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Robert Scheer on the Bailout Bomb

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Posted on Sep 29, 2008
montage: White House / Wikimedia Commons

The Dow dropped more than 777 points on the news that the House had voted down the $700-billion bailout proposal, so why does our editor think it’s “a great moment for American democracy”?

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, October 1, 2008 at 2:23 am Link to this comment

It was Lewis Mumford who once said: “Lighting is too important to be left up to the experts.” This could be equally applied to this current economic morass, where Wall Street insider experts, with hip waders, supposedly know what is best, and our own only job is to give them the money.
Check out what Dennis Kucinich has been saying about what it means to be a Democrat. Barack Obama in Reno, Nevada, tells Congress to step up to the plate. That is a bit rich, when you consider what Kucinich, Marcy Kaptur, Barbara Lee, etc., have been doing. Obama’s half ass support of the Paulson pushover is pathetic. If he would have shown some real leadership on this, he would have opposed it, and then advocated for a real solution. Listen to what Congresswoman Kaptur is saying for example.
Yes contact your elected representatives in both bodies. Encourage those who are acting in the interests of the citizens. Let the others know when they are not.

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By Fahrenheit 451, October 1, 2008 at 12:38 am Link to this comment

In all of the posts here, and in other threads on TD; everybody is so concerned about the bailout (rightly so) that I think you have missed one very important point.  The bailout failed because there is finally an issue everybody is passionate about; and, you actually contacted the politicians en masse!  And guess what; apparently they listened.  This is the ONLY power you have left; learn to use it well.

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By RichardfromHB, September 30, 2008 at 11:48 pm Link to this comment

Harry Reid Senator from Nevada is proposing a reworked inadequate plan vote by the senate and needs fax and email contacts over the next 24 hours (his vioce mail box is full at this time).  here is his info
Washington DC
528 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3542
Fax: 202-224-7327
Toll Free for Nevadans:
1-866-SEN-REID (736-7343)

The core concept proposed by Bush is flawed.  Call some hearings and ask some economists.  Google Sweden 1992 banking crisis.  They had good success promptly steering their financial institutions back to safety.  Learn the lessons, write it for the Democratic base, and own it.  The “compromise” tweeking that was done to the Bush proposal resulted in a toothless and weak 100 page bill that tried to bury and hide its weakness from the voters.  Rather than condescendingly claiming that the American people didn’t understand (Cf, McSame of Obama at first debate), or that the leadership didn’t explain it well enough, the reality is that public outrage finally made the Republicans blink, to borrow from Palin.  If they vote in favor of bailing out the bad actors, they lose votes from constituents in five weeks at the next election.  That is their only moral hazard.  The bill that failed would not have prevented one of the 10K daily foreclosures, could have been filibustered until Bush spent all $700B, would only have made some parachutes non-tax-deductible, merely required a report “suggesting” how the taxpayer will be paid back, and allowed the same bunch of lobbyists to set prices for their trash that the taxpayers would pay.  As a final insult, instead of providing more confidence through transparency, the failed bill would allow Paulson to suspend the mark-to-market rule.  This is intellectual dishonesty that will further erode confidence in our banking system.  Do a better job on all these issues and allow bankruptcy judges to implement the rewriting of loans, or face the wrath of the voters.  I think many voters would accept a temporary governmental equity position in the banking sector as long as the bad guys aren’t seen as maintaining their ability to subvert the programs and continue to rip off the system.  Don’t pull another FISA cave.

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By David Gnotta, September 30, 2008 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whether you are for or against the bailout plan, it is interesting to note what none of the politicians on either side are discussing, which is how to prevent this from ever happening again.

Some thoughts on the subject at my blog
center-politic.com

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By Xntrk, September 30, 2008 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I started writing my Congresswoman and both Senators when this bill was first announced - actually, the day after the debate. My first message was simple: I will not vote for anyone who supports this bailout - NO MATTER WHAT ELSE they stand for!

Because my Senators are not up for re-election, I sent a copy of my letter, and a couple of links to good sites to my entire e-mail list, except for business contacts etc.

I followed that e-mail up with more letters to my Reps; especially thanking Mazie Hirono for voting no. Copies of that and an article about a bottom up bailout went to my email list.

This morning, I followed that up with yet another letter to friends with an article that actually explained the bailout [on Alternet] and another copy of a 3rd letter to my Reps.

The thing is, it is only 5 weeks to the election. We really can get these thieves to kill this particular bill if we keep up the pressure. Or, we can effect real change by replacing the Bastards as they richly deserve.

This goes for Obama too. If he wants to be a Democratic President, he’d better start ‘talking the talk, and walking the walk’. I was appalled at his gung-ho warrior stance during the debate. Not for me folks! I just hope the man realizes that copying McCain is like ripping off a defective forgery!

