I am writing to you because you are my representative. However, in the matter of Bush's bailout plan, I feel I speak for most Americans and therefore I am also addressing your peers in the House as well.
The bailout plan cannot be allowed to pass as currently proposed. Perhaps there is a need for this level of financial relief; perhaps not. I am not going to argue that point as I am sure there are plenty of experts on both sides making their points with better efficacy than I could manage.
I will however argue that there must be oversight of some sort for this level of investment being made on the behalf of the American people. I call it an investment because it is that regardless of whether any equity is taken by the government (although it would not hurt for you and your colleagues to look at Sweden's experiences dealing with their own crisis in the 1990s). It is an investment because it is money being paid with the hope of some value being returned, even if that value is just stability of the economy. It is an investment in peace of mind and in the future.
Now, I ask you, as a rational human being, would you make such a giant investment without some assurance that it would be managed properly? Mortgage companies require homeowners to get inspections and to carry insurance. We have mechanics check out cars before we buy them. We read reviews of computers, televisions, and such before we buy. Why? Because investments require prudence and care.
What the Bush administration is proposing is anything but prudent and careful. Essentially, they are asking for a staggering sum of taxpayer money for Secretary Paulson to do with as he will. There can be no oversight by any other agency or court. To approve of this would be madness. Not only has the Bush administration and Secretary Paulson in particular failed to prove themselves worthy of our trust, but it violates the whole notion of checks and balances that was and should be fundamental to our government.
Whether you agree with any of this, I do not know. Honestly, as a lifelong Democrat, the 110th Congress has been nothing but a disappointment. Numerous issues have come before you that affect this country to its core and you have failed to stand up to the bullies in the executive branch. I hope history finds this Congress's performance as lacking as I have. Time will tell.
Luckily, judgment on the bailout issue will not take as long. If the bailout passes as is, we, your constituents, will vote every last one of you out of office in a few short weeks. We will not care if we are crossing party lines to do it. We will not care if we are giving up a Democratic majority, since it has proven impotent anyway. We will care about one thing: you had a last chance to show us the respect we deserve and you failed.
Your Constituent.Tags: bailout, congress, election