Saturday, October 04, 2008

Why Help the Flawed Bailout?

Why were Democrats so eager to help Bush and the bigwigs of finance with $700 billion dollars in bailout assistance? Much is wrong with the new act, and with the people who'll implement it. What's happening?

The original plan can best be remembered as Treasury Secretary Paulson's supreme act of chutzpah -- "give me the money; hurry up; forbid in advance any review of what I'll do."

This was not Mother Theresa asking for alms. Paulson is an extremely wealthy financier whose former firm (Goldman Sachs) is poised to benefit greatly from bailout funding and a revised rulebook. It's a cozy deal too much like the government insider relationship of VP Cheney & Halliburton...

I'd call Paulson a weasel and partly responsible for the financial mess and bad economy, but it's foolhardy to rile a dude with hundreds of billions of dollars in his pocket...

These economic troubles are foremost an indictment of the poor governance of President George W. Bush and his minions. Senator Obama's presidential campaign has been strengthened. So why the hurry among Democrats to assist the President? Why bailout Bush & the Republicans so near the election? Why not let him sink in his own excrement?

The Democrats use the word "bipartisan" and speak of helping America. I wonder if they are simply shortsighted: too-kindly fools who let the monster live (surely it thus will rise again).

It is tempting as well to imagine these politicians are corrupt, and that the rich financiers will fashion them a future payback. But truly I don't believe this is the main driver.

Perhaps the prospect of inheriting a greatly-damaged economy is too dire. Perhaps they are seriously concerned about the exposure of the most disadvantaged citizens (though they could help directly, instead of persisting with 'trickle down' schemes).

Perhaps they look forward to replacing Paulson with their own Treasury Secretary (a brief 108 days from now) and inheriting these new powers.

Perhaps "key allies" elsewhere are being fueled.

Perhaps Democrats don't like the plan, but figure some good will come of it (the revised act included $150 billion of assorted sweeteners), and anyhow it ain't their personal money.

Perhaps politicians fancy themselves financially astute. But top financiers have created an ungainly house-of-cards; it's now already falling apart.

Perhaps thus none of this will work -- they've simply wasted huge funds and made the nation weaker.

Perhaps they've been outmaneuvered strategically...