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By Marc Schlee, September 30, 2008 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Contact your Senator:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

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By bc41, September 30, 2008 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

I think that is correct about the handling of foreclosures in bankruptcy court. This is the key to the whole thing, to keep as many mortgages solvent as possible.  If they pass this bailout there will be more requests of same until it finally soaks in, with dollars lost, that the free market of “houses” has to be managed to start a recovery of home values which in-turn would cause a stable rebound in the financial markets.  For the US to buy a pig-in-a-poke too, is a backward way to think.  Housing is the link to where mortgage backed security values are, mortgages in stock right?  A quirk of the free market is that when prices rise, that value comes from thin air, when it falls, the same: use the market to bring them up. It is so crazy that these managers and CEO’s (please, please don’t insult us with bonuses), how they missed the basics of making a business profitable—too much ideology, not enough doing the work.  Some should go to jail.

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By KDelphi, September 30, 2008 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081001/ap_on_bi_ge/financial_meltdown

Here’s to the (dis)loyal opposition!

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By KDelphi, September 30, 2008 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

floyd—yes. A mkt crash is a bad thing.

And this roller coaster crap is no way to run a country. There are already people who had IRA and 401k money in these fake banks. What the hell did they do to deserve this?

Yeah, “free to die with your rights on”.

There are ways to fetter out who abused the system. To allow these CEOs to go home with millions of dollars is extreme moral cowardice.

Those that make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolutions inevitable.

In other words, dont give people nothing to lose, or your head may end up on a block.

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By KDelphi, September 30, 2008 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

I agree with most of you—-this bailout bill is a real turkey. Attempted extortion, I would say.And they will still probably get something.

It does concern me a little that 1) it had to effect the rich basterds of Wall St. before anyone would even suggest anything and 2)Congress has gotten alot more response on this bill, then they ever got on the war, war funding, SCHIP,minimum wage (which is still humiliatingly low)

Congress people are saying that this is the “hardest decison theyve had to make since in the Congress”. I wish they had acted with the same hesitency on all the other “Bush plans”, that they so eagerly gave legitimacy to.

The Bankruptcy bill, the MBNA credit card giveaway, a lack of health insurance, they all contributed to this mess. It’s not just “too much greed on Wall St.” What the hell else would a capitalist economy be based on ?

Capitalism is the cause, not the solution. Capitalism is helping to kill people, tress animals, and the planet. We need to give it up.

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By floydw, September 30, 2008 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

An open letter to the Senate.

Shouldn’t the EPA conduct an environmental impact study before burying $700,000,000,000 worth of toxic waste in the US Treasury?

Privatize profits, socialize losses?  This is socialism, not capitalism. The freedom to succeed requires the freedom to fail. At best, we might call this plan corporate welfare.

The fiction presently duping policy makers is that a bailout will solve the problem. No one, as yet, has made a convincing argument that the virtues and benefits of Paulson’s Plan exceed or are preferable to enduring the natural consequences.

Just as a 150 years of interdiction against forest fire by the Forestry Service has resulted in increasingly catastrophic forest fires, so too will market interdiction only postpone and worsen the eventual correction. Can anyone predict with certainty what effect the Plan will have on inflation? What about the US dollar? Can anyone predict where the Dow will be in 36 months if we allow the market to make the corrections? Must we always consider a correction a bad thing? The Paulson plan simply dopes the market and send it merrily on its way. Only the market knows the most efficient, most intelligent way to restore integrity to our financial system. What are the unintended consequences inherent in the Cash For Trash Plan?

The Paulson plan unjustly and disproportionately distributes risk to U.S. taxpayers; smearing many undeserving families with an unwarranted amount of the excrement from the greed-induced frenzy that produced this fiasco.

The bailout does little more than condone the malfeasance of Wall St., signaling decision makers not to concern themselves with the consequences of imprudent behavior because the U.S. taxpayer will bail them out. Thus practically insuring more irresponsible behavior and a succession of crisis.

