Treasury Secretary Paulson just used the words, "A significant investment of taxpayer dollars." That's OUR dollars. And where is the money going? The plan is for U.S. taxpayers to bail out Wall Street. Not just a few firms this time, but all of it The financial markets are, of course, soaring on the new bailout plan.
Where did all this bad debt come from? In the last few years millions were talked into borrowing money from Wall Street using houses as collateral. Sometimes to buy those houses, other times to buy cars and ... stuff. This paid for Wall Street's multi-million-dollar salaries and bonuses for the past several years. The easy borrowing ran up the price of houses, but now the party is over and the bill comes due.
What does this bailout plan mean to regular Americans? First: It means no money for a health care plan.
Second: it means no money for retirement. It means no money to cover what the government borrowed from Social Security to give those tax cuts to the rich. (The corporations long ago quit providing pensions to the people who did the work. THAT scam -- 401Ks instead of pensions; money transferred from workers to shareholders -- is what started the big Wall Street runup.)
In summary, this plan means our standard of living will drop in order to cover the mess Wall Street made while handing out those multi-million dollar bonuses.
The plan will be presented to Congress in these last days of the Bush administration, and a climate of disaster emergency urgency will be used to get it passed before anyone has time to consider the ramifications of what is happening.
Alternative: instead use the money to retrofit the entire country to a green economy. Make every building energy efficient. Replace the oil and coal-based electricity generation with alternatives. Build efficient power lines to the new wind generation system we will build in the Plains states. This would give every unemployed person a job, create an efficient economy, and pay dividends forever. This would probably cost much less than the bailout.