Time For The Dem Bailout Bill

Allrighty then. The GOP and McCain do not want the bipartisan bailout solution. Fair enough. Then it is time for the DEM bailout bill. With HOLC, a stimulus package, rigorous oversight of Paulson, equity stakes in the bailoutees, and everything the Democratic caucus thinks is necessary now.

Pass it on a party line vote. The Senate can then decide what to do. And then President Bush can decide what to do. The House Republicans do not want to be a part of this bipartisan short term bailout solution? Fair enough. Then Bush has to take the Dem bailout solution.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Yep, time to start building a mandate for the Dems (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by robrecht on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:39:29 PM EST

    Voter backlash in progress? (none / 0) (#43)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:32:31 PM EST
    Peter Barnes, the Capitol Hill reporter for Fox Business, is reporting that the phones started ringing off the hook in Congresssional offices as soon as the vote went down, with voters FURIOUS that their reps.voted against it.  Says the new catchphrase on Capitol Hill right now is, "It's the 401(k), stupid," and that "no" reps. are wiggling around and saying, "Oh, if only the leadership had told me X, Y, or Z, I would have voted for it."

    Sounds to me like a tsunami of ordinary folks with retirement investments weren't happy about the Dow meltdown and are making their opinions known.  Also sounds to me like a reconsideration of this bill after the break might very well pass, after all.


    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:35:58 PM EST
    My immediate reaction was "just let everyone with a retirement account call up in anger, and the exact same bill will pass tomorrow."

    I suspect they will end up bringing it up again with a few minor tweaks.


    Sounds as though the folks (none / 0) (#66)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:54:27 PM EST
    who were in favor of this as the least bad alternative and/or with a bit of retirement savings in the market were maybe lulled into a false sense of security that this thing was going to pass in the end and didn't make their feelings known to their reps.  So the reps mostly only heard from the uncomprehending who flooded them with angry calls in opposition.

    Not a whole lot of profiles in courage on this one, and my rep, safe seat, Dem. rep in the bluest state in the nation, who voted against it today gets no reprieve at all from me if he turns around and votes for it when this is reconsidered.  I haven't been able to get through to his Web site or his office all afternoon, and I doubt his lines are being tied up by people calling to congratulate him.


    HEre's the thing (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:34:54 PM EST
    Everyone hates the bailout, all of us included, but most Americans know something needs to be done.

    Not doing anything is political suicide.

    Dems need to make sure they look like they are trying to do something.


    KISS. Now that I understand. (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:36:06 PM EST
    Not doing anything is economic suicide, also. (none / 0) (#51)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:38:17 PM EST
    my R rep voted for the bill, and I'm gonna call him and ask him to support either this or a democratic bill... partisainship is a feeble excuse when so much is at stake.

    I think today smells a little like a fake (none / 0) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:16:56 PM EST
    pass.  Everybody knows that the markets must take some honest correction.  I think that that has always been in the cards and the Dems are in no hurry to end a needed market correction.  I read today that even if this had passed no funds were going to be available for a couple of weeks.

    cnn.com has a poll up. Their audience (none / 0) (#52)
    by tigercourse on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:38:21 PM EST
    skewers more liberal and somewhat more informed then average. By 52% to 48 they think voting against the bill was a bad idea.

    Democrats need to realize that their base wants a bill passed. If doing the right thing isn't enough of an incentive, political expediency should be.


    It would be nice if the Dems (none / 0) (#92)
    by stefystef on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 09:13:38 PM EST
    could be be on the same page.

    The bill failed by a vote of 205 to 228, with 140 Democrats and 65 Republicans voting in favor and 95 Democrats joining 133 Republicans against.

    95 Dems voting against this bill.  If you are looking for Dems to fix this, then there needs to be unity.

    More Dems voted AGAINST the bill than Republicans voted FOR the bill.  That means something.


    Who do you propose (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:39:46 PM EST
    lead the House Dem. effort to draft such a bill?

    Absolutely. Bill Clinton did that with the (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by hairspray on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:40:22 PM EST
    tax increase in 1993 and it worked.  He had to guts to fight for it push it through even though the Dems paid a price for it.  But in the end the country benefitted.  It seems like the time for acting like cowards is over.  You are right we need some leadership and guts right now.

    See that's the problem (none / 0) (#11)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:47:19 PM EST
    The lesson learned is that of 1994 not of the economic prosperity which followed. See, Also:
    Volkers term at the Fed, Bush I raising taxes, etc. acting like an irresponsible jackass is bad for America but easier to sell to the average voter.