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By crutch512, September 30, 2008 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

A bailout package failed yesterday.  Hurray.  Time asked, in a poll, “Who’s to blame” for the failure of passage?  To blame?  I’m thrilled it failed.  Whom do I congratulate?
  Pelosi said, in her speech yesterday, the initial Paulson Plan would have given the Secretary of the Treasury absolute power to spend the $700 billion and manage the revenues it might generate. 
  This situation reminds me of the German Reichstag’s vote in 1932 to give Hitler the power to make laws.  They were in an economic crisis and believed Hitler could expeditiously solve it if he were freed from the long process of seeing laws work their way through the Reichstag, if he were freed from checks and balances.  Many are claiming we are in an economic crisis and must act immediately, must “do something.”  The Bush administration is doing all it can to spread fear and confusion just as it did in their lead up to the Iraq invasion.  Instead of “WMD” and “terrorist threat” and “code orange” we hear “economic collapse” and “loss of 401-k.”  If Paulson and the Bush faithful could have what they want, we the people would see an Economic Kaiser (Paulson) and the genesis of an economic Holocaust in America.  Genesis—-because the negative effects of what Paulsen really wants won’t fully be realized for years to come. 
  The Congress should put this matter aside until we have a new president.  Putting it on hold until after January 2009 would allow us to actually see a bit of what may happen if we don’t act.  More importantly, it will allow us to get beyond the fear mongering of the Bush Administration.

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By floydw, September 30, 2008 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

The Senate is schedule to conduct a vote on the bailout tomorrow.  If you harbor strong sentiments concerning the Paulson Plan, I suggest notifying your representative and expressing your position prior to the vote.

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By GayleinCA, September 30, 2008 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

Robert Scheer is absolutely correct!  The way to work out these credits is to let bankruptcy jugdes reduce the principle amount of the bad loan.  The banking industry exclaims that THE WORSE would happen…that the price of the loan would go up…AHH! Well, it should! 

It’ll force bankers back to “the 3 C’s of credit” - Capacity to pay; credit and collateral.  If there is a risk of the loan amount being reduced then maybe the bank will really look at the appraisal (that were all inflated because they were not independent); maybe they will really look at whether the borrower can actually PAY back the loan over the long term; maybe they will look at the amount of money the borrower has to pay vs their income.  The basics.  The risk was gone so the basics were thrown out the window.

Bankers were no longer WORRIED about whether they could get all of their principle back and, of course due to no regulation, no enforcement, new products that no one could get their hands around (remember Enron?).  All red flags! 

So HOW can we get the change in the bankruptcy law BACK on the table?? Let the Federal Government work it out but work out each individual credit in the bankruptcy courts that are set up to do that. 

Why wait for some Federal Government agency to come in and do this—very ineffiecient and wasteful—remember the RTC??  What a joke!  What a waste!  (Those fired S&L;people in the early 90’s all went and started those mortgage broker companies!!) 

It is going to happen again if this bail out goes through. Give it to the judges—don’t throw money at the very people that got us into this mess.

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By RichardfromHB, September 30, 2008 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

The bialout didn’t fail because of a speech.  The core concept proposed by Bush is flawed.  Call some hearings and ask some economists.  Google Sweden 1992 banking crisis.  They had good success promptly steering their financial institutions back to safety.  Learn the lessons, write it for the Democratic base, and own it.  The “compromise” tweeking that was done to the Bush proposal resulted in a toothless and weak 100 page bill that tried to bury and hide its weakness from the voters.  Rather than condescendingly claiming that the American people didn’t understand (Cf, McSame of Obama at first debate), or that the leadership didn’t explain it well enough, the reality is that public outrage finally made the Republicans blink, to borrow from Palin.  If they vote in favor of bailing out the bad actors, they lose votes from constituents in five weeks at the next election.  That is their only moral hazard.  The bill that failed would not have prevented one of the 10K daily foreclosures, could have been filibustered until Bush spent all $700B, would only have made some parachutes non-tax-deductible, merely required a report “suggesting” how the taxpayer will be paid back, and allowed the same bunch of lobbyists to set prices for their trash that the taxpayers would pay.  As a final insult, instead of providing more confidence through transparency, the failed bill would allow Paulson to suspend the mark-to-market rule.  This is intellectual dishonesty that will further erode confidence in our banking system.  Do a better job on all these issues and allow bankruptcy judges to implement the rewriting of loans, or face the wrath of the voters.  I think many voters would accept a temporary governmental equity position in the banking sector as long as the bad guys aren’t seen as maintaining their ability to subvert the programs and continue to rip off the system.  Don’t pull another FISA cave.

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By Virginia777, September 30, 2008 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

Can we please get a transcript to read here? some of us aren’t much for watching Podcasts.

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By Leefeller, September 30, 2008 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

FYI: Okay folks, check out this link, it provides more insight.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2008/09/bailout_plan_reactions.php

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By Leefeller, September 30, 2008 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

Maybe this is the time to ask Castro what he can do to help us?

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By KDelphi, September 30, 2008 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

I agree on some of this. The GOP must have loved having an excuse to blame it on the Dems, who certainly deserve no bravery medal for any of this.

It is sortve strange , though, that this bill has gotten more attention thatn the money we spend in Iraq, etc.

