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Does Emergency Legislation Make You Nervous?

President Bush's bailout plan, possibly the largest in US history, calls for unregulated and unprecedented powers for one man: Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Paulson could spend, without oversight, up to $700 billion to purchase toxic securities from financial firms.

Congressional Democrats and Republicans have reservations, and both John McCain and Barack Obama want more oversight than Bush proposed. House Republicans called an emergency meeting this afternoon to finalize their alternative to Bush's plan. Their biggest concerns include more protections for taxpayers such as returning profits from the bailout program to the Treasury.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said: "We will do something this week — but if we learned anything from right after 9/11, it's that the biggest mistake is to pass anything they ask for just because it's an emergency." Democrats want more specific homeowner relief, Treasury accountability to Congress, and limits on corporate executive compensation. Despite these hesitations, the Bush Administration warns that markets could be devastated if Congress doesn't reach an agreement quickly.


amybdk amybdk 9 years
Slow down, horsies!
skb9850 skb9850 9 years
This is a frightening piece of legislation. They definitely need to move slowly and consider all the potential consequences.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
even if we are told that this is going to help us, even if in a month we are "out of it", we won't be. this changes everything. i am shocked. i really didn't think a huge change like this would just happen overnight.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
not compared to the fact that the world economy was 3-4 days away from collapse because banks had stopped lending money to each other. or in comparison to knowing that members of congress were all speechless in the emergency meeting detailing the situation. seriously, i felt drunk with worry on that. we are way more fragile than we admit.
mydiadem mydiadem 9 years
To put the 700 billion into perspective the UN is asking for only 78 billion or so to, like, you know, take Africa out of third world status and save potentially millions of lives. It frightens me that we now live in a socialist society that unlike communism wants all average citizens to be equal, it hands out massive amounts of tax payer money to corporations, some of them not being US owned. That being said, if the Treasury gets equity in these firms and the Congress really takes their time getting this right we might get out of this crisis without 40 years of after effects.
HeidiMD HeidiMD 9 years
It's okay, Le Etiana. If the taxpayers can't or don't, we're already trillions of dollars in debt anyways!
outofhere outofhere 9 years
It makes me nervous that this is being done so hastily. 700 billion dollars? :faint: That's such a huge amount of money, I can't even wrap my head around it. Someone will have to pay for it...... and I can only guess who?
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 9 years
Thanks yesteryear that was a great article!
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 9 years
I agree GS this scares the sh*t out of me too!! This is a very bad idea!
Mina-Xue Mina-Xue 9 years
"If we learned anything from right after 9/11, it's that the biggest mistake is to pass anything they ask for just because it's an emergency." Absolutely!
stephley stephley 9 years
And this doesn't come with an oil surplus fund we can loot to make up the money.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
as someone interviewed on the radio today said "there is no act II with this. no plan B. this is plan A, B, C and so on. we have to get it right the first time." i wish i knew who it was speaking - but i was too busy texting and heating up a microwave burrito while driving! i'm kidding!! seriously though - you're right ilanac - we can't be rash when it's that much taxpayer money at risk. we were pretty rash in invading iraq - and look at what a great use of taxpayer money that was!!
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i have to agree that if it's something that;s being decided 'on the fly' then you know that there are going to be ramifications that we won't actually know until far down the road. i hope that it's not just a quick fix but something that will really help but i have fears since it's a large sum of money .....
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
she was on real time with bill maher on friday - you can see clips on youtube.
liliblu liliblu 9 years
YY Naomi Klein has a write up on the Huffington Post today.
HeidiMD HeidiMD 9 years
Does anyone remember a little hastily-passed using fear tactics called the Patriot Act?
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
shoot, my comment was flagged because its a link. google naomi klein and 'shock doctrine'. she wrote the book on this, literally. its frightening and bleak... but after what's happened over the last 7 days, it's looking more and more true.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
Vespa Vespa 9 years
The third option on the poll made me laguh! :LOL:
Michelann Michelann 9 years
I find this really depressing. It's starting to look like the Federal government will never stop trying to take powers that don't belong to them.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I'm opposed! I just got my email about how to think.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
"Congressional Democrats and Republicans have reservations, and both John McCain and Barack Obama want more oversight than Bush proposed." This is at least a little comforting.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
This scares the sh!t out of me. Pardon my French, but that is the truth.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
"If we learned anything from right after 9/11, it's that the biggest mistake is to pass anything they ask for just because it's an emergency." Exactly. The thing is, it's very easy for governments to seize a great deal more control than they should in emergency situations. This seems like it may even be easier to slip by the average voter than post-9/11 civil liberties violations, because fewer people might notice or be paying attention to the legislation, since it has to do with a fairly dry subject (the economy).
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 9 years
Anytime you make a decision "underpressure" it tends to mean that you aren't as clear headed as you might be if you had more time to sit with the problem. Emergency Legislation tends to be like a bandaid on a heart surgery scar.
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