Congressional leaders have reached a tentative agreement to work out the credit crisis that threatens the U.S. economy. The “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008” would establish the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to purchase the toxic mortgage-backed securities that are clogging up financial markets.
The 110-page bill would establish two oversight panels, provide assistance to distressed homeowners, limit executive compensation, give taxpayers an equity stake in any financial institution that participates in TARP, and regular audits by the Government Accountability Office.
By contrast, the three-page proposal that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson sent Congress would have bailed out his Wall Street cronies with no strings attached. Paulson is the former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, which stands to benefit from any rescue plan.
Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, said:
The administration's original proposal was a non-starter. They wanted a blank check and we couldn't give it to them.
House will vote on the bill today. The Senate is scheduled to vote by Wednesday. It’s not too late to tell Congress: Protect taxpayers. A workout, not a bailout.
As CNN anchor Roland Martin observed:
We are all watching and waiting. It's time for us, that's right, us to take action. If you don't believe Congress is truly looking out for you, the taxpayer, say something. Right now. Pick up that phone. Call. E-mail, write. Even go to Washington, D.C. And get in the face of your U.S. senator or House member.
Folks, we the people have the power to effect change. We must know, cannot wait to be told what is going on. This is your money. This is our money. We are potentially mortgaging the future of our children. You must say something, or do something, because your future, and that of your kids, is a stake.
Already, other crony capitalists are waiting with their hand out.
If you want to to take to the streets to say, “No blank check for Wall Street,” click here.