    Out of Curiousity why didn't we establish an HOLC in the late 90's we had a surplus and surely it would have been a smarter way to increase home ownership than relaxing lending requirements?  (Additionally, this GOP spin about lending requirements, etc was this a federally mandated relaxation in order to spur homeownership among minorities and the less econmically well off, or was it simply the Government allowing lenders to relax rates, and the market taking the risk upon themselves, sorry this is really not my forte and you seem to have a good handle on this BTD).


    We Did Have HOLC... (none / 0) (#50)
    by santarita on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:36:29 PM EST
    it was (and still is) FNMA and Freddie Mac.   Up until 2007 we did not have a huge number of mortgages going into default.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac served the equivalent function of a HOLC for an era of prosperity.

    Hoping My Memory is Claer on all of this (none / 0) (#84)
    by cal1942 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:51:35 PM EST
    Additionally, this GOP spin about lending requirements, etc was this a federally mandated relaxation in order to spur homeownership among minorities and the less econmically well off

    NO.  The GOP likes to claim that but it's just smoke to cover up what happened.  There was no government program to relax lending requirements. Some liberals had long complained that requirements for home ownership were too stringent; making it especially difficult for lower income workers to obtain mortgages but that wasn't law or policy.  There had been various home ownership programs in the past (225 program, etc in the 60s) but those programs involved subsidies that insured that a buyer could afford the mortgage. No trick mortgages allowed. There are other programs like FHA and, at least in the past, VA housing programs that offered low or no downpayment requirements.  But the mortgages were fair (no tricky stuff), the houses required stringent standards and owners had to be able to clearly afford the mortgages and have excellent credit. Foreclosures were rare.  My first house was through the VA.  They were efficient and very fair.

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac served the equivalent function of a HOLC for an era of prosperity.

    NO.  Fannie Mae was created in the 60s to free up capital in banks.  Fannie Mae only bought `good' mortgages. Fannie and Freddie were set up to free capital not buy bad paper. As I remember Freddie was set up as a competitor to Fannie after Fannie was privatized.

    An HOLC was created in 1933.  The Federal government bought up many mortgages nearing foreclosure (until the appropriation ran out).  The mortgages were refinanced with lower payments to keep people in their homes.  It also got bad loans off the books of commercial banks. The government made a small profit on the HOLC.


    You Don't Need A HOLC When (none / 0) (#85)
    by santarita on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:56:32 PM EST
    Times Are Good.  (That really was my point in the first place.)

    The way BC described the late '90's (none / 0) (#95)
    by hairspray on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 11:37:38 AM EST
    was that there was a lot of money floating around looking for investment.  By widening the CRA it allowed that money to be put into real estate which was the best investment source at the time. It expanded the construction industry creating jobs and after the downturn in the computer industry it was a welcome relief.  You must remember that housing was holding up our economy as well as retail all during those years. After 2002, the lax oversight by the GOP in the securities market led to worsening conditions.  Greed led the way in structuring more and more questionable ways of selling these mortgages. And you know the rest. So why would HOLC have been needed at that time?

    A Democratic proposal (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by progressiveinvolvement on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:42:23 PM EST
    A truly Democratic proposal would not bail out the plutocrats.  It would (1) involve a Home Owners' Lending Corporation which would help people avoid foreclosure, (2) give the public an equity share in institutions which get cash from the government, (3)  institute public works projects on the nation's infrastructure to ease unemployment, (4) give retirees a Social Security "bonus" to partially offset dwindling income from pension funds, (5) re-regulate the financial sector, (6) put more money into the FDIC, (7) levy a tax on financial services to cover taxpayer losses, if any, and (8) in consideration of the fact that most bankruptcies and foreclosures are related to staggering health care costs, institute national health insurance.  

    Well, the Republicans have failed (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by scribe on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:44:14 PM EST
    in manifold ways.

    "It is time for them to own their failure."
    And, it is time for the Dems to ram it down their throat.  I wouldn't be surprised if this was the plan all along.

    I'll volunteer to draft the Bill.

    Agreed... (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Brillo on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:45:37 PM EST
    However, Pelosi isn't capable of doing this (for a variety of reasons).  It's much more likely they'll get a slightly changed bill passed later this week.

    It is the only thing left to do (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:53:07 PM EST
    and Amazingly it is also the right thing to do.  Let Bush ponder what his legacy will be.  Let every politician ponder how his/her constituency will feel about their vote on the DEM PLAN after the market tanked today and tomorrow probably won't be much better.  Our leading economists though must be included in the writing of this thing please.  They were excluded from the Paulson bail out plan.

