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The $700 Billion Questions

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With this morning's news that speculators at Lehman Brothers are going to get $2.5 billion worth of bonuses, I wanted to pass on my brand new In These Times magazine article asking five key questions that neither party has bothered to answer about the $700 billion bailout. They are:

1. What will prevent the bill from allowing both parties to use the guise of purchasing worthless mortgages to further enrich their largest campaign donors?

2. How are Americans and investors supposed to feel confident that the crisis will be solved, if the very people who engineered the crisis are being relied on to solve it?

3. How is this meltdown a failure of "oversight" if it has almost nothing to do with illegality?

4. When did a crisis suddenly mean that giving away taxpayer cash to campaign donors is laudably apolitical, but spending taxpayer money on taxpayers is inappropriately "political?"

5. How are we going to pay for this?

I explore all of these questions in the article, which you can read here. As I note, this week we will see Thomas Frank's wrecking crew using Naomi Klein's shock doctrine to justify a bigger free lunch than David Cay Johnston ever imagined. And until these basic questions are answered, nobody should have a single iota of confidence that what's being proposed is anything less than the most anti-democratic power grab and corporate giveaway in contemporary American history.