It stil seems that it has to hit the rich before people give a damn.

Christmas shopping?? Whats that?

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By Louise, September 30, 2008 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

Hmmm, alrighty then.

Seems a lot of folks who really, really didn’t want this “bailout” are really, really upset ‘cause Nancy caboshed the “bailout!” Can we say schizoid? Or is it easier to just say repub?

The market close yesterday was just about where it was when Bush took office eight years ago. Actually just about where it should be given the actual value of what’s left of the dollar, given George W Bush policy!

Actually given the grand theft Bush, and 13 years of a repub controlled congress have engaged in ... it’s looking pretty good! So forget about the Market for a minute and focus on the dollar. The dollar and the availability of the dollar, as in available credit to keep things going. I’m not talking about keeping Wall Street going, I’m talking about small business and groceries and gas and Christmas is coming, and assuming you haven’t already drained your savings, wouldn’t you like to be able to find stuff in the stores when you go Christmas shopping?

Speaking of dollars, maybe banks are crashing because of that crashing dollar and the inability to get operating capital, because the banks have no money. So even the solvent guys cant come up with enough to help the ones experiencing shortfalls.

For an administration that has consistently looted the treasury, how can anyone believe this power grab isn’t just more of the same? Bush and his repub give-away, throw-away to the big guys, and hang the little guys policy has brought our dollar to the brink of collapse, and that’s caused a credit crunch which has led to every other problem we see today.

And believe it or not folks, it isn’t as bad as it was back in the seventies ... and we rescued that. So be careful before you throw in behind the repub crowd that did away with the regulations that worked then. Because their solution is to NOT restore controls, to drop corporate taxes even more, and to create MORE de-regulation.

Do we need a bailout? No, we need a stimulus. And if a level of regulation to the Markets and the Brokers, coupled with a new faith from the American population is restored, we the people can bring this thing back from the brink. I would suggest you all go to: C-SPAN, US Capital House Radio and TV,  http://www.cspan.org/Watch/C-SPAN_wm.aspx and listen to Rep Marcy Kaptor D-Ohio and some other dem folks who really understand what’s going on, can actually remember history and have an INTELLIGENT program to put forth to Congress to vote on.

Meanwhile, the mean guy at the bully pulpit, that Bush guy will be pressing more fear and horror on the Senate, trying to force them to a bad vote on his bad proposition tomorrow. So start phoning them! Insist they hold up until the congress can self-educate and figure out what the real root of the problem is! Then they can create “rescue” in the proper direction.

Nancy did us all a favor. At the last minute she directed her comments to the failings of republican, ideologically driven fiscal irresponsibility. That accomplished two things. Caused a few dems to pause and vote against. And gave the repubs the excuse they were looking for to vote against.

So am I saying Nancy actually did not want this bill to pass? Of course I am, because she obviously didn’t. But given the sense of panic Bush created, and the complete lack of understanding exhibited by the larger body of Congress, mainstreammedia and [unfortunately] the two candidates, the House had to do something.

They did something. They bought some time. Now it’s up to us to see that the “package” they come up with is more than just another down payment on greed. What has happened, demonstrates what happens when a herd mentality is panicked. Bush counts heavily on the herd mentality. And as long as he keeps pushing the panic button [which he will] there’s always the threat that the herd will panic and the Market will crash.

So the key here is don’t panic!

http://leeblood.com/2008/09/23/marcy-kaptur-d-ohio-todays-heroine/

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By mill, September 30, 2008 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

i think the plan was rejected because the details were not favorable to most Americans

Congress acted as it should have - a refreshing change from the last 7 years of rubber-stamp legislating.  the plan details need fixing, improving.

however, that is a risky rejection, because it is easy to get a herd psychology going that gets a financial panic as a result

so Congress better address the real flaws in the next draft law they vote on ... there isn’t much time to avoid triggering a herd psychology panic

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By KDelphi, September 30, 2008 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

It is not that difficult to weed out, those who took out equity from their homes, to pay for bills that they shouldnt even be paying (health care, taxes for the war).

If Congress had the guts, they would take these lousy CEOs salaries, nationalize the banks, (The UK did it today) “re-publicize” FM & FM, and start charging taxes on traders ( I mean, traitors). (Does anyone even remember that we have military bleeding and dying overseas? That a milliion civilians have died? How could GOP say that this was “the most difficult vote they had hever had to make”? Harder than sending people to die??)

They should raise the capital gains tax. We need bankruptcy protection in this bill. We need to re-instate Glass-Steagal and overturn the Biden et al credit card rip-off.

And we should turn their McMansions (wine cellars anhd all) into public housing—make them inot flats, that would house dozens.

