy kept trucking along on completely fictitious equity. And anyone that says they could never have predicted this should look at the bond crisis of the 80s and the derivatives crisis of the 90s. Not to mention the energy crisis. All the signs were there and no one did anything. No one cared that the chairman of the SEC refused *REFUSED* additional funding to be able to regulate the markets. No one cared what was going on – everyone was too busy.

    One way or another, the American taxpayer is going to pay for this. Whether we pass this measure and whether it works or does not work, the American taxpayer will pay. The question really becomes which method is going to hurt the least. And after this is all over and everyone looks back on it, what will people actually do to keep it from happening again.

    • tasselhoff76 says:

      @tasselhoff76: Oh, I’m sorry for the typos – and it should be Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

      • ojzitro says:

        @tasselhoff76:

        You’re one of the few who get it. All those folks taking out 500,000 dollar loans with 15,000 grand down weren’t complaining when they got to pretend they were rich for a year or two.

        It takes two to tango, and arguing over who was leading the dance is bloody ridiculous at this point. If mob mentality worked, there would be know need for leadership. All the public outrage is misguided, ignorant, and just plain anger for anger’s sake.

        We learned lessons from the Great Depression, I hope we don’t miss an opportunity to apply them because ignorant, yet motivated constituents learned how to contact their congressmen. Congressmen, I might add, that probably would not listen to them if it weren’t for an upcoming election.

  44. bbbco says:

    Yummy sweeteners…

    “Increase in limit on cover over of rum excise tax to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.”

    “Indian employment credit.”

    “Seven-year cost recovery period for motorsports racing track facility.”

    “Extension and modification of duty suspension on wool products; wool research fund; wool duty refunds.”

    “[Tax] Provisions related to film and television productions.”

    “Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for use by children.”

    Man, those are some awesome sweeteners…just like Splenda!

  45. HIV 2 Elway says:

    A letter in the KC Star yesterday:

    In recent weeks people have been quick to blame the GOP for our current financial situation. These critics need to take a step back and see the whole picture. In the mid-1990s, President Clinton pushed to get more people into homeownership. Relaxed lending laws, coupled with nearly a decade of historically low lending rates, increased demand on housing and sent housing prices skyrocketing. Clinton’s goals were noble but, as we know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    Fast forward a few years and we see mortgage-backed securities gaining popularity. Unfortunately, rating agencies like Moody’s failed their clients in wrongfully appraising the risk associated these securities. The banks must shoulder some of the blame, too, as they should have their own independent appraisal.

    President Bush must not be let off the hook either, as the practices set up under Clinton were allowed to continue unfettered on his watch.

    Finally, consumers must bear their share of blame. Some were dishonest. Some were vain. Most knew they were borrowing more than they could afford. This issue is convoluted and complicated. Attempts to politicize it are irresponsible, inaccurate and do nothing to move us forward.

    • tasselhoff76 says:

      @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: If you only look at the Clinton and Bush years, you really are not going far enough back in history. This problem has existed at least as far back as Carter and further. It’s just progressive.

  46. P_Smith says:

    The people who should be funding the bailout are those who most profit or have most profited from them: shareholders and big businesses like Boeing, Exxon and Halliburton. They’re both the ones who have the most cash and can readily prop up the banks, and the ones who have most benefited from the banks. And if the “bailout” (failout is more like it) turns out to be a bust, the people will be covering the losses won’t be the taxpayers but rather those who created the mess in the first place.

    • kaizoku80 says:

      @P_Smith:

      Right, because Boeing, Exxon and Halliburton had so much to do with lending money to idiots and then selling those loans to other idiots as an investment…

  47. Tiber says:

    The bill, which from what I hear and have read, gives the Secretary of the Treasury a lot of power, and a lot of money to control. That worries me, especially considering that said treasurer has a personal stake in the industry.

    However, these earmarks just make it worse for me.
    If you have over $100K, and don’t know to put it in multiple banks, I find it difficult to feel sorry for you if you lose it. If anything, the FDIC should set a hard limit per person that applies to all banks. But that has nothing to do with this bill.

    All of these sweeteners should be on their own bills, especially the mental illness part, since that has nothing to do with anything. Really, I have no idea why the government system even allows unrelated measures into unpopular bills. It’s such a popular tool for corruption.

    On a somewhat unrelated measure, anybody catch the Daily Show? I loved how the Republicans attacked the Dems and then immediately after said that this was not the time for partisanship. Never mind the fact that almost twice as many Republicans voted against it as Democrats.

  48. Angryrider says:

    Oh you Republicans decry socialism every chance you get, but when your interests are on the line, you embrace it.

    Where’s OUR socialistic policies? WTF is our Universal Health Care?! Screw choice, if it means letting only Big Money choose.

    I am so against this bailout, and I wish for this system do die. I can’t believe I have to go to school for this Hindenburg.

    • kaizoku80 says:

      @Angryrider:

      Generalize and stereotype much? I thought you Democrats were supposed to be the party of open-mindedness?

