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Thursday, October 02, 2008

An Opinion Against the Bailout (Michelle Singletary from W Post)

Here is the opinion of Michelle Singletary in W Post, against the bailout:

I don't know about you, but I'm still not convinced that the bailout bill that is being forced upon taxpayers is going to curb the economic crisis enough to be worth the $700 billion in debt that may be needed to implement it.

This bill, now passed by the Senate, brings to mind the now iconic Wendy's commercial with the tagline: Where's the beef? If you've got friends or co-workers or family members claiming you're the fool for not supporting this bailout plan, ask them if they've seen this classic Wendy's commercial that, for me, sums up the lack of details on how this bailout will actually work. Lots of fluffy bun, no beef!

I'm certainly not alone in my skepticism. Last week, I asked readers whether or not the bailout was a good idea. Most of you who responded indicated you were against it. Here are some of your comments:

Lucy H. Terry from Kansas City, Mo., wrote: Bush led us into Iraq based on hysteria and bad facts stemming from 9-11. Now he's hyping this 'crisis' into a taxpayer financed fiasco. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it, and I'm urging my representatives in Washington not to buy it either.

I feel that there are other ways to solve the problem! said Zula Lyon of Welsh, La.

Nassau, N.Y., resident
Tom Leonard wrote, I would rather see the problem solved from the homeowner side. I oppose the current bill and prefer a 'trickle up' approach to solve this problem. I fear we are trying to cure a fever by performing an enema.

We live simply, pay our bills on time and pay credit cards off each month when we use them, Gail Bradford wrote from Minnesota. Now we have to pay for someone else's mistakes?

Randy Johnson of Weymouth, Mass., said, It's time to let the cards fall where they may. No investor bailouts. No more good money after bad with no oversight or accountability.

There were a few readers who favored the bailout bill.

Ray Merlin in San Antonio, Tex., wrote: If we can bail out the people of New Orleans and Galveston, why can't we bail out the people who were seriously harmed by the instability of the stock market?

My pet peeve on this is the misuse of the term bailout, wrote Stephen Rhode of Milwaukee, Wis. It's a flashpoint term that can incite irrational negativity. Investment would be more correct and I'm for it. It won't be perfect. But it will achieve the objectives.

Post Business columnist Steven Pearlstein says we don't get it. In his column They Just Don't Get It (Sept. 30), he says that America's now stagnant economic growth "threatens to bring down the global financial system."

My colleague says the only way to overcome this current crisis is to "have governments all around the world borrow gobs of money and effectively nationalize large swaths of the financial system so it can be restructured, recapitalized, reformed and returned to private ownership once the crisis has passed and the economy has gotten back on its feet."

And who will be left holding all that debt?

Or perhaps we just need to trust that our elected officials and federal regulators know what needs to be done now after they've led us into financial trouble.

Well, many Americans aren't buying it.

In Fear and Distrust Run High (Sept. 30), Post staffers Joel Achenbach and Ashley Surdin write the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 in the end was a $700 billion piece of legislation that few people could truly love, and it offered citizens from across the ideological spectrum a little something to hate."

This is an interesting read showing that, in fact, we do get it. We're just not sure "it" -- the bailout -- will work.

What Does This Economic Crisis Mean For You?

Americans all over the country have been submitting their economic questions to the Post. Some are worried about their mortgages; others are concerned about the bailout and their savings and investments.


And now, Where's the Beef?

Zoon Politikon)


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