Keep That $700 Billion Out of Bush’s Hands!

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The country’s recent financial crisis has left Americans panicked and angry. My prevailing thought whenever I hear the ever-climbing tab of the bailout–after a colorful expletive or two, of course–is always “Where is that money going to come from? And where is it going?”

The likely answer to the first question is unfortunate: the taxpayers, of course. The Republicans, who hate taxes and government regulation, have ensured an unprecedented magnitude of each by woefully mismanaging the country’s economy.

The answer to the second question is trickier. And it may remain vague, as Kagro X points out at Daily Kos. For the Bush administration, oversight and transparency are like kryptonite, and the president has become notorious for, as Kagro X puts it, “threatening to use his veto crayon to force Congress to pass bills exactly as he wants them, accepting no changes.”

Bush only has four months left in office, but Kagro X is worried the president will still find a way to misappropriate $700 billion. “When you’re talking about a guy who ‘lost’ $9 billion in cash in Iraq, you kind of have to wonder whether he’s even going to use the money for its intended purposes.”

That we are bailing out private institutions with public funds is deplorable enough. But Kagro X believes the situation will only be worsened if we hand over the money while Bush is still in office.

If there were any justice in the world, the price for the bailout would be Bush and Cheney’s resignation. No, it won’t happen, but it should. Instead, almost no matter what approach is ultimately adopted, we’ll be throwing (at least) $700 billion into the hole with nothing but crossed fingers to guide us through. The best oversight regimen in the world doesn’t help you with people who don’t think they have to answer subpoenas.

There is hope: “Thankfully, Congressional Democrats (and some Republicans, too) have for the most part balked at the notion that the bailout should come in the form of a blank check.” Let’s hope that Congress refuses the president this sort of absolute economic power during these final dark days of his presidency.

Image by Tracy O, licensed by Creative Commons.

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