|On the day that Citigroup swallowed Wachovia before it too, failed, and as world financial markets are cratering, the debate is on in the House over the, I must say, much improved, bailout bill (details, text). The debate is shaping up as one of the clearest cut dichotomies between liberalism and conservatism in recent memory. Conservatives in the House, including Ron Paul, are railing against the bill on the floor, decrying it as a quick slide toward government ownership of capital and socialism. Some are calling for even less deregulation, and, surprise, surprise, more corporate tax cuts.
Liberals are also railing, some decrying the bill as too helpful to Wall Street, but the consensus on the Democratic side is generally pro-government intervention, in keeping with the liberal belief that the government represents the backstop against economic meltdown at both the macro, and micro level.
Interestingly enough, a number of Black Caucus members are ranting that the bill doesn't have enough help for individual homeowners and to stop predatory lending, and some, including Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, are urging a "no" vote.
But for the most part, most mainline Republicans and Democrats are indicating they will, however reluctantly, vote for the bill. Many are praising Rep. Barney Frank for creating a palatable compromise to Hank Paulsen's initial attempt at a massive power grab.
What's really interesting is the position of President Bush, who having pleaded for the bill's passage can now, clearly, finally, no longer call himself a conservative.
Meanwhile, the Fed pumps another $630 billion into the global financial markets to try and arrest the global slide... Lehman shareholders will get pennies on the dollar... and Politico has the back and forth on the bailout...
Labels: economic crisis, the Bush bailout, Wall Street