Wednesday, Sep 24, 2008, 12:17 pm
“We Can Not Let This Stand”
...The debate this week over the bailout truly is the most important economic debate we've seen in the last decade, if not the entire last generation. What happens this week will be written about in history books for the rest of our lives. In terms of its size, scope, reach and constitutional implications, the Bush proposal probably surpasses any single measure - good or bad - for the last 30 or 40 years, except, perhaps, for the bill authorizing the Iraq War, and even compared to that, it's very close.
I say this as someone who worked on the Hill for 5 years during the passage of the Bush tax cuts, the Patriot Act and the Iraq War authorization: I have never seen a bill as monarchic as the bill Henry Paulson submitted to the Congress, I have never heard as absurd an explanation as Paulson gave for his proposal, and if we let it pass in even vaguely the same shape as it is in, we will watch a tectonic shift in how the fundamentals (to use a McCain term) of our democracy work, and do not work. During a recession and a foreclosure crisis, if the U.S. Congress cannot stop a lame-duck president with a 19 percent approval rating from using an economic crisis Wall Street speculators manufactured to give away almost a trillion dollars of taxpayer cash to those same speculators, then we no longer live in anything even close to a democracy.
Jarrett Dapier is a former assistant publisher at In These Times. Previous work for ITT includes interviews with playwright Christopher Shinn and Fugazi guitarist, Ian Mackaye. He currently works with teens at the Evanston Public Library where he runs a recycled drumming program and directs stage adaptations of young adult literature. He lives in Evanston, IL.