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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Paulson's Pot Of Gold

Shambollocks is on record as against the bailout. Open taxpayer checkbooks will not get us out of this crisis. Responsible leadership will. When Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson asked for $700 billion dollars of our money from Congress, I was more than a little skeptical. First, he wanted complete control of the money with very little oversight. Second, as a life-long employee of Goldman Sachs, he would personally profit from a government buyout of Sachs' bad debt. Third, he did not lay out a coherent vision for where the money would go.

I don't like to say I told you so, but today's New York Times reports that Paulson doesn't know what he's doing. Plan A, buying bad debt, is out the window. Plan B, creating some kind of government 'bank' which would foster lending, sounds thoroughly half-baked. The Democrats want to give money to Detroit to save the unions. President-elect Obama remains silent. One, he's not President. Two, this is a seemingly no win situation. I have an idea. Why don't we sit down and take a little time to come up with a coherent strategy between the incoming and outgoing administrations instead of playing the 'React to the Dow Jones' game? The economic teams from both sides get into a room for a week, come out and tell the American people where we're going. Even if a solid solution isn't reached, it would at least show that both parties can lead through a crisis together.

Bad money has already left the building. Let's make sure the next semis of cash that leave the Treasury have a well-thought out plan behind them. Please.

- Details on the complete lack of congressional oversight on the $700 billion (of which $290 billion is already gone) in today's Washington Post.

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