Is Anyone FOR the Bleeping Bailout?

There seems to be nearly unanimous disapproval of Paulson’s $700 billion bailout, henceforth called “Plan B.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that “Liberal advocacy groups have mobilized to stop the financial bailout package, just as Bush administration officials are urging lawmakers to act quickly and decisively.” At Salon, Glenn Greenwald documents “Growing right-wing opposition to the Paulson plan.”

Righties opposed to Paulson include Little Lulu, who calls Paulson a “wrong-headed, ChiCom-promoting, liberal Democrat-installing, Gore global warming alarmist” (in keeping with Lulu’s understanding of political science — if she doesn’t like it, it must be liberal) and who wants a return to conservatives principles. Yes, I see the oxymoron, too.

One of Little Lulu’s readers responded to the question, “Will the real fiscal conservatives please stand up?” with “There aren’t any. Phil Gramm retired long ago.” They’re still willfully refusing to see that Phil Gramm and “conservative principles” caused the bloody mess to begin with. Oh, and a lot of Lulu’s readers seem to think illegal aliens are behind this, somehow.

But the point is that, wonder of wonders, the Right and the Left halves of the blogosphere are moving toward the same opinion, which is that Paulson’s plan must be stopped.

I’ve been surfing around for a respectable economist, i.e. one not on the Bush Administration’s or Republican Party’s payroll, who supports the plan. The only favorable comments I find are from last week, before details were announced. Now there is near unanimity among economists and finance experts that Plan B is a bad plan.

So, who’s for Plan B? Via Josh Marshall, the Wall Street Journal (behind firewall) says,

House Republican staffers met with roughly 15 lobbyists Friday afternoon, whose message to lawmakers was clear: Don’t load the legislation up with provisions not directly related to the crisis, or regulatory measures the industry has long opposed.

“We’re opposed to adding provisions that will affect [or] undermine the deal substantively,” said Scott Talbott, senior vice president of government affairs at the Financial Services Roundtable, whose members include the nation’s largest banks, securities firms and insurers.

A deal killer for the group: a proposal that would grant bankruptcy judges new powers to lower the principal, interest rate or both on a mortgage as part of a bankruptcy proceeding.

So, says Josh, “finance industry lobbyists are already giving orders to Republican hill staffers not to allow any meaningful reforms or protections for taxpayers. So, just the money. No strings attached.”

(Don’t tell Lulu about not lowering principal or interest rates on mortgages in bankruptcy, or she might change her mind about the evilness of the Plan. Sticking it to the poor and distressed is what righties live for. It makes them feel superior.)

Some things don’t change

President Bush this morning warned lawmakers against trying to make too many changes to the proposed financial bailout legislation, but Senate Democrats announced that they would add provisions to the plan that could spur opposition from the administration or congressional Republicans and bog down the measure.

In Bush World, Congress is redundant.

Dan Froomkin:

Does President Bush’s support for a radical financial bailout represent a reversal in his political ideology? Not likely.

For one, it seems to be less a reversal than a recusal. Bush appears ideologically spent, rather than transformed. He has for all intents and purposes become the bystander-in-chief, letting others in his administration do the heavy lifting.

Furthermore, the plan concocted by two Bush appointees features some distinctive characteristics of major Bush initiatives past: It would be spectacularly expensive, primarily benefit the very rich, and grant the executive branch unlimited power with no transparency or accountability.

Explained that way, one would think righties would like it. They supported just about every other plan like that that the Bushies have come up with.

See also Sean-Paul Kelley.

14 thoughts on “Is Anyone FOR the Bleeping Bailout?

  1. From your WSJ quote:

    “a deal killer for this group: a proposal that would grant bankruptcy judges new powers to lower the principal, interest rate or both on a mortgage as part of a bankruptcy proceeding.”

    Do they understand that this is not a “deal”? Do they get that this is the government, as in the guys with all the really big guns, telling them How It’s Going To Be. They don’t get to turn it down, they get to either say “yessir” or go to jail…

    The rebublican party is so thoroughly bought and paid for that these lobbyists seem to believe they are actually players at the table, rather than just kibbitzers.


  2. Thom Hartmann this morning quotes an author of a 2006 book that outlines a ratcheting progression towards what has been termed “fascism lite”, different from the Bolshevist takeover of the private sector but nonetheless a subsuming of the private sector by the government.

    Bask in 2006 this author predicted this and even stated the emans by which it would happen — an economic meltdown.

    Ladies and gents it is happening right before our very eyes. We have come full circle and Dems are in a position similar to where tehy were on the runup to the Iraq war….doe-eyed and unable to think for themselves in the face of how the situation has been framed for them by conservatives.

    When writing my legislators this morning I noticed that Barbara Box is on her game…the issue drop-down already has a “financial crisis” selection. Congresswoman jane Harman is behind with the only suitable selection being “other.”

    Without any opposition party with spine this disaster capitalism has proven quite effective at herding a docile population along in the direction of fascism (note the fine print and unprecedented, unchecked powers bestowed a few key individuals — the neocons dream it is.

    Is there not a single creative politician left in DC? There are so many ways that the functions of these corporations can be maintained and even bettered in a new era of small business innovation while letting the corporate failures really fail…by not rewarding losers. One reason in favor of this is the companies that did manage their loan portfolios wisely. Who will ever trust the free enterprise system if winners are effectively penalized by rewarding the losers?

    Letting this bill go through will be the height of hypocrisy. Now is the time for each and everyone one of us to let our legislators know that we aren’t fooled and that we will ahve their asses if they can’t do better.