    With all due respect, I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Manuel on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:56:25 PM EST
    This is a time of crisis.  In times of crisis, the instinct should not be to act in a partisan way.  The house is on fire.  We are going to need calm from everyone to get this thing under control.  What has been lacking throught these developments is leadership.  I agree with Erik Liu that this is a great opportunity for Obama.  

    If Obama wanted to lead on the (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:59:52 PM EST
    issue, he would have done so in Friday's debate.

    Have You Seen.... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Brillo on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:08:17 PM EST
    Obama's new ad out on this today?

    No. (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:13:04 PM EST
    Ads are meaningless to me when the opportunity for action right here.  

    Somebody who posts comments here is a mediator.  A good mediator has lots of space to separate the factions, provides continuous, excellent, including healthy snackage (no alcohol)  and doesn't let anyone leave until the mediator is convinced no deal is possible.  Also,a good mediator requires substantial briefing by the parties ahead of the initial session and encourages follow up phone calls and additional mediation sessions as needed.  


    Oh I Get It (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by john horse on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:33:41 PM EST
    re: "In times of crisis, the instinct should not be to act in a partisan way.  The house is on fire."

    When you say that now is not the time to act in a partisan way, are you referring to the 2/3 of the House Republicans who ensured the bills defeat by voting against it?  Or is your idea of bipartisanship for one side to unilaterally disarm?


    The house Republicans are to blame (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Manuel on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:46:49 PM EST
    for the failure of Congress to act today.  However, the right response should not be to act unilaterally.  I would be a lot happier if one of our leaders would explain the crisis clearly and concisely and would engage in some "straight" talk.  McCain clearly isn't up to it.  Obama is doing better but the explanation of why we need this plan is lacking.  At least he has now come out in favor.

    After t he fact (none / 0) (#69)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:55:55 PM EST
    Well, that was helpful!

    Sorry Manuel (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by cal1942 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 08:13:17 PM EST
    All due respect. The bi-partisan thing (despite what the GOP says) was what went down today.

    This IS a crisis and bi-partisan didn't work.  

    The New Deal came about in a much worse crisis.  Some people were actually starving.  There were confirmed deaths from starvation. Shanty towns of homeless families sprung up in many cities. Desperate unemployed auto workers in Detroit stole food in markets. In Chicago, unpaid police were clubbing demonstrating unpaid teachers.  Passenger trains rolled from stop to stop completely empty. The unemployment rate was at least 25%.  People who still had jobs were forced to take significant pay cuts and fewer paid hours.  A 'good' employer would pay your trolley fare to come in on Sunday to work for no pay just to keep your job.  There was no unemployment insurance, Social Security, etc.

    Some Republicans went along for the first 100 days but that was it.  FDR was only warming up.  After those first 100 days the New Deal became a fierce partisan battle with most Republicans battling tooth and nail against the Roosevelt administration and most Democrats in Congress. It was a war until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

    Remember, bi-partisan always screws the little guy and achieves little.


    Interestingly (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:58:05 PM EST
    Most of the Congressional Black Caucus voted against the bailout.  Surely they're not worried about winning reelection!  But I bet their ideas for improving the bill will do a lot more for Main Street than Wall Street.

    They are afraid of Jesse Jackson, Jr. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:00:32 PM EST
    Do you really think that (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:10:08 PM EST
    was what it was?  Why would Jackson be so adamant about voting no on the bill?  Well, except that blacks still haven't reached financial equality in this country and voting for the Paulson bill promised economic hardship for our most impoverished families.  Perhaps that reality is what brought about such a display of principles.

    I have no idea. That was snark. (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:15:28 PM EST
    But, if I thought Obama really is the titular head of the Dem. party now and I saw his co-compaign mgr. was voting "naye" it might make me think that was a savvy way to cast my vote too, especially if I thought Obama will be the next President.  Also, isn't Jackson the guy who threatened to primary John Lewis if he didn't fall into line re Obama's candidacy?

    I don't think (none / 0) (#89)
    by cal1942 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 08:16:04 PM EST
    John Conyers is afraid of anyone.  No way could he be primaried out.

    I found it very interesting too (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:03:03 PM EST
    Some people think they can sell out and get by but the people who have been sold out many times before aren't easily frightened by "shock doctorine".

    Democrats plan is better anyway (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Katherine Graham Cracker on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:07:52 PM EST
    The Democrats plan has a better chance of making a difference due to the wider array of people getting direct assistance.