Taxpayers should demand a fundamental change in the uS economic system. It simply does not work for the majority anymore (if it ever did). The “mkt” doesnt have a “mind”, “feelings”, “intelligence” or “desires”.

A corporations is NOT a person.

Money is NOT free speech.

Trickle-down economics is really “piss on the poor”.

People who are cheering on the GOP for their vote onthis, would do well to consider WHY they voted it down (most of them, anyway). It was for entirely different reasons than Kucinich, Kaptor, et al voted it down.

Their reasons are not morally equivelant, no matter how much most Dems caved on this one.

This could be a great opportrunity for Obama to show “Which side is he on”. I fear that he will not, because he is not.

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By libertarian, September 30, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You people sound like a pack of libertarians! Regulation doesn’t mean much in a dishonest environment. Long prison-terms do. Relief for the oppressed middle and low economic classes can be provided simply and in a way that involves no bailouts or gov asset-grabs:Two or three years of zero Fed taxes on med-low income people. Compensate in two ways. 1)close fifty or more of our foreign military bases, and 2)a fee-per-head on major US corp’s which have sent US jobs overseas.

language warning:: fuck the bailout mentality. this is a major assjump even Democrats wont put-up with.
what’s a preposition, anyhow?

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By yellowbird2525, September 30, 2008 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

http://www.democrcracynow.org (site) had Dennis K. on last nite; he was voting against it; & said has a very bad smell to it. Said it would not help the banks, nor the people in foreclosure at all. Said Bush etc had been running to the banks & telling them to “tighten” credit; give no lending; said it would do what our criminals (ooops) make that Congress has been doing all along, simply passing the wealth up to themselves & others of like mind; said it is all hoopla about nothing trying to cause fear amongst everyone: and there should be all kinds of meetings & analysis etc as to WHY the office in charge of it looked the other way as did Congress members: all being fully aware of it & doing nothing: BTW, a book called “license to steal” taking lessons from the folks in Pentagon & up on Capitol Hill; was all about how the laws were being ignored & the fraud that went on in Wall Street. Interestingly enough, Dennis K went on to say it looked like very much a “set up” deal; that would be horrendously bad for the people of the USA; but great for the few in the White House & their consorts; check it out for yourselves folks;

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By thebeerdoctor, September 30, 2008 at 1:42 am Link to this comment

Robert Scheer is correct. This is a great American moment in democracy. For the first time, in a very long time, congress performed their constitutional responsibility by being an independent branch of the government and refusing to do what they have been told to do.
For the Democratic Party, the so-called Democratic leadership has almost completely abandoned the principles of the modern party of the people, founded on the political genius of Franklin Roosevelt. This total capitulation to corporate interests is what this rescue plan for Wall Street was all about. Fortunately, the Democratic party still has members who still believe in the original vision. Although usually ignored by the Leadership Council, Monday proved that true Democrats simply were not buying this latest load of bull.
For the Republicans, the vote on this awful piece of legislation was a matter of political survival. This was a matter of raw democracy rearing its ugly head. Members of congress became quickly aware of how unpopular this bailout was in their own districts, with opposition running sometimes 300 to 1. So George Bush can plead to pass this turkey, but the members of his party like their jobs, and weighing in with the dead duck loser on this, could very well mean an end of their political careers.
As far as the internet is concerned, it definitely has an effect. For myself, I use to just be an observer. But this proved a little different. When the text of this bill’s draft became available, I read a large portion of it and discovered some very disturbing things. I then sent an e-mail to a Senator in my state. And guess what? I received an actual thoughtful response.
For my part, as an internet peasant, I will participate, by encouraging those elected who work for a more just society. Let everyone’s voice be heard.

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By Jack Ronan, September 29, 2008 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you, Robert Scheer, for telling it like it is.  There are other voices doing this: Kucinich, Nader, Cindy Sheehan, etc. all of whom have been saying that “our” Government, “our” Democracy has not been leveling with us, not just on the bailout, but (where should I start?) on issue after issue.  What choice do we have when all of these voices are routinely snuffed out by the “mainstream” press?  Well, we have our own media, more powerful than theirs: the Internet.  So keep on speaking, Robert. 
Personally I feel a real need to listen to something other than the crap coming out of Washington.
It would seem that we now have the beginnings of the end of Crazed Consumerism, a Death March, if you will.  Here’s to the Reason and Compassion that lie ahead.

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By yours truly, September 29, 2008 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Only The Nationalization Of Banking And Finance Can Get Us Out Of This Mess

“Why is that?”

“Invariably greed grinds down privatized banking and finance.”

“How will a nationalized system be any better?”

“it exists to serve the public interest rather than private interests.”

“And then what sort of world?”

