24 September 2008 ~ 0 Comments

No more blank checks for Bush!

Turn on the TV and you’ll be told that we’re on the brink of imminent crisis—and the only solution is for Congress to turn over vast power to the Bush administration and trust they’ll use it wisely. Sound familiar?

This time, it’s not to authorize war in Iraq. Bush wants taxpayers to give his administration a $700 billion check with no strings attached, which they’ll then hand over to the same Wall Street firms that got us into this mess.1 

It’s clear something needs to be done to deal with the disastrous Bush economy, but Bush’s blank check proposal is not the answer. Yesterday, Barack Obama laid out key principles for dealing with this situation. Obama’s main point: Main Street must be put ahead of Wall Street, and no blank check for the Bush administration.

Members of Congress are trying to figure out what to do, and they need to hear from the public. Can you sign this message to your members of Congress today, supporting Obama’s principles?

“The Bush economy is in crisis, and giving Bush a blank check is not the solution. Congress must act by putting Main Street ahead of Wall Street.”

Click here to sign:
http://pol.moveon.org/wallstreet/o.pl?id=13979-7041587-Kcr206x&t=3
We’ll deliver every signature to Congress this week—so please forward this message to some friends and ask them to speak out with you. Everyone who signs will be given the phone numbers for their Senators and Representative. Calling them will increase our impact.

President Bush wants Congress to give his Treasury Secretary (Henry Paulson, a former Wall Street executive) $700 billion with no congressional or court oversight. That amounts to $2,000 for every single American.2

Would it help families struggling to keep their homes? NO. Do taxpayers get any share of the firms we’re bailing out, so we can benefit from any eventual profit? NO. Would the firms we’re bailing out be required to stop paying their executives multimillion-dollar salaries? NO.3 This is a pure giveaway of epic proportions.

Even some Republicans are admitting this is crazy. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) asked, “Just how long can the poor beleaguered taxpayer be expected to bear all the losses and bear all the risk?”4 Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) said, “I’m getting a lot of calls from my district, with people saying, why are you bailing out the big guys and not us?”5

Here are the principles Obama laid out over the weekend:

  • No blank check. We must insist on independent accountability and oversight.
  • Main Street, not just Wall Street. We need an emergency economic plan to help working families—a plan that would help folks cope with rising gas and food prices, create infrastructure jobs, etc.
  • Help homeowners stay in their homes. We cannot have a plan for Wall Street banks that does not help homeowners stay in their homes and help distressed communities.
  • Taxpayers should be protected. This should not be a handout to Wall Street.
  • Rescue requires mutual responsibility. Institutions that benefit from taxpayer help must help protect American homeowners and the American economy. We cannot underwrite continued irresponsibility.
  • Build a regulatory structure for the 21st Century. We should commit ourselves to new rules of the road for the 21st Century economy.
  • A global response. The United States must lead, but we must also insist that other nations, who have a huge stake in the outcome, join us in helping to secure the financial markets.6

There are many in Congress who want to do the right thing, but they need to know the public has their back. Can you sign our petition to Congress today?

Clicking here will add your name:
http://pol.moveon.org/wallstreet/o.pl?id=13979-7041587-Kcr206x&t=5

Thanks for all you do.

–-Adam G., Noah, Andrea, Wes and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “Administration Is Seeking $700 Billion for Wall Street,” New York Times, September 20, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/business/21cong.html

2. Ibid.

3. “What Wall Street Should Be Required to Do, to Get A Blank Check From Taxpayers,” Blog post by former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, September 21, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=30341&id=13979-7041587-Kcr206x&t=6

4. “Lawmakers Left On the Sidelines As Fed, Treasury Take Swift Action,” Washington Post, September 18, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=30342&id=13979-7041587-Kcr206x&t=7

5. “Democrats eye bailout—and more,” Politico, September 19, 2008
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13644.html

6. “Senator Obama’s Statement of Principles for the Treasury Proposal,” September 21, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=30343&id=13979-7041587-Kcr206x&t=8