Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Elevator to the lobby

One of the many concerns I have about that bailout is that it will have to pass with Democratic votes as conservative Republicans posture against fixing the mess they have largely caused. Patrick Ruffino had some such advice for McCain the other day:

If a bailout is to pass, let it be with Democratic votes. Let this be the political establishment (Bush Republicans in the White House + Democrats in Congress) saddling the taxpayers with hundreds of billions in debt (more than the Iraq War, conjured up in a single weekend, and enabled by Pelosi, btw), while principled Republicans say "No" and go to the country with a stinging indictment of the majority in Congress....

This has the added advantage of allowing Republicans to posture again as "deficit hawks" in the next Congress, as watchdogs of the public purse - as long as they're protecting us from health care and infrastructure investment and not the depredations of the merchant banking class, which are fine.

What they know is what is becoming clearer, that this plan is a dog and it will poison the political chances for years to come for whoever seems to be responsible for it. The Dems, realizing this, won't commit to voting for it unless there's a majority of Republican votes as well.

As good and well as this might be politically - and I have to say, I saw Barney Frank on Charlie Rose last night and he said something really does need to be done, and maybe he's drunk the Kool Aid but I really do like Barney Frank - I just know that the Wall Street lobbyists are climbing up and down our members of Congress, making sure a) that they get the best possible price for their garbage securities, and b) that there are as few strings and as little oversight as possible. I can't help but thinking that the plan when it finally comes will reflect this, and unfortunately, you and me don't have no lobbyists. Wall Street will in the end get what it has been paying for.

And speaking of which - how can I be sure that none of this money - our money - is going to pay for the lobbyists who are encouraging the Congress to reward their irresponsibility with ... our money? In other words, how about some restrictions on Wall Street lobbying, while you're at it?

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