“It’ll be up to us.”

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By Jata, September 29, 2008 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I appreciate you Robert Scheer for your review on how all this came about. Your call for a “bottom-up” rescue
also might have merit, but it isn’t supported by any of the major parties or political leaders. In this case, where is your compassion for ordinary employees who tried to do for themselves through retirement investments on Wall Street? You seem to delight in the bailout loss..but where’s your concern about the market effects on everyday folks..

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By GW=MCHammered, September 29, 2008 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hmm. So We The People are being ‘asked’ for a loan. Well, let us set the terms. November’s soon. What’s the average home price plummeted, 40%? Yes. 700 billion at 40% interest. Otherwise, hasta la vista credit markets. Let prices and wages float where they may. You know, like in Democratic Open Market Systems.

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By G.Anderson, September 29, 2008 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

If this wasn’t bad enough congress let the alternative minimum tax stand which means that 23 million American’s will pay an average of $2,000 more in Taxes next year…..

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By GB, September 29, 2008 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This bailout is such a scam I really can’t believe our country is falling for this time and time again.
Bush and Cheney have been scamming our country and destroying our country and you believe Bush when he stands up and says FEAR FEAR FEAR while Paulson is in the bank safe loading the cash in his buckets.
I hope San Francisco wakes up someday and votes out Pelosi.
She could have stopped this mafia a long time ago.
What is her stake in this theft?
What happens if you do a bad job and your company goes belly up? Do you get rewarded?
EXACTLY

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By P. T., September 29, 2008 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

Economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research writes:

Almost every economist I know rejects the Treasury Secretary Paulson approach and argues instead for directly injecting capital into the banks. The taxpayers give them the money and then we own some, or all, of the bank. (That’s what Warren Buffet did with Goldman Sachs.)

This isn’t about begging for a sliver of equity as a concession for a $700 billion bailout; this is about constructing a bank rescue the way that business people would do it. We have an interest in a well-operating financial system. There is zero public interest in giving away taxpayer dollars to the Wall Street banks and their executives.

If Secretary Paulson constructed a package that was centered around buying direct equity stakes in the banks, he could quickly garner large majority support in both houses. Better yet, Congress could just construct its own package centered on buying equity stakes and send it to President Bush.

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By Outraged, September 29, 2008 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

Re: driving bear

In addition, the FACTS are that this NEVER HAD TO HAPPEN AT ALL, so rather that allowing them to skew the facts in favor of “free markets”, realize that this crisis was the CREATION OF FREE MARKETS.

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By Outraged, September 29, 2008 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

Re: driving bear

Your comment: “You know it’s a bad bill when both Robert Scheer and Newt Gingrich are both against it. As for the stock market , Friday Fox reported that if the bill did not pass the worst to be expected was a 1000-2000 point drop in the Dow. Which is less that 20% of the value. so let the free market play out

I agree and disagree.  Many republicans opposed this measure and as I’ve stated on another thread it is my understanding that this was a 4-page bill, one in which Paulson gave himself unfettered reign.  Questionable… that he would attempt to “slip one by” so to speak in a 4-PAGE BILL.  Incredibly suspicious, obviously he WANTED a reaction.  Then we had McCain make his presence known, ahh..the pageantry.  In addition, Roy Blunt…. who in my book is the asses of all asses, IS OPPOSED.  Something stinks, and it’s to high heaven.

Around the internet today, I noticed this being billed as “a win” for the free market.  “Just look at HOW WONDERFUL” it all is…la la la.  Obviously, their buds are going to come in and bail them out, which I believe they KNEW, or possibly PLANNED and THEN it will show the “wondrous invisible hand” at work.

That part is the scam.  On the other hand, let them bail each others derrieres out, but let’s not let this be SPUN as “a win for the free market”.  “Smoke and mirrors” is the game they’re playing.  Remember, these “soft-hearted” republicans are the ones who screwed every single person in America other than the TOP PERCENT.  This bill, had it passed, INCLUDED NOTHING to help out the foreclosures…nothing.  Imagine, the bill goes through at a later date, “revised”, will it help homeowners…?  This is the avenue which will do the MOST to restore stability, YET, not one mention of that in this bill… not one.

When these people OFFER a “helping hand”, best to crawl out of the hole on your own, claw at the dirt and make your own way.

Aside from that, I agree with R. Scheer this was a win, of sorts.  But the battle has just begun.

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By William T. DeMente, September 29, 2008 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Unfortunately, a letter to my congresswoman would be a waste of time.  She is Heather Wilson (R-NM), a lame duck, who voted for the bailout.

