Paul  Weyrich

Economists, House Republicans led by Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and millions of Americans across the country are questioning the prudence of the Federal Government's bailout of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG. The bailout package has taken so much criticism that neither of the two Presidential candidates is willing to endorse it outright. You also can add my name to the list of those concerned.

The cost to the American taxpayer, we're told, is to be $700 billion, though it probably will be closer to a full $1 trillion, and all must be done without delay. Why the rush? Where are the compelling economic arguments that if we don't act immediately to save these companies this nation will suffer financial Armageddon in short order? Senator Joseph R. (Joe) Biden, Jr. (D-DE) has suggested that we Americans should be patriotic in paying our taxes. Are we to be patriotic in order to come to the financial aid of a multi-trillion dollar corporate world, one which consistently espouses a free-market economy? Neither President George W. Bush nor his Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson nor the Congressional Leadership has come through with any clear-cut reasoning regarding what the effects would be if we did not act quickly or what the American people would gain if we do. And as various economists are claiming, this incredibly enormous bailout never would address the actual problems that got us into this mess, nor would it give any protection to the taxpayer who must foot the entire bill.

What's more, we now understand that several of the key players behind this government bailout have extensive ties to many of the corporate giants they want to rescue. Senator Christopher J. (Chris) Dodd (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has received more than $7.8 million since 2003 from financial, insurance and real estate corporations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, has received approximately $600,000 in the last five years. The two are part of a four-man negotiating committee (the other two are Republicans) whose job it is to iron out a bailout compromise settlement. These two men consistently have voted in favor of their corporate constituencies. Whose best interests do you think are represented at the negotiating table - the public's or those of the corporate world?


Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
 
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