The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

An idea for a bailout plan

Posted by Bill Nance on September 25, 2008

Two thoughts for congress on the bailout, which should leave congress as absolutely non-negotiable terms.

1. Set up an independent commission made up of the top minds in the world of finance to oversee purchase and terms of any mortgage-based securities. I’d recommend Warren Buffet and Bob Reich among others for this commission, but I’m sure congress can come up with plenty of ideas for staffing.

This commission should be overseen by a special committee made up of 5 members of congress: 3 members of the majority and 2 of the minority which have to agree to any money transactions on the part of the commission. Think of this as a co-signer for a check. A 4-member majority should be required to approve of any transactions. This forces the committee to work together along something other than party lines.

The executive branch should participate by having the Treasury Secretary or their appointed representative sit on the commission to assist in implementation of the purchases and assist in policy proposals to the congressional committee.

2. Money should be allocated in $100 billion chunks by congress as a whole. The legislation which implements the committee and commission should set up funding votes as a straight up or down vote for additional appropriations to the fund as requested by the committee, with no amendments or filibusters allowed. That way politics does not interfere with funding and additional funds can be appropriated quickly as needed.

This plan would allow for quick, decisive action to purchase those loan portfolios which would best benefit the economy and taxpayers while also allowing for strict oversight. It also gives both parties assurances that nothing can be rammed through along party lines. It’s a winner for everyone concerned. The only reason Bush would veto this bill would be that he simply wants more power for the executive.

He must not be allowed to have it.

I don’t trust any politician to spend $1 trillion without oversight, or alone. It’s not just about Bush, I wouldn’t want an Obama administration to have that kind of authority either. Congress is supposed to hold the purse strings. That’s the way our constitution was written. Giving up their constitutional duties would not only be dishonorable, it would be extremely bad policy.


One Response to “An idea for a bailout plan”

  1. UK Voter said

    You are right of course. There must always be oversight, with the largest bailout in history, no single person should be given the authority to spend as they see fit. It is open to abuse and error. An all party committee could act decisively on a majority vote, there is no need to address this problem in this way.

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