Bailout Fails In House
While I believe that the Congressional leadership of both parties will, within a couple of days, get their sh*t in one sock and deliver the votes needed to pass the Bailout, I admit I was kind of surprised that it failed today. Many Congresspeople, including my own, are claiming they're against it because the public seems to be against it. A quick look at some representative people for and against the bailout tells me all I need to know.
Michael Moore: Against the Bailout
Warren Buffett: Supports the Bailout
I think I'd rather take my economic advice from Warren.
Update 2226 01 Oct: As I figured they would, the Senate easily passed a "sweetened" version of the bailout tonight; I predict the House will go along (but by a closer margin) when they vote on Friday. The "sweeteners" should be enough to give cover to some of the previous naysayers who looked into the abyss on Monday afternoon and finally realized the potential hazards of failing to act. For those who say that we shouldn't do anything at all -- that we should just let the market run its course without government interference -- we pretty much tried that once already, from November 1929 to February 1933. Pure capitalism would be good in theory if everyone played nice; the problem is that human nature doesn't really allow for that. I think only the most ardent Ron Paul supporter would say that the government shouldn't step into the marketplace for the good of the whole, either by regulating monopolies, ensuring product safety, or -- as in this case -- keeping the economy from going into a 4- or 5-year long deep recession if it's preventable without too much irreversible long-term damage.
Well-meaning people can disagree on whether or not this particular bailout is the right way to fix the problems in our economy, but it seems to me that it's the only one that could have passed, and that we had to do something. To advocate doing nothing in the face of potentially severe society-wide dislocation for the sake of adherance to a philosophy that doesn't have any real-world applicability is, to me, the worst kind of politics. (Especially when, like one Kooky Local Simpleton, you simply refuse to face the facts as they exist.)
Update 1142 03 Oct: It has happened as I foretold; the House voted by a substantial margin for the bailout with the added sweeteners.