    My member of Congress (Lynn Woolsey liberal dem) voted against the plan but she would happily support this proposal.

    Would a Dem plan make it through (none / 0) (#64)
    by Manuel on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:52:43 PM EST
    the Democratic caucus?  The Democrats have a wider range of political opinion than the Republicans.  The current plan is about as far as some conservative Democrats want to go.  I have not done the math but it is possible a Democratic plan would lose some Democrats which together with the Republicans would be enough to defeat it.  Don't forget that the public at large still opposes any plan.  Who is going to make the case that a Democratic plan is better?

    The City shakes its head (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Oceandweller on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:11:54 PM EST
    Here in London; everybody is sadly shaking his head- BBC, CNN-Europe, they all say that thanks to the fitof pique of the REPUBLICANS
    , the US pensioners will find tomorrow morning their pension funds minus 7ù and knowing how enrageg by the tragi-comedy enacted in D.C. I am afarid the rest of the world may be heading toward a clearly hostile behaviour against the US economy and Wall street. The Republicans seem to have forgotten that actually it is China and a few other countries who are bailing us out effectively, I have quite concerned by the new bailiff like tone of voice....

    England has it owns financial problems (none / 0) (#93)
    by stefystef on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 09:28:16 PM EST
    They need to look at their own situation (Barclay Bank, etc).  The Europeans are a hot mess too, but love to pass the blame.

    BTD, great idea. (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:44:02 PM EST
    I for one will pass it on.  
    I think it's great.  

    No money for Wall St. (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Categorically Imperative on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:48:28 PM EST
    The Dem plan, if there is one, should involve taking the $700B everyone seems to think we can spend and setting up:

    1. Single-payer health care
    2. Programs to rebuild national infrastructure
    3. Programs to research and develop viable alternative energy sources
    4. Covering mortgage defaults

    Congress should then craft a law that permits failing banks to go through what is, in essence, a rapid Chapter 11 proceeding, with the object being to recapitalize them through the usual way failed businesses do it (bankruptcy).  

    The bailout as-is does nothing to fix the underlying problems.  This is not a liquidity crisis; it is an asset valuation crisis.  CMOs are going to be worthless and unmarketable until the housing market stabilizes.  Buying big sh*tpile with taxpayers' cash is a naked giveaway to Wall St.

    The Dem plan will be much better for the country (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by rilkefan on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:53:37 PM EST
    but it will also give the Rs a weapon to use against us for years.  If/when $700 billion proves inadequate by a factor of 2, or 4, will we continue to do the on-balance right thing and pour in money?

    The drop in the Dow, S &P and Nasdaq (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by MKS on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:57:58 PM EST
    supplies a pretty good argument--and that isn't even the real underlying problem but just an example of a domino effect.

    Cover for tomorrow, but what about next year? n/t (none / 0) (#74)
    by rilkefan on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:05:58 PM EST
    The Republicans will always have a weapon. (none / 0) (#83)
    by ruffian on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:49:53 PM EST
    Always.  If we don't do this they will say we are weak and disorganized.  I'd like to fight for some principles for once, instead of some weak tea compromise that nobody likes.

    Campbell Soup (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by MKS on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:56:33 PM EST
    was the only publicly traded company whose stock supposedly went up today....How ironic is that?  Utilities, down.  Transportation stocks, down.  Soup kitchen stocks, up......

    That's the kind of moxy that wins elections (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by ricosuave on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:04:18 PM EST
    Which is why the democrats won't do it.  I would love to see them take partisan action (particularly on something that the senate would pass) and put it in front of the president on Wednesday.

    But then that brings me back to the original question I keep asking which is "what problem is this legislation attempting to solve?"  The things that democrats should care about (such as helping homeowners avoid foreclosure) are great things to do but will not solve the credit crisis we seem to be facing.  Nothing the congress can do will increase the values of homes back to their previous stratospheric levels, so they can't recapitalize the financial industries unless they just fork over tons of cash to the industries.  If that comes in the form of buying equities for twice their value, then that really sucks.

    So democrats should ignore Bush and solve the problems they want to solve (and that someone is willing to explain to the american people, unlike the current balagan).  They should pass measures to help keep homeowners in their homes and put them in front of Bush.  Let him veto them, let republicans vote against them, and let McCain be forced to take sides on those issues.  That's leadership and good politics.

    Can't keep home owners in their homes (none / 0) (#91)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 08:27:18 PM EST
    if nobody has a job, guy.

    Be afraid!! (none / 0) (#94)
    by ricosuave on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:01:06 AM EST
    Don't talk about what we are doing or why...just do something quick or you will be out of work!!!  That's always the best recipe for public policy.

