Henry Paulson defended himself before Congress today, arguing that the original concept of the bailout plan (excuse me, economic recovery plan), which largely involved buying up 'toxic securities' (tied to unknown amounts of bad mortgages), is no longer the best solution to the credit and financial crises. Paulson now argues that $700 billion in tax dollars should be used to buy partial ownership stakes in the banks themselves. Nationalization of banks in the good 'ole USA? The idea boggles the mind. Perhaps it'll mean better management; at least AIG won't use any more of the loan to take its Exec's on nice spa trips; but I can't help thinking that this trip down socialism's memory lane it just going to keep getting darker.
In the meanwhile, AIG is getting another $40B, while American Express convinced the Fed. to allow them to become a real bank in record time, which may now use that status to request a share of the pie. And to top it all off, the Dynamic Duo of Henry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, backed by that happy socialist, Barney Franks, is demanding to bailout the auto industry, mortgage-holders, and just about anything not nailed down, while increasing spending at an enormous pace, deficit-be-damned.
Most of us are sensible enough to cut back on spending when times get tough - to be a little more thrifty. Not the Congress. They seem to think that increasing spending, increasing taxes, and taking over private industry is just the ticket to fix the economy. Now where have we heard this before?