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By Frank Cajon, September 29, 2008 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

The deal is flawed. It is not enough.
All banks and corporations bailed out must become nationalized assets owned by the taxpayers and operated by central planning with specified capitalizaton goals, along with the FMs. Moratorium on all foreclosures of worker morgages and freezing of all futures trading on Wall St as a prelude to a dismantling of the corrupt culture of greed there that will fester again if our worker dollars save their greedy ass this time. Hundreds of banks are going to fail, and all should be incorporated into a People’s Central Federal Bank, with a board of labor representatives and elected members answerable to the People.

Paulson should not be running the Treasury department and is a criminal who should be in jail for securities fraud. He, Bernanke,and Bush are complicit in conspiracy to commit securities fraud and money laundering by submitting this bailout plan. Yes, we need nationalization, but on a far larger scale; it must include the utilities and national resources including oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and other industries vital to worker productivity. These should not be run by greedy profiteers and speculated on by Bourgoiesie gamblers playing rich man roulette with stocks and bonds, but by strictly regulated and supervised committees of working class citizens transforming capital into goods. Profits, interest, and speculation are going to be anachroisms once we move to a Socialist New Deal putting the millions of Americans back to work rebuilding the country on the ruins of the capitalist failure in infrastructure programs that will dwarf the Tennessee Valley, WPA and other worthwhile projects.

The Congress cannot give a trillion to Wall St that it does not have, without provisions for a new world view in this country. The Neocons, taking time from their swastikas to nix the deal because they fear the worker, are stalling because they want to give Wall St more after the elections; Demo sheep talk good/do bad as they make deals to sell out every one of us out. Both fiddle while your life savings burn, but this may be the price of the revolutionary change in store for the new economic paradigm that must replace the corroded, cancerous corpse of capitalism.

Write your Congressman. If he is like mine, he is dumb as a box of dirt, but he is likely voting against the bailout. Tell him: We want a New Deal if we are going to be force fed this thing. All or nothing. If we don’t get it, let Wall St fall.

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By driving bear, September 29, 2008 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

You know it’s a bad bill when both Robert Scheer and Newt Gingrich are both against it. As for the stock market , Friday Fox reported that if the bill did not pass the worst to be expected was a 1000-2000 point drop in the Dow. Which is less that 20% of the value. so let the free market play out

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By jyotisha, September 29, 2008 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Communism, which proved brutal and inimical to human values, died a premature death.  Capitalism, an economic system tied to imperilism, greed, slavery, and exploitation by the rich, appears poised to die a mature death.

Nothing last forever.  An economic system based on sustainablity, cooperation, and utilization is a dream we all share and, perhaps, a dream whose time has come.

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By Haigan Smith, September 29, 2008 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am always surprised at the threats offered by the power brokers…I.E. Washington DC. “You’ll not be able to send your kids to college”, “You won’t be able to buy a car” “You’ll lose your Job” . This is in fact obscene. Let it burn! (and I have a pension)....you see, the supposed money you own is an illusion. If someone is telling you that your well being can’t be sustained unless their well being is….they are lying to you. This is America’s best time and chance to take their lives back from the greed of international bankers and those who have sold America and the world into global slavery. I say Let it burn! Rescue the battered people of this country who have worked so hard and lost so much….The people will rebuild the value of the country when we all have a “real” investment in it.

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By Big B, September 29, 2008 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

Only if we cleanse ourselves of debt will this nation ever stand a chance of reversing what appears to be our inevitable downfall.

Let wall street fail.

If we continue to print money we will never achieve the kind of future prosperity that we will need to pay for printing money now. We are already two full generations behind in paying off our debts. if we keep going down this track(and keep in mind folks, this is just the tip of the iceberg, the boomers will retire soon and dump all of their stocks in order to get some value out of their 401K’s. Who will be their to buy those stocks? especially after having to bail out even more banks, and the auto industry, and the airlines?) we will be a large third world nation with a lot of cheap real estate laying around and worthless currency to wipe our asses with.

Yup, the Piper has come, and he’s going to break our fingers and our knees, and we will still owe him money.

The biggest joke of all is that almost no one takes the national debt seriously anymore. It’s nearly 10 TRILLION dollars! Heck, it might as well be 20 trillion, ‘cause we can’t pay that either.

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By Ace D, September 29, 2008 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

NO more bailout revisions. We have to stop them from trying again. Pelosi was right for speaking her mind.

Keep the mail & calls flowing.

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By G.Anderson, September 29, 2008 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

It’s my own opinion that if this bailout passess it will do little to fix the markets.

Unless American’s are helped with their mortgages, and their debt, then the added burden of this will still sink us.

Robert is right, this administration made it very dificult for Americans, and every day we struggle just to make ends meet. The value of our wages, of our work has fallen, though we still are the most productive work force in the world.

