It wasn’t the New York Times headlines that gave us a fright this morning so much as NPR news. To paraphrase the segment we tuned into, this $700 million bailout proposal (it’s actually only three pages long) that is currently hurtling its way through Congress (deadline Friday), if it is passes, will be the biggest transfer of power from the legislature into the hands of the administration…ever. Even bigger than the Patriot Act (actually, that last bit is what caught our attention). Really? That doesn’t sound like such a good idea, given this administration’s record, or really any administration’s record of handling an excess of power.
So we did what we usually do and turned to John Carney, who it turns out is busy posting up a storm over at his new home Clusterstock (inevitably at some point we are going to get that name very, very wrong).
Despite the dire warnings from Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed chairman Ben Bernanke that Congress risks financial Armageddon if it refuses to immediately pass the proposed $700 billion bailout, lawmakers are fighting back with proposals of their own. The resistance of elected politicians to the wholesale adoption of the bailout was inevitable. There was no way congressmen and senators were going to start taking orders from two guys who never won a vote from anyone.
Which made us feel better in so far as it’s good to see Congress isn’t willing to roll over without a fight. And yet? We sort of suspect there is not going to be a happy ending to this.