They're angry and they're not going to take it anymore.
That's the message opponents of the proposed financial rescue, now widely derided as a bailout, are sending loud and clear.
In their view, Armageddon is better than using taxpayer money to support the financial system: "We need to go through a brutal process of resizing down"; "I don't believe anyone should be bailed out"; "Let the overextended banks fail" -- all from a single day's Letters to the Editor in The Wall Street Journal. Congressmen were overwhelmed with messages from furious constituents.
The anger is understandable. Every story about a failing financial institution carries with it the details of the multimillion-dollar exit package the chief executive stands to receive. In many cases these executives have been recent arrivals; their predecessors, the real culprits, had already left, taking with them millions in deferred compensation and bonuses. No one is ever fired "for cause," which all but requires the commission of a felony; merely destroying value for your shareholders doesn't suffice.