Thursday, October 02, 2008

Senate approves the Bailout bill, but...

In order to pass the "Bailout Bill", now belatedly renamed the "Economic Recovery Plan", the Senate added $150 billion in tax breaks, none of which are revenue neutral. Which made the bill $850bn.

From reading the American forums, reaction has been bad. On the Washington Post forums there seems to be universal denouncement of the package, with people saying things like "How do tax cuts help this disaster? That’s like saying you’re going to offset your increased credit card debt by reducing your payments", "451 pages of Bushit","Why did the Senate have to add the pork to this Bill?", "the no golden parachute clause (read pages 32 - 33) covers NEW agreements, not existing agreements. How convenient - the tax payers will fund all those existing agreeements", and "how can we afford universal healthcare now?".

This whole thing has turned toxic. Paulson botched initially by simply introducing a plan that handed over money in return for nothing and with no oversight as to how it was spent. It's just gone from bad to worse since. The House may pass the bill due to the additional pork, but pressure on them from voters will only grow.

Voters are also frustrated that both Obama and McCain voted for this bill, and there is a lot of talk about "3rd candidates". If Ross Perot was in this race he'd be swept into the White House. There are other candidates in this White House race - Ralph Nader, Bob Barr for the Libertarian party, Chuck Baldwin for the Constitutional party, Cynthia McKinney for the Green party, Alan Keys for America's Independent Party, Gloria La Riva for Party for Socialism and Liberation, and Charles Jay for the Boston Tea Party.

If the poison doesn't get out of the situation soon, some protest votes will undoubtedly be given to these "3rd candidates" in a way that is already happening in Europe, and which will make the outcome of this election very unpredictable. We live in very interesting times.

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