    This bailout (or, if you prefer the more politically correct term, "intervention") cannot magically raise real estate prices back up.  So the savings that back the needed credit does not exist.  The government funds being provided are either borrowed from the same pool or (worse?) created through expansion of the money supply and therefore inflationary.

    The pressure to do this quickly was supposed to be to keep the stock market from plummeting this morning.  The death of the deal today (and near-decade rollback of the stockmarket) means that this particular urgency has already been missed.  

    So now maybe we can restore confidence in the market by helping to ensure that these financial companies are not allowed to deteriorate to the point where a government bailout is declared necessary instead of continuing to pretend that the "smartest guys in the room" will magically solve all of these problems if government will just get out of the way.

    Just remember that nobody is losing a dime of FDIC guaranteed money in heavily regulated banks in this crisis.  But you are right that lots of people will lose their jobs.  That die was cast when these companies made crappy investments in the first place, and when the regulatory agencies ignored a continuing growing problem until government intervention was so vital that even you are scared of massive job loss if the government doesn't intervene.


    We need a Dem plan and then we need a leader! (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Mitch Guthman on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:17:22 PM EST

    I agree.  Now, as to what should be in the Democratic plan:  

    I think Nouriel Roubini is right that any such plan must contain a HOLC-style program because "without such a component the debt overhang of the household sector will continue to depress consumption spending and will exacerbate the current economic recession".   Across the board debt relief and a HOLC-style program to keep people in their homes should be the centerpiece of any Democratic plan.  

    The plan should also provide for greater accountability in the administration of the bailout, and greater regulation of all forms of derivatives and swaps.  There must be some kind of equity stake in the banks and a transparent means of valuing both the toxic waste we are buying and the warrants we will be receiving.

    Next, the people who made the mess should bear at least some of the burden of cleaning it up. The culture of excessive executive compensation that got us into this situation must be changed.   There must be meaningful, significant limits on CEO compensation, including a total ban on all forms of golden parachutes.  There must be retroactive authority to seek clawbacks where appropriate and the existing stock options for all executives must be cancelled.

    This is similar to the Chrysler Bailout in which the Carter administration refused to simply hand over the money but instead required sacrifices and changes by everybody with an interest in saving the company: management, stockholders, investment bankers and others. And the taxpayers got most, if not all, of their money back in the end.

    I know that any bailout will require the American taxpayer to make some pretty significant sacrifices.   I think most people understand that and are prepared do what is necessary.  But there must be changes made and sacrifices borne by the people at the top who caused this mess in the first place. Otherwise, no deal.

    Finally, of course, we must find someone to take the lead in putting the plan together.  Someone who can jawbone the bankers and the Republicans. Someone who has the guts to push the Democratic plan through using only Democratic votes and then dare Bush to veto it.  Someone who can explain our plan to the people and persuade them to support it.  Basically, we need a leader.  Any ideas on who that person might be?

    She who must not be named..... (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by sallywally on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:59:11 PM EST
    Hillary Clinton.

    WHAT? (3.00 / 4) (#25)
    by DaveCal on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:01:09 PM EST
    I'm sorry, I don't understand how you (or Barney Frank for that matter) can claim that the Republicans or John McCain killed this.  

    That's nothing more than a political spin, and you are believing your own press releases.  

    First, John McCain claimed to be in favor of a deal (although neither he nor Obama really committed to this bill, both played the fence).  Second, the Democrats control congress.  They could have passed it.  Plain and simple.  And Bush would have signed it.  

    So what gives with your comments:  "Allrighty then. The GOP and McCain do not want the bipartisan bailout solution. Fair enough." ?

    Pretty simple (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:06:13 PM EST
    THIS bill was premised on the ability of getting 100 or so GOP votes to go along with 135 or so Dem votes.

    You got the 135 Dem votes. You did not get the promised 100 GOP votes.

    McCain could not deliver the gOP votes he promised.

    They killed THIS bill.

    Now, Dems can pass a bill by themselves, but it will not be THIS bill.

    If the Dems have to pass the bill by themselves then it will or at least, should be a DEM bill, not a bipartisan bill.

    Did you follow that or was it too complicated for you?


    Unfortunately, Pelosi and friends (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by nycstray on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:09:06 PM EST
    have bought the post/bi-partisan crap lock, stock and barrel. Asking them to act like Democrats at this point might be a bit of a long shot.

