The Bailout Can Be Stopped

Citizens from across the political spectrum are telling Congess, No to the Bailout. When we wrote our membership thousands responded. I’m urging people to respond again to keep the pressure building. We are having an impact but it is going to take an avalanche of citizen input to re-think the bailout. The decision Congress is considering could affect us for a generation or more. It could make progressive change financially impossible. Already, Senator Obama is saying the bailout will slow his plans for new programs to re-build the economy.

One reported quote from an anonymous congressional staffer about the effect of our e-mails, phone calls, faxes, etc. indicates that support for the bailout plan in its present form is rapidly declining due to citizen pressure. The Congressional newspaper Roll Call reports:

The Bush administration’s forceful lobbying effort failed Tuesday to win support from rank-and-file Republicans or Democrats for a $700 billion Wall Street bailout package, though GOP and Democratic leaders still planned to move a bipartisan bill by the end of the week. . . .

The rank and file in both parties expressed deep concerns about anything resembling the $700 billion that the White House wants, and leaders struggled to keep their Members open-minded in the face of surging outside opposition from a diverse range of voices from former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and the Club for Growth on the right to liberal bloggers on the left . . .

But both sides face heat internally, with liberals upset with what some see as a handout to Wall Street cronies and with conservatives who are appalled at the unprecedented intervention in the free market.

It is important to get more people writing (click here) and calling their legislators (202-224-3121). Please forward this article to everyone you know or send them to to take action. You can write/call again and update your representatives on your views as this drama is unfolding.

And, people are starting to ask very sensible questions that should slow down the process. One writer on economics and taxes that I have a great deal of respect for, David Kay Johnson of the NY Times is making some important points in a memo to the media:

In covering the proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street don’t repeat the failed lapdog practices that so damaged our reputations in the rush to war in Iraq and the adoption of the Patriot Act. Don’t assume that Congress must act instantly, as so many news stories state as if it was an immutable fact. Don’t assume there is a case just because officials say there is.

The coverage of the Paulson plan focuses on the edges, on the details. The focus should be on the premise. And be skeptical of what gullible Congressional leaders, most of them up before the voters in a few weeks, say after being given a closed-door meeting on supposed horrors. . .

Ask this question — are the credit markets really about to seize up?

If they are then lots of business owners should be eager to tell how their bank is calling their 90-day revolving loans, rejecting new loans and demanding more cash on deposit. I called businessmen I know yesterday and not one of them reported such problems. Indeed, Citibank offered yesterday to lend me tens of thousands of dollars on my signature at 2.99 percent, well below the nearly 5 percent inflation rate. That offer came after I said no last week to a 4.99 percent loan.

If the problem is toxic mortgages then how come they are still being offered all over the Internet? On the main page AOL generates for me there is an ad for a 1.9% loan (which means you pay that interest rate and the rest of the interest is added to your balance due.) Why oh why or why would taxpayers be bailing out banks that are continuing to sell these toxic loans? . . .

What steps are being taken to take back bonuses, fees and other compensation from the folks who got rich selling toxic mortgages and illiquid investments that Secretary Paulsen claims are threatening the whole system?

How will adding $700 billion to the national debt ease strains on the credit markets?

As of now we are, as a group, behaving just as we did the last two times the administration sought to rush through a hastily thought out, ill-conceived plan. Why in the world are we being so gullible and naive? Whatever happened to the core value of journalism — check it out?

And, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, an economics professor at Columbia University, is describing the plan as a raw deal for taxpayers. What’s needed most, Stiglitz argues, is to assist struggling homeowners. “We should begin with the core of the problem, the fact that millions of Americans were made loans beyond their ability to pay. We need to help them stay in their homes, including by converting the home mortgage deduction into a cashable tax credit and creating a homeowners’ Chapter 11, an expedited way to restructure their liabilities.” If these mortgages are fixed so the debts are paid, will that not make the banks solvent? It is time to build the economy from the base, rather than the top. Trickle down does not work — especially when it is debts that trickle down.

