Concerns For $700 Billion Bailout
[size=12pt]Concerns For $700 Billion Bailout[/size]
The Senate Banking Committee met with top bankers today, and Congress discussed the possibility of handing Treasury Secretary Paulson a $700 Billion check.
But despite widespread acknowledgment on both sides of the aisle that immediate action is necessary to cure the country's ailing economy, plans have stalled as newly released details were met with heavy criticism.
The most widely voiced concern has been a lack of oversight provided by the current plan.
Former first lady and current Senator Hillary Clinton was one such voice.
"Giving [Paulson] $700 billion dollars to spend is irresponsible," she said today.
"It's too much money and power for any one person.
That type of power needs to be spread amongst at least three or four experienced people."
"Of course, I would be willing to look after the money if called upon by my country," she added while looking through a catalog featuring expensive jewelry.
Senator Christopher Dodd, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, expressed his dismay during the hearings today as Paulson appeared distracted.
"I think he was reading a brochure on purchasing tropical islands.
Frankly, that worries me a little bit," Dodd said.
"I'm also a little concerned that the proposal calls for the purchase and nationalization of Hawaiian Airlines, Marlboro, Jack Daniels, and Scores.
I thought those businesses were all doing okay, but I guess I'm no expert."
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was less concerned about possible misuse.
"What's he going to do with $700 billion?" he asked.
"That's only like twenty bucks in 1970 dollars.
You want $700 billion?
I'll print you $700 billion right now."
The recent economic problems and potential bailout have also been a hot topic on the campaign trail.
"While I will continue to push for greater oversight, I'm satisfied with the fundamentals of the plan I've seen," the democratic presidential nominee, Barrack Obama, said today.
"I've been saying throughout the presidential campaign that this country needs change.
With this plan we will be able to turn 700 billion taxpayer dollars into millions in pennies, nickles, and even dimes.
That's a lot of change."
Obama also expressed some optimism that the plan could work greater benefits for the economy than anticipated.
"When you think about it," he said, "taxpayer money is usually passed around from government agency to government agency until it is wasted.
With this plan we waste the money directly by purchasing a lot of something worth nothing for $700 billion.
I call that efficiency."
His opponent in the November election, John McCain, agrees that the plan is necessary.
"There are a lot of people that are going to have a hard time making ends meet, and we need to do something to help them.
I can't help but feel sorry for these men who, just days ago, were leading large companies.
Now, without our help, they will have a hard time making payments on however many large beach houses they may have."
The republican vice presidential candidate has been relatively quite on the matter, although Tina Fey expressed comical confusion about what the Bush administration's bailout policy entailed.
Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden said something on the matter, but nobody bothered to write it down.
In the end, despite concerns about the money likely being diverted to fund Vice President Dick Cheney's private army of genetically enhanced soldiers, the bailout is likely to be passed in some form within the next week.
Senator Dodd was pragmatic this afternoon when addressing that eventuality.
"Look, at the end of the day we have no idea what we're doing," he said.
"We're senators, not economists.
Maybe this will help the economy, maybe it won't.
But I'm pretty sure that if I don't vote for it I'm going to be unemployed in November.
And we all know how bad the job market is for someone with no real skills."
(For the mods: yes, I wrote this)