The great thing about a crisis (for those in power) is that it takes attention away from all our other serious problems. In the current situation that would be the financial crisis detracting from the problems we have created and continue to create in/with Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan (and a few others).
It is obviously too late to stop this train wreck known as the subprime mortgage crisis, but by no means must we rush into a $700 billion "rescue" plan that the President would like to push through the way he did the invasion of Iraq. The question is, "Who will benefit?" From my reading, it does not appear that the taxpayers of this nation - you and I - stand to benefit. What is of even greater concern is the language of the plan that gives the Treasury Secretary sweeping decision making powers with no judicial or legislative oversight.
Paul Krugman, an economist, author and professor at Princeton University, writes extensively on the economy, and always seems to get to the heart of things. In this case he has done it again. You can read Krugman's opinion piece, "Perils of the Paulson Plan" in the Seattle Times Op/Ed Section by clicking here. Perhaps the next President will appoint an academic such as Krugman for the top money job rather than someone who ran a huge global bank holding company like Goldman Sachs.
Joseph Stiglitz, a nobel laureate and economics professor at Columbia University says that, "We should begin with the core of the problem, the fact that millions of Americans were made loans beyond their ability to pay. We need to help them stay in their homes, including by converting the home mortgage deduction into a cashable tax credit and creating a homeowners' Chapter 11, an expedited way to restructure their liabilities." WOW! If people can repay their loans/debt the banks will remain solvent. Forget trickle down economics, because we know what ends up trickling down; isn't it time to build from the bottom up?
For now we can counter the President's pressure on Congress with some pressure of our own. If you agree that the President's rescue plan is a bad one, I know of one site where you can email your members of Congress to stop what would be the largest transfer of wealth in the history of our nation. Go to http://www.votenobailout.org/ to make your voice heard on this issue. You can also take action at http://www.truemajority.org/. It is Congress' duty to protect working families, not wealthy executives!
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