But those in charge, took from us, until we had no more to give, they thought and they still think, that the American public has no bottom. But maybe we have.

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By GB, September 29, 2008 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I never had much confidence in the intelligence of the American public in general, but I think they get this one very clearly.

You see, the typical American is sick and tired of being lied to, cheated, mocked, and generaly kicked around. They been hurting for some time now, so they figure, ok, I can take it for a while, Things will be tight for me and my family but at least I’ll get the satifaction of watching certain politicians, bankers and pundits whine and complain about their credit markets, stock market, decrease in their wealth and what not. If I’m hurting, then you’ll be hurting. I can eat rice and beans because I’m used to it…..you cant.

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By Jim Ball, September 29, 2008 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This a sad day for all citizens even if you do not have money in the stock market.  This is not about CEO’s.  It’s about you and I and our future!

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By Micah Dyer, September 29, 2008 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I see your point Robert Scheer. What happens to folks who are not rich but do have their retirement wrapped up in stocks and 401K and are getting on in age?
Also, this has created a divide. Some are now arguing for less regulation, less help for home-owners. While others, whom I agree with, are calling for a return to FDR like regulation. Who wins this battle in the future?

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By davneil, September 29, 2008 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

Bob has the historical and moral perspective just right. Let Wall Street firms feel the pain and work their way out or fail; any bail out should have punitive overtones at very least, and funds should come from where it went.

Unregulated supply side Regan Robber Barons can cry their crocodile tears - they soaked up the wealth, and they can take a hit. So they have to kiss a little green good bye; many hard working stiffs have seen everything they own evaporate. We need a resurgence of general income growth, and job creation investment will give pride and purpose back to workers, and build the market to balance supply.

We need balance in the economy, not bandages for fat cats with boo boos.

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By Marc Schlee, September 29, 2008 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Congress, the White House and the Fed already HAD oversight responsibility for the US economy.

Maybe giving them more money and power isn’t the answer.

FREE AMERICA

REVOLUTIONARY (DIRECT) DEMOCRACY

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By charlesy, September 29, 2008 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Again- the first time didn’t seeem yo work
Dear confused commentators and political pundits ;
I watched you this evening crying in your beer and wondered how many millions you lost today.
My response was.., Great.. you deserve it. You with your multi million dollar a year salaries are NOT the average American.
NOW- if you truly want to Help the country- start by facing facts..
Credit credit credit, you all cried knowing full well you were addressing the poor who you and your kind have convinced we all must have. Sure we do, it’s how the people that Pay You make their money. You see, even the average person has figured out the Game.
Now congress is going back in session and try to come up with a plan. That would be good.. IF they just don’t keep on Beating This Same Dead Horse.
You’ve heard the People, THEY DON”T WANT IT!!!
Get a clue, people. DO Something for the people that are going to lose their homes.. not for yourself and your buddies on Wall Street.
Frankly, I don’t give a whit How Much You Lost Today. I never figured you earned it to start with!
-UP the People!
DOWN with the Republic

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By charlesy, September 29, 2008 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

Dear confused commentators and political pundits ;
I watched you this evening crying in your beer and wondered how many millions you lost today.
My response was.., Great.. you deserve it. You with your multi million dollar a year salaries are NOT the average American.
NOW- if you truly want to Help the country- start by facing facts..
Credit credit credit, you all cried knowing full well you were addressing the poor who you and your kind have convinced we all must have. Sure we do, it’s how the people that Pay You make their money. You see, even the average person has figured out the Game.
Now congress is going back in session and try to come up with a plan. That would be good.. IF they just don’t keep on Beating This Same Dead Horse.
You’ve heard the People, THEY DON”T WANT IT!!!
Get a clue, people. DO Something for the people that are going to lose their homes.. not for yourself and your buddies on Wall Street.
Frankly, I don’t give a whit How Much You Lost Today. I never figured you earned it to start with!
-UP the People!
DOWN with the Republic

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By JimM, September 29, 2008 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

I feel badly for those with 401ks who are nearing retirement.
Once again we have to be punished for the heedless greed of others.

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By troublesum, September 29, 2008 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Paulson referred to himself as a “regulator” in reacting to the vote.  That was a great moment.  Barney Frank took the art of obsfucation to new heights after the vote.  That was a great moment.  Congress may have to hold public hearings before this is over so it is a great moment.

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By Jimmy Z, September 29, 2008 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They may have saved the country today, but they will try again!  Keep the letters going to your representatives!

Let’s see, we have $10 trillion in debt from the folks in our country living on credit, so lets print some more to keep the big foreign investors happy.  Yea, that’s a good idea! 

JZ

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