  3. I reread Bush’s comments from Friday on the bailout and the financial crisis. Bush of course supports the bailout and is offended that anyone would point fingers. Three times, Bush had the gall to say, “In my judgment….” He says this in the last months of his presidency, his credibility reduced to 0. His approval rating is at 19% (which proves I suppose that some Americans will approve anything. “What crisis?”).

    Obviously, the plan Bush offered is garbage. As written, it’s just a giveaway to Wall Street after years of greed, corruption and fraud. I can’t say whether a bailout of some sort is needed or not. I do know that millions of homes have each dropped more than a $100,000 in value and Wall Street over-leveraged itself in the belief prices were going the other way. Multiply 10 million by a 100,000 and you have the beginning of a ballpark figure of how much value has been lost. Compound that with all the sliced and diced derivatives that are worth not much more than the paper they were written on and keep in mind all the supposedly smart financial people who bought the stuff and there’s a big crisis all right with thousands of crooks grinning because they came out on top with their multiple homes and cars and a plane or two.

    And Bush? What was he doing all that time? Looking the other way while clinging to a right wing economic policy that has done more damage to our country than at any time since the Great Depression.

    “In my judgment…” he says? Bush is sure to be remembered as the worst president in American history. After that, I can’t say whether he’ll be remembered more for his hubris or for his sheer reckless incompetence. His recommendation of McCain is the best evidence Americans need that we ought to vote for the other guy.

  4. Sorry for typos, I make ’em when I’m unnerved by this stuff.

    I’d never thought that what was happening now would ever happen so when I hear theories from many who have studied the neocon agenda and disaster capitalism I conced the possibility that what they are saying might be true.

    Has anyone gone into the bailout bill that will be coming up for a vote? Heres the link:'s-financial-bailout-proposal-to-congress/

    It contains a clause, similar to a signing statement that gives absolute power to the scretary of the treasury:

    “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.”

    Naomi Klein author of Shock Doctrine and others cleaim that this crisis is not the real crisis. This is just a blow to democracy that softens us up. According to Klein this current financial crisis is but a small part of the strategy:

    What Gingrich’s wish list tells us is that the dumping of private debt into the public coffers is only stage one of the current shock. The second comes when the debt crisis currently being created by this bailout becomes the excuse to privatize social security, lower corporate taxes and cut spending on the poor. A President McCain would embrace these policies willingly. A President Obama would come under huge pressure from the think tanks and the corporate media to abandon his campaign promises and embrace austerity and “free-market stimulus.”

    The author I referred to previously is Charles Derber and his book is:

    “Hidden Power – What You Need to Know to Save Our Democracy”

    A link to a blog about this book, which was a very interesting read:

    Well, we are living in interesting times. Doesn’t this resemble a slow motion coup? Just a little?

  5. It’s all about the derivatives market, and everything that is being done by Paulson and Bernanke is a panicked attempt to keep the derivatives bubble from popping. This is not about bailing out the investment banks, this is about protecting a 500 trillion dollar bubble and preventing a run on the hedge funds. I’m not sure this will work. Scary times ahead.

  6. Agree with Pat above. this is stinking stinking rotten fish
    I remember a fall when terror and anthrax was the fear fear fear reason to make Congress act quickly and without question.
    I remember the fall when Aluminum tubes were the fear factor and the president had to be given extraordinary power.
    Now it is bad mortgages? that were bad a year ago? so why suddenly this week the whole system will collapse if we do not cave? Wall Street wanted all that social security trust fund and didn’t get it so now they want this as a pay off before Obama comes in to raise their taxes? Sorry but the more you look at this the more it stinks. It is their MO to scare the hell out of the public , provide little real facts and then make off with money and unprecedented power. Be very careful and don’t give in to them this last time please……

  7. Can we even believe it when bush says give the guy a blank check and agree to no penalties or court actions? Could this be a ploy to control any available money for the time the repubs are not in office? I say give him the blank check and take out the pass on the courts. I want anyone screwing up the world economy to the extremes I am hearing to be held accountable. I also want the option of going after any liars if this turns out to be a scam by bush and his cronies. I think this admin has trampled on our Constitution and I am tired of it. I also can’t believe the number of people just refusing subpoenas. If it was me refusing, I would be behind bars before sundown. I want some equality in our justice system. I also say if the public has to take over losses for these companies, the CEOs are out of a job, and the new boss (me) says no parting package. I wish I had the millions these companies have donated to the campaigns. I also want that stopped. If your company is in the red, don’t toss out a million to a campaign or two.

  8. Sorry, the dems need to demand bush go on prime time tv and explain to America why the banks need $700 billion dollars. Stupid bush was on tv again 9 am eastern time talking about the plan. He is the president and the dems need to stop letting him hide.

    I was watching cnbc this am and those high paid day trader pundits have decided to refer to the bailout plan as a rescue plan. Now wall street is victim of their own fraud? Maha remember that smell…I’m starting to smell it again.

  9. It’s that little provision disallowing any recourse to courts etc. if there are grievances to address. Remember Cheney’s Energy Task Force? The Bush administration learned from that – the results of which are still being challenged in the courts, to no avail – best to disallow the possibility of court action ahead of time.

    Which can only mean that the administration knows that as written the particulars of the bail-out stink to high heaven of a rip-off of the nation and the taxpayers.

  10. Can it be true??? I just heard on CNN that Paulson was CEO of Goldman Sachs until 2006 when he cashed in $500 million from the company for himself. This stinks so bad!!!!!

  11. This situation is so tragic for so many and yet I have to laugh at the prospect of President Bush, the beneficiary of so many bailouts, finally being able to return the favor big time to his backers. Of course he will screw it up and we will lose a few more liberties in the process.

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