      I’m a staunch Republican (paleo-conservative) and I’m adamantly against this bailout…as are many Republicans.

      • jamar0303 says:

        @kaizoku80: Who says he/she’s Democrat? There *are* other parties in the US, even if they don’t really get any chance to be in the public spotlight.

        • pezhore says:

          @jamar0303:

          *cough* commie *cough*.

          Just kidding.

          @kaizoku80:

          I too am a Republican, and I’m really, really pissed that this passed the Senate. Using trickery they got around the whole, “financial bills must come from the House” rule. And the sum total of ear marks/crazy addons (see: Wooden Arrows), makes this the ultimate pandoring bill…

  49. VeredEuryalus says:

    Hey, here’s an idea…

    Instead of giving $700 billion to big business give $1 million to each tax payer. It’ll cost less and also spur the economy as people will naturally spend as well as others putting it into banks.

    Also, instead of companies selling mortgages to one another or the government for pennies on the dollar how about letting the consumer have the option of buying their mortgage off for, say 35 cents on the dollar?

  50. u1itn0w2day says:

    This is supposed to be an emergency bailout proposal-not politics as usual tacking on unrelated stuff.

    I don’t agree with the 250K FDIC insurance in that it does not encourage diversafication or spreading out your money around other banks.It discourages competition in that people with 250K can put all their eggs in one basket.

    Heard rumors of people spreading their money out amongst different banks so each account would be under 100K.In some respects that’s a good thing,encourages the use of different banks.Makes for competition and more alternative choices for the consumer.

    The downside is you might have to give up a higher interest rate or certain benefits at a different bank.

    My thing is I don’t want these remaining banks to get too big to fail again or become monopolies.

  51. AD8BC says:

    I don’t fully understand the logic of increasing the FDIC insurance.

    All you need to do is to, uh, split up your accounts between banks.

    An individual is protected up to $100,000 per bank (coverage covers multiple accounts at the same bank). joint accounts are protected up to $200,000 per bank.

    So just spread around your money and have as much insurance as you have cash!

    Oh, uh, wait… pretty soon, at the rate banks are failing and getting gobbled up, there will only be one bank to put your money in.

    Oh well.

    • Bladefist says:

      @AD8BC: Because most Americans have 250k in a bank they need protec… oh wait.

      Well, most Americans have more then 100k in a bank that they ne…..ah shit.

      Well, dude, just be happy! 250k! woohoo.

  52. Marshfield says:

    people were against it because it was horribly expensive, so now they cut taxes so the gov’t is even worse off than before.

    “you don’t like the 700 billion dollar bailout? How about 750 billion and we’ll throw 50 your way… How are we paying for it? Oh, we aren’t. You are… “

    Sure, that’ll fly…

  53. howie_in_az says:

    Let’s all applaud the Senate for saving wooden arrows in this bailout plan. Literally:

    “SEC. 503. EXEMPTION FROM EXCISE TAX FOR CERTAIN WOODEN ARROWS DESIGNED FOR USE BY CHILDREN.”

    CSPAN has become a bad FOX Reality show.

    • bbbco says:

      @howie_in_az:
      Yeah, I posted above some of the ridiculous “sweetener” added to this bill, including the wooden arrows.

      They actually think that by adding this crap will change voters minds. It was the voters who rejected the first bill, the voters will reject this.

      Come on people. Give us something worth voting for.

  54. dkush21 says:

    Thought you might all like to see this from Michael Moore:
    The richest 400 Americans — that’s right, just four hundred people — own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. 400 rich Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is $1.6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly $700 billion — the same amount that they are now demanding we give to them for the “bailout.” Why don’t they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They’d still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves!

  55. VotaIdiota says:

    The almost-tripling of the FDIC limits is probably one of the worst decisions ever made. If that gets passed, expect a level of bank failures the likes of which you’ve never even SEEN before.

  56. Marshfield says:

    Your government hard at work. Why in the world is this in the 700 billion dollar bailout bill that’s the biggest news item in months?

    20 SEC. 503. EXEMPTION FROM EXCISE TAX FOR CERTAIN
    21 WOODEN ARROWS DESIGNED FOR USE BY
    22 CHILDREN.
    23 (a) IN GENERAL.-Paragraph (2) of section 4161(b)
    24 is amended by redesignating subparagraph (B) as sub301
    O:AYOAYO08C32.xml S.L.C.
    1 paragraph (C) and by inserting after subparagraph (A)
    2 the following new subparagraph:
    3 ”(B) EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN WOODEN
    4 ARROW SHAFTS.-Subparagraph (A) shall not
    5 apply to any shaft consisting of all natural
    6 wood with no laminations or artificial means of
    7 enhancing the spine of such shaft (whether sold
    8 separately or incorporated as part of a finished
    9 or unfinished product) of a type used in the
    10 manufacture of any arrow which after its as11
    sembly-
    12 ”(i) measures 5⁄16 of an inch or less in
    13 diameter, and
    14 ”(ii) is not suitable for use with a bow
    15 described in paragraph (1)(A).”.
    16 (b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by
    17 this section shall apply to shafts first sold after the date
    18 of enactment of this Act.

