It’s been said that politics makes strange bedfellows, and this bailout package vote is no exception. The most radical of “liberals” Dennis Kucinich voted against the bailout bill- as did the staunchest Bush supporter Mike Turner, even against the pleadings of House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-West Chester who usually has Turner on puppet strings.
Turner scored major points in my book for taking this stand. Here is what he said in the Dayton Daily News:
Turner, meanwhile, said he voted against the bill because it fails to hold accountable those who got the financial system into trouble in the first place and because it does not prohibit the bad lending that led to this crisis. He said there were no guarantees that the bailout would work, and no plan for what to do if it didn’t succeed.
“Our entire financial system has been imperiled by the greed of the people that run some of these companies,” he said. “The same people could continue to offer these same loans that caused all this trouble; this bill will not prevent it.”
The performance of our presidential candidates, however, reeks of spinelessness and ego. Both say they supported the bill- which is a total bone being thrown Wall Street’s way. There are no real penalties to the titans for their bad behavior. When John Q. Public is in this mess- the response has been “tough”- however, when it’s people making millions and squandering billions and trillions- we are expected to extend a hand.
Ego first: John McCain is standing on the side lines blaming partisan politics for the failure- even though he wasn’t able to muster the votes from the R side of the House any better than Obama to do the D side. Name calling isn’t what we need right now John.
Spineless is Barack Obama’s response to the failure- well after the smackdown, he’s now calling to double the FDIC deposit guarantee- as if that has anything to do with the price of the Texas Tea they’ve been slurping in the penthouses of NYC?
Haste often makes waste, and the speed at which this bailout has evolved has been mind-boggling, circumventing every mechanism in place to provide for oversight and some good debate. Turner is right (maybe he’s been reading this blog)- without some revision to bankruptcy laws, alternative loan solutions for those caught in bad loans or predatory lending, or relief from high bank penalties for late payment or over the limit fees- we haven’t done anything to stop the default rates of John Q. Public.
With unemployment already heading higher, the incredible insecurity of Wall Street (although the Dow is up $222 so far today) we need some new tools to stabilize the economy and prevent this sort of instant meltdown. I’m really surprised no one has suggested some temporary retarding of trading on Wall Street until the bailout is complete, or that automatic triggers weren’t tripped.
A final thought- instead of having to depend on the media (who by benefiting from campaign ad dollars, is bereft of true objectivity) for the reporting of positions by each member of Congress- wouldn’t it be great if we as voters, could just check each incumbent and each challengers site- to find out how they would vote, or why they voted the way they did- straight from the horses mouth? Neither Jane Mitakides or Mike Turner have had anything resembling an original idea on their respective sites about this critical issue.
Of course, if I was still a candidate for OH-3, you’d all know exactly how I felt- and why. You’d also have the chance to discuss, debate and influence my position, because- believe it or not, it’s called the House of Representatives for a long forgotten reason.
Represent! Now Damnit.