Friday, September 19, 2008

Weasel Words

[Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson] plans to work with Congress over the weekend to get legislation in place next week, he said, calling for "prompt, bipartisan action." The program must be big enough to have "maximum impact," while protecting taxpayers, said Mr. Paulson.

Well, as long as protecting us is a main goal, front and center, we can probably trust Secretary Paulson. He did come out of an investment bank, but he's a trustworthy government regulator now. I'm packed with trustiness.
"The ultimate taxpayer protection will be the stability this troubled asset relief program provides to our financial system, even as it will involve a significant investment of taxpayer dollars," he said.

What‽ He's going to protect us, but not by not giving hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to clearly irresponsible bankers. He's going to protect us by using the projected wealth of this country's future to shore up their bankrupt business plans!

There isn't that much money! Who knew the Federal Government would default during my lifetime? I guess, really, that this mean Communist China will have control of this area by the time we start encountering tsunamis and famine. And, frankly, we'd probably be better off under a totalitarian government during that time -- I'm not sure Democracy works in a crisis. But, be ready to fight for freedom once the climate's settle in a new mode.

Update: Robert Reich checks in:
What to do? Not to socialize capitalism with bailouts and subsidies that put taxpayers at risk. If what's lacking is trust rather than capital, the most important steps policymakers can take are to rebuild trust. And the best way to rebuild trust is through regulations that require financial players to stand behind their promises and tell the truth, along with strict oversight to make sure they do.

We tell poor nations they have to make their financial markets transparent before capital will flow to them. Now it's our turn. Lacking adequate regulation or oversight, our financial markets have become a snare and a delusion. Government only has two choices now: Either continue to bail them out, or regulate them in order to keep them honest. I vote for the latter.

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