As has become customary, the Democratic leaders of congress -- after making a lot of noise and protest -- are selling out Main Street, handing the real plums of the bailout to Republicans, giving George Bush and Henry Paulson what they wanted most.
Forget about the "unsupervised control" part of Paulson's request. They never expected to get that. It was a negotiating ploy they expected to give up, one designed to make them appear reasonable asking for what they are going to be gifted by the Democrats. What's particularly egregious is that the Dems are giving even more than Paulson asked. Most of the modifications from what Paulson requested, after the obvious extras, never expected to be included and were stripped out or have been re-packaged -- changing the timing of the release of the money, things that have a minimal effect on the deal.
First, there's that wild story about imposing a tax if the bailout doesn't return profits -- in five years, if the president elected in 2012 asks for it. What a cowardly, disingenuous way to avoid doing what should be done -- impose a tax immediately on stock transaction and loans that are going to be enabled because of the bailout. Thom Hartmann has described a plan that employs a tiny .25% tax on stock transactions (How Wall Street Can Bail Itself out without Destroying the Dollar). I say put it on loans too, since they are the beneficiaries of this project.
Waiting five years and putting the responsibility on a president two elections away is pretty much saying "a tax would be nice but we're not going to do it."
Of course, the Republicans will oppose it. But the Democrats have a majority in both houses and the support of the American people. But that never was enough before to get Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to do the right thing, what the majority of Americans want.
The deal gets worse. Now, there's a new insurance for banks, that the government pays for. That's a Republican demand -- remember, the people who hate government, except when it serves their special interests. Will the banks be paying for this, as they go? We'll see.
This "done deal" stinks. The public should tell congress to shove that tax that might be applied five years from now up where the sun doesn't shine. We need to raise even more noise. Nancy has done it again, totally selling out main street, the taxpayers and the middle class.
I liked Chris Dodd as a presidential candidate. But now, he's trying to put lipstick on this bailout pig, providing cover for another Pelosi failure to do her job. Yes. Pelosi's the worst. She has a solid majority in the house. Even her bluedog dems should be working with her on this pig, allowing a tax to pay for the bailout. But no, Pelosi sold out the majority of Americans again.
Of course, the Republicans, asking for elimination of the capital gains tax, and other breaks for the rich and for corporations, are just as offensive, no more, no, equal for trying to use the crisis as an opportunity to push their standard policies -- the ones that led up to the failure.
The plan the congress has put together is still highly risky, still endangers the dollar, still encourages risky behavior by businesses and the people and institutions that proffitted.
Obama has an opportunity here. He should reject the proposed "solution." Americans are ready to help, but a tiny tax bit -- a quarter of percent -- is a fair, reasonable way to save an industry while cutting risks.
Make the calls today and tomorrow. Tell your legislator, whatever party, you see through the five year tax plan lie. Demand that a tax be part of the solution.
Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
I see through the Five Year Tax plan Lie. A tax on stock sales and loans must be part of the solution!
Cross-posted from OpEdNews.com