    Certain brave liberal democrats (4.00 / 2) (#34)
    by dk on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:13:27 PM EST
    took the lead by voting against this bill in the hopes that a truly Democratic solution can be implemented.  Let's hope that Pelosi, Reid and Obama, who have now failed as leaders, will step aside and follow suit.

    Why do you think a more progressive bill would (4.50 / 2) (#40)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:24:20 PM EST
    pass for sure?

    They'd lose all the Republicans and probably not get any Blue Dog Dems.  Are there enough other Dem votes there to get to 218?  

    I'm just not so sure.


    You think? (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:28:14 PM EST
    Let's find out.

    I bet you are wrong.


    The House of Reps Might Pass It but... (none / 0) (#53)
    by santarita on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:40:41 PM EST
    it is dubious that you could get 60 votes for it in the Senate.

    You mean Republoicans would filibuster (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:44:27 PM EST
    with Wall Street melting down?

    Interesting. LEt's find out.


    Good point santarita. (none / 0) (#61)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:47:12 PM EST
    Maybe Dems could try to force feed their plan through public display. I mean seriously, who would argue against semi-radical mortgage restructuring among other things at this point?

    Well, I hope you can count votes better (none / 0) (#67)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:55:18 PM EST
    than the House Whips!

    Actually stevie I understand (none / 0) (#45)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:34:24 PM EST
    your logic, but remember the repubs vote was utterly useless, something like a measley 60 votes or something. Also that 777 number is in EVERYONE'S conciousness now, so I think that will take care of the Blue Dogs regardless of more liberal add ons. But your reasoning is sound I admit.

    BS (1.00 / 2) (#36)
    by DaveCal on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:20:49 PM EST
    Nice rationalization.  "This bill was pemised on..."

    I'm not buying.  

    If the democrats think the bill is necessary, and they want it, they can vote it in.  Period.  They don't need ANY republican votes.  

    So why are you blaming the republicans?  


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:22:40 PM EST
    There are fabulists everywhere. You are just another one.

    Enjoy your fantasies.


    OK BIG (3.00 / 2) (#49)
    by DaveCal on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:36:27 PM EST
    You can label me, or call me whatever name you want.  But you cannot, with any accuracy or integrity, blame the republicans.  

    The democrats couldn't get enough votes from their own party to pass this.  Maybe those dems voting no were trying to protect their own re-election campaigns.  Maybe they saw that a majority of americans are opposed to it. (Maybe they are the same issue).  

    You don't have to agree with me on whether or not its the right thing to do (in fact, I haven't given my opinion on that because it's doesn't matter re: this issue).  But are you really incapable of being honest enough with yourself to admit that the dems could have done this on their own?  Blame the republicans if it makes you feel better, but why didn't the Dems choose to lead and pass it on their own?  

    Partisan issues aside.  Are those the kind of leaders you want?  Can't even pass something when you control congress.  And then you blame the republicans?      

    I don't care what party they are from, those are NOT the kind of leaders I want.  


    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:42:53 PM EST
    I described you. I did not call you names.

    How many Republicans voted for the bill? How Many Dems?

    The bill was structured to placate the House GOPers, or so MCCain was saying BEFORE the bill when he was taking credit for its expected passage.

    Course, that was before Nancy made a mean speech.

    Look, be proud or ashamed of Republicans as you like, but they broke the bipartisan deal. That is what happened.

    If you do not know that, then you do not know anything about the situation. That's what happened.


    Big Tent is right (5.00 / 0) (#72)
    by SteveSyracuse on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:58:20 PM EST
    This particular bill was proposed by Treasury Secretary Paulson, so the Dems agreed to go along with it's basic idea so long as the GOP got on board. The Administration swore that the markets would crash if this bill was not passed right away.

    Since that deal fell thru, because the GOP didnt hold up their end, the Dems can now step back from Paulson's bill and perhaps craft their own.

    I have come to believe that the Dem leadership believed Paulson and Bernacke about the need for speed, so agreed to go with their plan with a few tweaks. However, now that the Administration's bill has been stopped in it's tracks...the need for speed is less apparent.

    I say have a totally new public hearing on the issue, including people who are not Paulson and Bernacke. I have read a lot of opinions about alternate plans. These should be evaluated before borrowing $700 billion for a bailout.


    BIG (1.00 / 1) (#75)
    by DaveCal on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:06:24 PM EST
    Call it whatever you want.  I think it's intellectually dishonest, and I think you are lying to yourself.  But that's my opinion.  

