Saturday, September 27, 2008

Democracy and Reason

Apparently, someone shares my view on this financial debacle. After publishing my post, Longing for Reason, I came across this editorial by Bob Herbert, which said much of what I wanted to say, but better. Take a gander at the complete essay.

Experts need some reasonable amount of time -- I'm talking about days, not weeks -- to home in on the weak points, the loopholes, the potential unintended consequences of a bailout of this magnitude.

The patchwork modifications being offered by Democrats in Congress are insufficient. Reasonable estimates need to be made of the toll to be taken on taxpayers. Reasonable alternatives need to be heard.

Lobbyists, bankers and Wall Street types already are hopping up and down like overexcited children, ready to burst into the government's $700 billion pinata. This widespread eagerness is itself an indication that there is something too sweet about the Paulson plan.

And this from the presidential campaigns concerning the lack of oversight on the situation, that dangerous state of democratic suspension to which we are hustled and bullied by shock doctrines:

Both candidates said they are uncomfortable with the sweeping powers the Bush proposal would give to the secretary of the Treasury. They recommended creation of an independent board that would oversee the rescue.

Obama said "the power to spend $700 billion of taxpayers' money cannot be left up to the discretion of one man, no matter who he is or which party he is from. I have great respect for [Treasury] Secretary [Henry] Paulson, but he cannot act alone."

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