Sunday, September 21, 2008

Obama on the bailout:

As of now, the Bush Administration has only offered a concept with a staggering price tag, not a plan. Even if the U.S. Treasury recovers some or most of its investment over time, this initial outlay of up to $700 billion is sobering. And
in return for their support, the American people must be assured that the deal reflects the basic principles of transparency, fairness, and reform.

First, there must be no blank check when American taxpayers are on the hook for this much money.

Second, taxpayers shouldn’t be spending a dime to reward CEOs on Wall Street.

Third, taxpayers should be protected and should be able to recoup this investment.

Fourth, this plan has to help homeowners stay in their homes.

Fifth, this is a global crisis, and the United States must insist that other nations join us in helping secure the financial markets.

Sixth, we need to start putting in place the rules of the road I’ve been calling for for years to prevent this from ever happening again.

And finally, this plan can’t just be a plan for Wall Street, it has to be a plan for Main Street. We have to come together, as Democrats and Republicans, to pass a stimulus plan that will put money in the pockets of working families, save jobs, and prevent painful budget cuts and tax hikes in our states.

Now, will he stick to it? Will he campaign on it? Will he stop just talking and lead? The Bush plan, as is, really does offer nothing except "more of the same," in that everything is pointed at the top, with nothing for actual living, breathing, people, except -- hopefully -- a resolution to the crisis. It was that mentality that effectively led to all this, and allowing this bailout -- which will be the signature economic event in this country since FDR -- to proceed along the lines of trickle down economics -- everything for the top, and the rest of us hope for some crumbs -- will signal that nothing has changed. Obama, as the leader of the Democrats and a progressive movement whose time is now, can either try to seize the initiative here or continue playing the cautious, "post-partisan," unthreatening role he's been delighted to play all along. My ears are tuned, waiting to here those chicken sounds: "bock bock bock-bock boooooock!"