Please take action NOW. Three steps below.

1. Write Congress. We have a model letter but you can modify it to make the points you think are important. Click here.

2. Write the media. Use the information in the article above to send a letter to the editor and get the media to do their job — approach this massive, record setting bailout with skepticism. Click here.

3. Forward this article to everyone you know. It is going to take IMMEDIATE, CONCERTED citizen action to prevent this rush to judgment.

We can prevent this debacle. Elected officials from across the political spectrum are expressing doubt and even refusal to support the bailout. A push now by voters — with an election less than six weeks away can prevent this massive, mistaken expenditure.

Kevin Zeese co-directs Popular Resistance and is on the coordinating council for the Maryland Green Party. Read other articles by Kevin, or visit Kevin's website.

5 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Eric Patton said on September 25th, 2008 at 7:45am #

    Sorry, Kevin. Too late.

  2. Gliscameria said on September 25th, 2008 at 2:58pm #

    Nice. The same stuff I wrote an hour ago asking if I was a retard has been in the mind of a Nobel laureate. Nice!

    If the toxic mortgages are the problem then lets make them less toxic by fixing them. Help out upside down mortgages and fix the rates! First, we need an honest assessment of every upside down home. The prices need to be set to a real value and not a market inflated one. Reduce everyones mortgage so that they are only paying on what the home is worth. That will cost a lot less than 1 trillion dollars and should fix the problem. right?

    The assesors are fully to blame for this. They need to be evaluated and shaken down in order to build a solid fraud case againt the people that caused this.

  3. Lisa Watson said on September 26th, 2008 at 1:57am #

    Hi Pals,

    I’m against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

    Instead, I’m in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend.

    To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

    Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

    So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion that equals $425,000.00.

    My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a We Deserve It Dividend.

    Of course, it would NOT be tax free.

    So let’s assume a tax rate of 30%.

    Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.

    That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

    But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.

    A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

    What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

    Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.

    Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads

    Put away money for college – it’ll be there

    Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

    Buy a new car – create jobs

    Invest in the market – capital drives growth

    Pay for your parent’s medical insurance – health care improves

    Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else

    Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

    If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it…instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( ‘vote buy’ ) economic incentive that is being proposed
    by one of our candidates for President.

    If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

    As for AIG – liquidate it.

    Sell off its parts.

    Let American General go back to being American General.

    Sell off the real estate.

    Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

    Here’s my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn’t.

    Sure it’s a crazy idea that can ‘never work.’

    But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

    How do you spell Economic Boom?

    I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion

    We Deserve It more than do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC

    And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

    Ahhh…I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

    Kindest personal regards,


    T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic

    PS: Feel free to pass this along to your pals as it’s either good for a laugh or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to best use $85 Billion!!

    Submitted by LisaWatson, who WISHES she’d thought of this first!

  4. John Wilkinson said on September 26th, 2008 at 10:13am #

    sorry to burst your bubble but $85B divided into 200M is 425 dollars. (yes, i’ll take it, but it won’t change my life). you’re only off by a factor of a thousand on kindergarten math. that’s the problem with the alternative universe of the “progressives”. first start off with totally erroneous assumptions or math or quasi”facts” which “feel good” and then build a logic house of cards based on that. and the other side does the same thing, it’s not hard to snooker the americans when schools and life revolve around stupid sports and stupid cliques and stupid emotions.

  5. Wayne Morse said on September 28th, 2008 at 7:40am #

    I can’t begin to tell you how bad I think this is for this Country.I’m an Average American,or maybe I’m Main St. What ever I’m called this week.I have an idea to bail out the banks,go back ten yrs. and collect top sales comissions,and inflated pay outs to ceo’s, and who else was sucking this country dry.Then put the money back in the system it will be like bail out from jail for greedy people.We on Main st. have suffered enough.Thanks for hearing me!!!