Out of My Mind 3

Freemarket not turning out to be so free after all

            So the U.S.House decided to reject the unprecedented bailout plan cooked up between thecurrent administration and a Congress trying to stop what was being describedby Treasury Secretary Paulson as the second coming of the Great Depression.

            Failure in the House, with bothDemocrats and Republicans voting against the measure, might not have been sucha bad thing. After getting a chance to think about the doom and gloompredictions coming out of the Whitehouse it might just be a good thing givingthe Congress a chance to step back and craft a plan that has real protectionsfor the taxpayers footing the bill.

            Any bailoutshould have solid ways for the taxpayers to recoup their investment if thecompanies they save start showing a profit. Should the government stay involvedto run the company? No, but regulations must be put back in place to stop anyfuture nuclear market meltdowns so we never have to step in again.

            The bailoutplan as fashioned was full of holes – loopholes that most of us would havetrouble believing the same greedy corporate attitudes that got us into thismess would not exploit again the first chance they got.

            There’sbeen a lot of talk about what happened and there will be plenty of time tofigure that out once the markets are reassured the government will step in tostop the bloodletting. However, the taxpayers can not be bled dry in return. Spending$700 billion will not be easy to recover from.

            At firstthe failure of the bill seemed imprudent, especially in light of the market’sfreefall upon the news. However, calmer heads need to prevail and there must bereal bi-partisan cooperation on getting us through this. Cooperation that bothreins in the free wheeling ‘anything goes’ attitude, without hampering thosemarket forces that once helped our country grow into an economic superpower. Wecan do both – but the taxpayer needs to be protected. That which affects WallStreet affects Main Street is a truism, but it doesn’t mean we’re ready to signover a blank check. Decide in haste, regret at leisure.