Williams v. Sestak: On The Bailout
His opponent Republican Craig Williams says he would have voted against it, along with the dozens of other Republicans who broke ranks with their leadership and their president.
There are good arguments for either side.
Maybe, there is a better deal for the American people to be had.
Certainly, the original proposal by Treasury Sec. Henry Paulson was badly flawed and in need of improvement, more oversight, more profit-sharing protection for taxpayers, etc.
That Democrats tried to stuff the bill with goodies for their friends -- like the folks at ACORN, who register would-be voters and not always within the bounds of the law -- goes without saying.
Nancy Pelosi foolishly sailed into the breach with her partisan flags flying. Is it any wonder she and her colleagues in the Republican leadership couldn't keep GOP fence-sitters from jumping to the other side. Pelosi cynically she gave her own leadership members a pass on this tough vote. If she was going to act as if this was nothing more than a partisan bill, it's not surprising that even some Republicans believed her.
There were plenty of Republicans and conservatives who hated this deal on the principled grounds that it was the most massive government takeover of the economy since the New Deal.
There is plenty of blame to go around. This blog has pointed out the coziness of Democrats to Fannie and Freddie and the shameless actions of politicians like Barney Frank who helped create this mess.
But he only helped. There are those who tried to reign in these lending and financial institutions, seeing the potential for a train-wreck up ahead. No one listened.
So here we are.
Monday, the stock market plummetted as it became clear the bail-out bill was going to fail Monday. Tuesday it rebounded some. But mostly on the belief that something real would get done soon to deal with the crisis.
And it is a crisis.
Overnight lending rates to businesses went up to 6.4 percent. When the price of money is that steep, borrowing become virtually unaffordable for most businesses. If those rates don't come down, Main Street is in serious trouble. Wall Street is already dead as we know it. Main Street will be wounded for years to come if something is not done quickly.
Whatever his motivations, Sestak's vote was a reasonable one under these circumstances. He's taking heat from his constituents about it. But he's done that before.
It's always easier for a challenger who doesn't have to make the vote to say how he "would have" voted (think Barack Obama and Operation Iraqi Freedom.)
Williams cites the unpopularity of the bailout and says he hasn't met one person who was for it. Big deal. The question is what needs to be done now.
George Bush went on TV last week and explained the situation pretty well. It's dire. But nobody listens to him anymore.
Laymen like us, unfamiliar with intricacies of high finance, are left to listen to the experts, men and women who couldn't prevent all this from happening in the first place.
This much we believe, strong government intervention is needed to prevent a severe and long-term downturn in our economy.
Conservatives should be concerned that if government isn't given the power to act now (or at least very soon), it will be given much greater powers later when the economy is really hobbled.
A "No" vote Monday may have been popular with many people across the country. It will be less popular in the long run if Congress doesn't act and things get worse. Much worse. And based on those interest rates, they're getting bad quickly.
UPDATE: Did we say "bailout?" We meant "Rescue," because that's what it is.