Monday, September 29, 2008

Trauner has ideas on better bailout bill

As we all know, the bailout bill tanked today in the U.S. House. I thought that the Dems had a deal on a good bill -- or at least a better bill than originally proposed by the Bushies -- and that the Repubs had decided to join in. Then the vote came, and the rescue/bailout/buy-in bill went down in flames.

My eyes are bleeding from the hours of commentary I just watched on the tube. It's a mess, to be sure, but who to blame? I'm usually content to blame the Republicans. "Nancy Pelosi hurt our feelings!" What a bunch of whiny babies. But did Pelosi have to drag out Bush's culpability one last time before the biggest vote in the House since it voted to change the name of "french fries" to "freedom fries." Why didn't the Dems whip the troops into shape and get the vote in, if that was the goal?

Just received an e-mail from Gary Trauner's campaign for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Repub Barbara Cubin (she voted for the bailout, by the way). Gary could be in that seat come January, so let's see what he has to say:

Today Congress rejected the flawed bailout bill by a narrow margin, showing once again why real leadership matters in Congress, now, more than ever.

Trauner stated, "This flawed bill would not have limited CEO pay, or stopped CEO Golden Parachutes, and there was no truly independent oversight. During this time of crisis, career politicians in Washington D.C. are pointing fingers and playing partisan games. We need a bill that doesn't give Wall Street a blank check and puts into place real protection for taxpayers, like I specifically proposed last week."

Trauner continued, "So far, since this crisis has started, we have heard nothing from our sitting Congresswoman, and the best I can tell, the closest Cynthia Lummis has come to addressing the bailout is proposing to privatize Social Security. Privatization would prop up Wall Street by risking our Social Security in a stock market that is tanking as we speak."

So here is my proposal:

  • In return for any purchase of bad assets held by private entities, we. the taxpayers, get a contingent stake in any company -– so if the assets are not worth the paper they are written on, taxpayers don't get burned and companies do not get off scot-free for bad behavior.

  • The Government institutes direct oversight of these businesses and regulates them much like banks are regulated today.

  • No golden parachutes or huge paydays for the CEOs and executives who got us in this mess in the first place. In fact, we should be taking money back from them. And if they've been irresponsible, they should be banned from future work in the securities industry.

  • If we are going to bail out Wall Street, then we need to take care of Main Street as well – there must be provisions that ensure that we do everything we can for well-intentioned primary homeowners -– not investors or speculators -- who are at risk of foreclosure so they cans stay in their homes, either as owners or renters.

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