The plan is bad. But bad policies get enacted all the time. But we’re at a point now where congress is, allegedly, in the hands of progressive leadership. Simply put, if congressional Democrats manage to acquiesce in a plan that spends $700 billion on a bailout while doing nothing for average working people and giving the taxpayer virtually no upside in a way that guarantees that even electoral victory would give an Obama administration no resources with which to implement a progressive domestic agenda in 2009 then everyone’s going to have to give serious consideration to becoming a pretty hard-core libertarian.Politico says many economists are skeptical and Greg Mankiw thinks it's awful. Mankiw links to Yves Smith, who hates the plan and thinks you should too. You can see the pattern here.
It’d be one thing for a bunch of conservative politicians to ram a terrible policy through. Then we could say “well, if some progressives win the next election things will be different.” But if this comes through an allegedly progressive congress then the whole enterprise starts looking pretty hollow.
Update 1:50 pm: I can't help adding this commentary, from ABC's Jack Tapper.
As the Bush Administration asks for close to a trillion dollars to prevent a worldwide financial cataclysm, here are some numbers you might find interesting -- courtesy of the ABC News Research Center and ABC News' Barbara Paulson.
In 2007, Wall Street's five biggest firms -- Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley -- paid a record $39 billion in bonuses to themselves.
That's $10 billion more than the $29 billion loan taxpayers are making to J.P. Morgan to save Bear Stearns.
Those 2007 bonuses were paid, even though the shareholders in those firms last year collectively lost about $74 billion in stock declines -- their worst year since 2002.