  57. ojzitro says:

    I love to argue, and I believe that theories are made stronger, and problems solved by arguing about them. This article can make my argument for me, so I’ll save my “type” (aka: breath).

    [finance.yahoo.com]

  58. dkush21 says:

    Sorry, but I still think the ones responsible for this meltdown should be prosecuted and made to make restitution.

  59. Zulujines says:

    I’m actually not going to vote on this until I have read all the comments here. Then, I’m going to decide who presents the best argument for their opinion and go with them.

    I think it’s going to be a lot easier that way.

  60. Triborough says:

    There are probably several tons of pork in there.

  61. parrotuya says:

    Read my lips: No bailouts!

  62. mrosedal says:

    [www.new.facebook.com]

    To help understand what this is all about. It is needed.

  63. VanAchilles says:

    no no a 1000 times no!!!! This is a bailout plain and simple. 700 bn is a drop in a bucket compared to the outstanding debt our nation has. Wall street is failing and rightfully so. 100lbs of hot steaming dog sh*t will not gain any finacial value no matter how long you hold it. A system that is broken and can’t be fixed must be replaced. Misery loves company. So let the well to do stand in the breadlines with the downtrodden. If the whole planet is in meltdown, then at least we are all equal then we can all start again on a level playing field.

  64. synergy says:

    I’ve been news deprived in the last few days (and I’m not thrilled about seeing the news about this anyway), so the only thing I’ve heard about is the increase to the FDIC insurance limit. My first thought was “how is that helpful to me??” That would be helpful if I had a million dollars. I think most people don’t even have 250K, at least the ones I know. That aside, where is the government planning on pulling out that money from anyway? Are we printing money that fast?

  65. Nader/Gonzalez ’08 says I.

    • econobiker says:

      @quizmasterchris: And the funny thing is that the news media doesn’t understand this basic fact:

      Insanity is voting for the same parties over and over again and expecting different legislation and better representation…

      (stolen from the quote “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

  66. Red_Eye says:

    Yes, please take my money and invest it in these companies who couldn’t make sound enough business decisions to stay afloat! Brilliant! No risk in that!

  67. All those “sweeteners” are things that either don’t matter, or should happen anyway (like mental health parity and fixing the AMT). They don’t change the fact that the bailout is a STUPID move asking TAXPAYERS to COVER FOR RICH PEOPLE who SCREWED UP and now need to face the CONSEQUENCES OF A FREE MARKET.

    Free = free to fail. Or it ain’t free, and I want my 100% universal health care already.

  68. TheLadyK says:

    I’m in, as long as we get to socialize the companies that take the bailout. Government takes over Wall Street, we keep our iPods and shut up. We’ll be just like China.

    Oh, we’re supposed to just hand it over? Wait, what?

    Screw that noise, I’ll ride this puppy down.

  69. BrockChimera says:

    This is the oldest “sting” setup around. Create a perceived crisis and tell everyone their assets will be worthless overnight. Then create a perceived “fix” that appears to be a panacea to the masses. Then jerk it back at the last minute. Everyone who thought the crisis was solved, whether they were on board with the original plan, is desparate to make sure the plan is “saved”. This sounds a lot like buying a new car! Guys, WE are the economy! Despite all the high-sounding intellectual bs instruments (CMO’s) if it weren’t for consumer spending, there would be no market. If you borrow money, you have to pay it back. If you don’t, the people who loaned it to you are hurt. If banks make too many loans that don’t pay off, they go broke. There are rules about what loans they can or cannot make, and still count them as assets, if they are federally insured. The rules were not strictly enforced, but we are not talking about 80, 40, 30, or even 20% of the loans going bad. We are really talking about bad investments that banks and wall street speculators made. This was not main street America!! Despite what is being fed through the media, bad home loans are not the real issue in this mess. We didn’t cause the crisis, but now we are being asked to pay for it. We are being enticed by the offer to fix things that were suppossed to be fixed years ago, like indexing the AMT. This is congressional action (an politics) at its absolute worst! By the way, while I’m venting, the buzz on the VP candidate debate pits a “26 year congressman” against a relative newcomer. I am not advocating the merits of either of these candidates, but why in the holy H*LL is it a good thing that somebody has been sucking on the american teet for a living for 26 years? Can you say TERM LIMITS!!! Please! Isn’t this suppossed to be Democracy? Who really represents you in Congress? The newly elected representative or senator who had to come to your hous and shake your hand, or the fat cat who has been in Washington for more than a quarter-century?

    The circus that is American politics has been exposed. Send in the Clowns!!!

  70. Oops, I voted no.

    I should have voted yes, because I read the fine print and it seems like my Senator is going to receive $2 million and he promised to share the proceeds of his crimes with me.

    Gosh darn, I wish we had the line item veto.