They're From the Government, and They're Here To HelpIn spite of an overwhelming public reaction against the Wall Street bailout plan, coupled with increasing evidence that the public is not as frightened of an economic collapse as either the President or the pit traders, Democratic Leadership in the House and Senate are going to try for round two:
Adding to the pressure on Congress to act were some of the nation's biggest corporations, including Verizon Communications Inc., Microsoft Corp. and General Electric Co. GE Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt is actively lobbying politicians and finance officials in Washington to complete the financial-rescue bill, said a company spokesman. To back up his message, Mr. Immelt directed his staff to compile evidence of the "negative ripple effects" throughout America from the crisis on Wall Street, including information on what is happening to customers and employees in all 50 states.
What the big corporations really want in this case is corporate welfare of sorts. Verizon, Microsoft, and GE are afraid that the lack of a bailout could mean that their stocks, and the market ratings that go with them, will tank if there is no bailout. Should that happen, it might force some of these companies to sell off what is left of their public offerings and essentially be taken over by third parties. These companies and others would like to avoid that fate, so they want Congress to save them, warning of the most dire end-of-the-world scenarios if the legislative body and the American people do not acquiesce.
Those of us who are opposed to the bailout should not think ourselves victorious, even though the country's new exercise in pseudo-fascist economic interventionism failed in the House on Monday. No one should operate under the illusion that Congress will not pass a bailout bill, and that the final product will be almost as repulsive as the legislation that went down to defeat on Monday. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will likely try to frame the latest version of the "crap sandwich' as something substantially different from Monday. Instead, what is likely to be rammed through both Houses of Congress will be Monday's bill with additional FDIC insurance for consumers. Hence, the crap on the sandwich will still be excrement, but it will have a lovely botanical odor.
The American people sent a critical message to Congress on Monday, however-they've had enough. Legislators in Congress are praying that the American people have short attention spans. What is most disturbing is that our presidential candidates aren't saying much about the bailout-perhaps because neither see the wrong in what this country is about to do.
No one has answered the ultimate question, and on the rare occasion that it is raised the matter is often avoided: What shall we do if this scheme should fail?