    If the deal was "bipartisan", then why didn't the dems pass it?  Even if all the repubs withheld their vote, in violation of whatever "deal" there was?  In fact, it could have been a democrat led bill filled with whatever the dems want, to the total exclusion of what the repubs want (as you are suggesting the dems do now).  But either way, unless the dems vote in favor, it won't pass.  

    I guess we'll see what they do now.  

    They could have passed this.  They didn't.  Even if ZERO republicans voted for it, they could have passed it.  There's noone to blame here but the dems.  

    Rationalize all you want.  I'm done talking to the wall.    


    Do you understand arithmetic? (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by rilkefan on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:21:18 PM EST
    The Dems and Rs had a deal.  The Dems get a, b, c, the Rs get d, e, f, the Dems supply x votes, the Rs supply y votes, and x+y wins.  The Dems held up their end of the bargain, but the Rs didn't come up with y votes - they came up with z votes, where x+z doesn't win.  Just to be clear, z<y.  You want the Dems to magically provide y-z votes for no reason while opening themselves up to irresponsible attacks from the Rs for passing the compromise bill.<p> If the Dems had tried to pass a plan with no consideration for the Rs, then your argument wouldn't be stupid.  If wishes were ponies...

    You do realize the guts of this bill were proposed (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by robrecht on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:45:00 PM EST
    by the REPUBLICAN administration, don't you?  The Dems improved upon it along the lines of principles laid out by both Obama and McCain and then voted for it with a clear majority, even after leaning over backwards to include additional REPUBLICAN NONSENSE.  But then the REPUBLICAN House members didn't want to be saddled with their grossly incompetent REPUBLICAN administarion or its own REPUBLICAN attempt to fix their REPUBLICAN DISASTER.  The Dems did more than their part to improve upon and pass this REPUBLICAN BAIL-OUT.  The REPUBLICANS are running away from their DISASTROUS REPUBLICAN administration, even if it means turning their backs on the economy that they have decimated in a single day.

    Look up "compromise" (none / 0) (#63)
    by rilkefan on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:48:39 PM EST
    I give up X and Y, you give up Y and Z, we get A, B, and C.  You're saying the Democrats should accept a deal they negotiated without receiving an essential element, when they can likely get an overall better deal by abandoning the bipartisanship condition.  It's a laughable claim.

    Because more of them voted against it. (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Pegasus on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:22:53 PM EST
    That's not really up for debate, seeing how it's a fact.

    It's extremely simple (5.00 / 5) (#42)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:31:21 PM EST
    It's not a bipartisan solution if only one party wants it.

    If the Republicans wanted to be part of a bipartisan bill, they could provide more than a handful of votes.

    Since they don't want to be part of it, the Democrats will do it on their own.  But the bill the Democrats pass will be the Democratic bill, not the bipartisan bill.

    Saying that "the Democrats could have passed the bipartisan bill on their own" is just an absurd statement.  See, you don't make a bunch of concessions and compromises with the other side just so you can pass something on a party-line vote.


    That's right. And everyone forgets (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:43:04 PM EST
    about the 50-50 vote agreement. The repubs just simply revolted because of politics. I think the Black Caucus didn't support this partly because of politics but more because it didn't meet the needs of their constituencies, which have been disproportionately affected by subprime. As many people have already suggested, they are much more likely to go along with a vastly more progressive proposal. The republicans REALLY F*C*ED themselves today imo.

    I like all the stuff (none / 0) (#4)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:41:27 PM EST
    But can we get anyone in a risky district to vote for it? I mean at this time (39 days out) isn't it politically easier for them just to keep voting no, rather than having to explain a complex proposal like establishing a new HOLC?

    Hillary Clinton's explanation of (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:42:46 PM EST
    HOLC is very much easier for a layperson to understand than TARP.  

    I read the wiki entry on the HOLC (none / 0) (#15)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:51:05 PM EST
    Where do we set the ceiling, because I think if we set if high enough we should be able to sell this easily, then again I also though Obama's tax plan would be highly palatable but somehow a majority of Americans think he wants to raise their personal taxes.  

    Additionally, would a HOLC be quickly effective, I mean isn't a large part of the problem is that noone knows which Mortages are bad and which aren't right now?


    Who says they have to explain it? (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Pegasus on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:50:03 PM EST
    Create the program and slap an easily understood slogan on it.  Present it as a pro-Main Street alternative to the Paulson plan, rather than as a refinement of it.

    Right. "Bailing out" the people and not (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Teresa on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:54:02 PM EST
    Wall Street. Simple terms.

