Monday, September 22, 2008

Notes on a swindle

A couple of things to consider when trying to figure out what's going on with the Bailout:

1. There's this idea that runs through all the coverage in the media. In brief, it is that all the experts agree that something must be done, and right fucking now! to avert an unprecedented disaster that will throw the country and the world into a deep economic pit from which we may never recover. I don't know enough to dispute this idea on the merits, but I would simply ask: who, specifically, is making this claim? And if the answer to that question is:

(a) "the same people who stand to be paid $700,000,000,000"


(b) "the same people who stand to have unchecked power to hand out $700,000,000,000"

then I think someone oughta, you know, find out whether the claim is actually true.

2. A lot of the opposition to the bailout from GOPers and "conservatives" appears to be based on the idea that, while it might be ok to let Bush/Paulson hand over this money to Wall Street, we sure as hell don't want Obama and his people to have this authority come January. I've also seen this talked about in media reports.

I really don't understand where this comes from. I've read the Bush/Paulson proposal. The authority it would grant would expire after two years. But that is all it says in terms of timing. There is no mechanism whatsoever for preventing Bush/Paulson from paying out the entirety of the 700,000,000,000 prior to the end of Bush's term. And if you think for one minute that that's not precisely what they intend to do... then I'll just go ahead and assume you've been living in a dark cave for the last 8 years.

3. And, of course, the main feature of the Bush/Paulson proposal is this:
Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
I think that one sentence pretty much conclusively sums up the Bush theory of governance.

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