Monday, September 22, 2008

Florida Congressional Candidates on the Bailout

They aren't happy.

Doug Tudor (FL-12):

I guess an aspiring congressman is supposed to have a more politically correct vocabulary, but this is absolute bullshit!

It is bullshit that once again the taxpayer is going to get stiffed, while multimillionaire CEO's strap on their golden parachutes.

It is bullshit that guys like Adam Putnam can stand in front of news cameras, spout a bunch of lies, and have the news anchor "thank you for joining us, Congressman."

It is bullshit that we have troops in the field, and our elected representatives are tripping over themselves to figure out how to keep bankers from losing their banks.

Alan Grayson (FL-08):

String 'em up.

In the last two days, the U.S. stock market has gone up by $1 trillion. That's because of a $700 billion direct transfer from taxpayers to financial corporations like AIG and, I guess, the expectation that another $300 billion will find its way into the deal before it's over. So tax dollars are being used to prop up the stock market, something that never happened even in the deepest depths of the Great Depression. It's corporate communism. That's the context.

Here is more context. $700 billion is over $2000 for every man, woman and child in America. For a family of seven, like mine, it's over $15,000. Someone just took $15,000 from me and my family, and gave it to anonymous bondholders whom I've never met, who have done nothing for me, to whom I owe nothing and -- right now -- I really don't like.

More context: you could take one percent of that amount -- one percent! -- and pay off the delinquency on every home mortgage in arrears in America. And keep people from losing their homes. But ordinary people get nothing from this Administration except grief.

Annette Taddeo:

We will not be forced into acting on a $700 billion bill without even examining what the bill does. The American people need protection so that this emergency does not turn into a boondoggle give-away to corporate insiders. Congress should send President Bush a bill that includes transaction standards, independent oversight, protections for homeowners, and constraints on excessive executive compensation.

The bill is inadequate because while doing nothing for homeowners, it gives the Treasury Department a blank check for Wall Street - it authorizes purchases "on such terms and conditions as determined by the [Administration]." There would be no guidelines, no standards, no conditions. The Treasury would be permitted to purchase assets at any price it wanted, even if it provided a huge profit to the same corporate entities that got us into this mess in the first place, entities like commercial banks, investment banking firms - even hedge funds -- that have acted recklessly or worse.

I oppose, and call on Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to oppose - the Bush Administration's proposed legislation giving the Treasury the power to spend up to $700 billion to buy "mortgage-related assets" from U.S.-based financial institutions, until the proposed bill is strengthened to protect homeowners, and to protect the American taxpayer from sweetheart deals, cronyism and outright waste.

Finally, if the bailout is to be expanded to cover foreign-headquartered companies, then our allies must share the burden. Unfortunately, after seven and a half years of Cowboy diplomacy and a war in Iraq based on lies, we have little if any leverage left with our allies. They have no desire and little incentive to help us in our moment of need. It is time for a new beginning.

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