    I'll bet everything I have they won't do it and if they did, the conservative Democrats won't vote for it. I'd try though.


    golden bailout (none / 0) (#6)
    by someTV on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:42:25 PM EST
    yup, agree with you, will they have the balls to do it?  was this the plan all along? why obama didn't want mortgage relief in it?  Who can speak to Reid and Pelosi this directly?

    The bailout is toxic ... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:43:27 PM EST
    politically.  There's a good chance that this thing is dead no matter what form it takes.

    Golden opportunity for a reframe... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Pegasus on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:47:38 PM EST
    Step one: stop calling it a bailout.  Now it's a "recovery plan" or something.

    Still pretty dicey to pull off politically, but by no means impossible.


    Rescue Plan (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by DJ on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:54:30 PM EST
    it's now being called a rescue plan.

    Not sure ... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:53:41 PM EST
    reframing is enough.  A bailout is a bailout is a bailout.

    And congress and the public could be right on this.  Let the whole thing come crashing down, and then we'll pick up the pieces.


    Risky business (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:55:33 PM EST
    It's not just the Wall Street types who are going to lose if it comes crashing down. Everyone with a 401K in index funds has taken a huge hit in the last week.  I know people want to think of this as a rescue of some fat cats, but there are lots of average kitties getting hurt by all this.

    Of course ... (none / 0) (#80)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:23:56 PM EST
    the bailout might not even work.

    And I think the public is right to be skeptical.  Especially since even if it works in some respects, they may still face dramatic decreases in their 401Ks.


    I don't think doing nothing is an option. (none / 0) (#37)
    by Pegasus on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:21:16 PM EST
    It's just not a risk I'm willing to run.  But you are right that it would be very hard to paint this as anything other than a bailout by now -- the word's pretty well cemented in the public consciousness, and it's also pretty accurate.

    You could change the name to recovery (none / 0) (#76)
    by hairspray on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:10:08 PM EST
    if you changed the major concept in the bill.  If it helps keep people in their homes it is recovery regardless of how Wall Street fares. So far all we have seen is how the feds will deal with Wall Street.  That is why the public is hopping mad.

    The problem with that (none / 0) (#88)
    by Pegasus on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 08:15:11 PM EST
    is that, IMO at least, keeping Wall Street afloat really does have to be a (even if not the) major focus of the bill.  The liquidity crisis didn't go away just because Congress didn't act on it.  The 1-month T-bill rate is practically zero, for chrissakes.  The situation is no less dire than it was last Thursday.

    So yeah, Congress can and should put more provisions in the bill for homeowners etc., but the bailout portion will still be there, and I have to figure it will still be the largest chunk of money (by a long shot).


    You got it. That's exactly what we should do. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Teresa on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:48:07 PM EST

    O/T but no Open Thread (none / 0) (#18)
    by litigatormom on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 05:53:51 PM EST
    A Couric interview with McCain and Palin together is on right now. First question is about Palin giving an answer about Afghanistan that is inconsistent with McCain's. Palin starts to answer that she was answering a voter's question, and then McCain butts in accusing the press of gotcha journalism. Palin chimes in, saying the statement was taken out of context, and that she and John McCain will "do whatever needs to be done" about Afghanistan.

    Palin is asked about criticism of her readiness since her interviews of last week. Palin asserts that she is ready to serve, she has executive experience. McCain says is very proud of the excitement that Palin has created: "I wish I could take credit for it, but it's really her. I'm very proud of the job she's done."

    Palin didn't sound incoherent like she did last week, but she really didn't say anything either.

    Tomorrow Couric will air a segment on her talking with Palin on domestic issues. Set your DVRs to stun.  

    I saw it too. They (none / 0) (#81)
    by byteb on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 07:43:53 PM EST
    were well-prepared for that question. It looked rehearsed....particularly Palin. She rattled off that answer like it was memorized...which it probably was.

    Shades of the VP debate.
    She'll memorized responses to predictable questions with a variety of one liners to zap BIden.


    Big Tent, it's a tempting idea, but.... (none / 0) (#54)
    by Steve Davis on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:42:28 PM EST
    the problem here is that most Democrats actually don't want to vote for a bail-out plan either, however nicely it's packaged. And voting on the plan as a party-line vote is exactly what Republicans want. They want to be able to paint Democrats again as tax-and-spenders who are irresponsibly wasting taxpayer money. 40 days out, I wouldn't touch this as a congressman with a ten-foot pole.

    Anyone who votes against this Bill (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by tigercourse on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 06:45:57 PM EST
    for political reasons is almost a criminal, as far as I'm concerned. I don't care if they will vote you out in a month, this is an absolutley essential vote to make.