Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailout Bombs - What Now?

The Wall Street Bailout failed and the stock market has crashed. The original text by Paulson was horrible. The rewrite was better but still distasteful. Passing it didn't seem right but doing nothing is a catastrophe. There are four possible outcomes.
  1. The House will take a day to consider the ramifications of their inaction, reconsider the existing bill, and approve it. I expect this is what will happen.
  2. Pass a quick and clean stop gap and revisit the whole thing in January (Firedoglake). I don't see that being any easier than passing what was defeated today.
  3. House Democrats write their own bill, pass it on a party line vote, and let the Senate worry about any bipartisanship. As a practical matter it is too close to the election to do that.
  4. Do nothing; Congress goes home. This is the worst outcome. The Fed would have to inflate the hell out of the currency to keep the economy from completely imploding. Congressmen who thought they were doing the public's will by voting "no" will find the public outraged. The public didn't like the Bailout. They won't like not having the Bailout even more. Every down tick of the market will be laid at the Congressmen's feet. It will roil the election in unpredictable ways.
The initial backlash will probably impact Republicans. The House Republican excuse for voting "no" (Nancy Pelosi was mean and hurt their feelings) makes them sound like whiny ass titty babies (Crooks and Liars). John McCain, with the political acumen of a kumquat, took credit for the Bailout bill's victory just before it was defeated. That makes McCain look weak. But, that is today's snapshot.

There is no telling how people will feel in a month. Any congressman or pundit who says he can predict the future on this is a fool. Democrats have to take charge on this issue. If they fail to act they risk being punished as badly as Republicans. For Democrats to do nothing risks allowing Republicans to steal the mantle of leader.

As I learned in typing class so many years ago: Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

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