The plan is bad. But bad policies get enacted all the time. But
we’re at a point now where congress is, allegedly, in the hands of
progressive leadership. Simply put, if congressional Democrats manage
to acquiesce in a plan that spends $700 billion on a bailout while
doing nothing for average working people and giving the taxpayer
virtually no upside in a way that guarantees that even electoral
victory would give an Obama administration no resources with which to
implement a progressive domestic agenda in 2009 then everyone’s going
to have to give serious consideration to becoming a pretty hard-core
It’d be one thing for a bunch of conservative politicians to ram a
terrible policy through. Then we could say “well, if some progressives
win the next election things will be different.” But if this comes
through an allegedly progressive congress then the whole enterprise
starts looking pretty hollow.
Here is the link. Personally, I don’t get drunk, but there are a number of enterprises — not just Matt’s — which are looking pretty hollow these days. And I don’t just mean banks. You can blame lots of the crisis on government — more than most people think — but at the end of the day it is hard to escape the conclusion that markets simply have performed horribly in a number of important regards.
As one of Matt’s commentators indicates, it is time for both candidates to show up in Washington and start…um…acting like Senators.
Addendum: Via Greg Mankiw, here is a chilling analysis of the bail-out. Get this line:
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are
non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be
reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
Second addendum: Also via Matt, here is a round-up of critical commentary on the Paulson plan. Count me in too, among those screaming "no!" Yet it seems it’s going to happen.