The huge bailout of the financial system that the Bush administration and Congress are rushing to draft will leave taxpayers with at least part of the bill at a time when high gasoline prices, job losses and stagnant incomes have already helped produce an overwhelming sense that the nation is on the wrong track.
Policy makers cannot say where it all ends. News reports are unrelentingly talking of "crisis." After decades of deregulation and free-market fealty, antiregulation, small-government Republicans are putting the government in control of a big chunk of the financial sector.
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