Monday, November 17, 2008

A Sane Voice in a Dim-Witted Congress: Freeze the Bailout

Photo courtesy of dagonvalek

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) is introducing legislation requiring Congress to ratify the spending of the remaining $350 billion bailout fund, abolishing the sole rights given to Treasury Secretary Paulson to spend American taxpayer monies at his will - and hopefully, to completely freeze the bailout.

Inhofe voted against the prior bailout legislation for two reasons:

The first is that I wasn't convinced that asset-purchase program was the right way to do this, and the second is that it would lead to increased lobbying for handouts and bailouts by any industry facing financial trouble.

I stated at the time that my vote was against the Paulson plan - not against taking extraordinary action to provide necessary confidence to financial markets. I stated that "The Paulson plan would have Washington take $700 billion worth of toxic Wall Street assets from financial firms' balance sheets and put them on the balance sheet of the federal government.... I'm not confident in its success."

Inhofe's press release points to the many problems:
On October 14th, in a significant shift, Treasury outlined a plan to directly purchase equity stakes in of major financial institutions.

The Wall Street Journal noted that "critics...say Treasury should have formulated a comprehensive plan earlier in the crisis." This past week, Secretary Paulson announced that he has completed a remarkable about face,

November 13th Investor's Business Daily front page headline, which read, "In Major Reversal, Treasury Won't Buy Bad Mortgage Debt." This is a complete reversal. Why did Paulson reverse course?

Thursday's Los Angeles Times provides the answer. "Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson's decision to abandon plans to buy troubled bank assets shows that he has come to two conclusions about what was once the chief focus of the government's $700-billion bailout: The first is that it wouldn't work.
About the constitutionality of the bailout:
Congress abdicated its Constitutional responsibility by signing a truly blank check over to the Treasury Secretary. However, the lame duck session of Congress offers us a tremendous opportunity to change course. We should take it.
Inhofe's plan:
During the lame duck session, I will be taking the following actions.

First and foremost, if Secretary Paulson submits his plan to Congress in order to access the remaining $350 billion while we are in session, a doubtful prospect, I plan to immediately introduce the disapproval resolution pursuant to Section 115 of the EESA and push for its enactment.

I will also introduce and actively pursue enactment of legislation to do two things: First, it will amend Section 115 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) to require an affirmative vote on the part of Congress to approve Treasury's plan for the remaining $350 billion, instead of the current statutory process which gives Secretary Paulson far too much latitude.

Second, it will require a freeze on any remaining funds of the first $350 billion. It is imperative that we not allow that amount of money to be added to a deficit approaching $1 trillion this year without any input from the legislative branch.
Inhofe's assignment: "Kick Republican Ass - Find their Conservative Values...Stand up and find a spine" Click here, then click the double bars to listen to Senator Inhofe's comprehensive interview with Glen Beck.
Beck: Do you believe our Constitution is hanging by a thread?
Beck: When did we stop believing in bankruptcy?

Beck: How could Obama say we don't have to worry about the deficit over the next couple of years?

Beck: How long before we don't recognize our country anymore? This is a tsunami...
This is an opportunity for us to tell Congress to support Inhofe's legislation. To find your Senator's name and contact information, enter your zip code below and hit "go.":


  1. Thank you for this excellent post. I'll be linking to it. Linking to here, of course.

    The Phoenix

  2. Great post. Too much money floating around out there with too many people trying to get their hands into the cookie jar.