As many readers probably know, the Panel that Congress created to oversee TARP is questioning Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for the first time this Tuesday morning. I am one of the five members of that Panel, and I would like the people who are living with this recession to get a chance to ask their questions about TARP, rather than the questions simply coming from me and the Panel.
It is my personal view that although disagreement exists among very smart people, Treasury has a viable plan that can work. In fact it must work, but it can only work if people in our country are a part of the dialogue and solution. That dialogue starts with a chance to have questions heard and answered.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked me to serve on this Panel to be a voice for the states and their citizens.I am also New York State's Superintendent of Banks and in that capacity I have felt that my job is not only to oversee banks, but to help people in financial distress.
I plan to ask Secretary Geithner questions based on what I have learned from working with people in New York State who have been impacted by the crisis, including those who have tragically lost their homes and their savings. New York Governor David Paterson, who encouraged Speaker Pelosi to put me on this Panel, asked me to be as inclusive as possible in providing view points to the Secretary. So I would also like the chance to ask your questions too. We have done a lot in New York to help, but the states can't do it alone. A state/federal partnership is needed, with a national dialogue to get us to the right place.
Please take a moment to post a question here that you would like the Secretary to answer. If you would like, include your name, where you are from, and what you do. I'll ask what my time allows. You can also reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or to share your story with the Panel, please visit the link at www.cop.senate.gov. I am confident that, with your help, we can take advantage of this opportunity to begin the inclusive dialogue that we so badly need.
I am asking the Huffington Post readers for these questions because in my opinion the readers are thoughtful and reasonable, as I would like this Panel to be. The goal here is not gimmicks or gotcha, but is to make sure Treasury hears people's substantive thoughts on TARP, even the ones that my limited time will not allow me to ask directly.
I hope to stay in a conversation with you.
Richard H. Neiman
Member, Congressional Oversight Panel