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September 29th, 2008
07:14 PM ET

Recovering from today's disgrace

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/29/art.capital.dark.ap.jpg caption="The Federal Bailout plan did not pass through Congress."]David Gergen | Bio
AC360° Contributor
CNN Senior Political Analyst

The financial markets have sent a clear signal of just how reckless the House of Representatives was today in rejecting the compromise bailout plan - no less than $1.2 trillion in stock values were wiped out in just a few hours.

What can be done to get a bill through in the next few days? Here are some initial thoughts:

First, a ton of bricks needs to be dumped on the heads of those who voted against - if they can't see the light, make them feel the heat. Democrats ought to be ashamed that 95 of their Members voted against; but it is the House Republicans who deserve the greatest blame - a significant majority of Democrats voted in favor of the bill, while conservative Republicans - defying the White House - voted against by over 2-1. I hear that some in the White House think the GOP vote was a disgrace; they are right.

Second, Nancy Pelosi has to remove the sting she created through her speech on the House floor. Republicans now blame her for the defeat, arguing that she was so partisan that some of their "yes" votes flipped and voted no. She may think this charge is unfair but since so much is at stake, she needs to go overboard to clear the air.

Third, the White House and Congressional leaders should count heads to make sure that everyone who voted "yes" today will do so again in a second vote. If the 228-205 margin holds, that means they have to flip at least 12 Members for a second vote. It will be much more difficult to get all of the switches from the Republicans. Solution: put in enough sweeteners so that each side has a bit more and get an agreement between Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner: "I will deliver 6 from my side if you deliver 6 from yours."

Fourth, Hank Paulson must take another look at the idea at the idea of bankruptcy courts being able to review and help to rewrite private mortgages. How many Democrats would come over to "yes" if that were done? And what can he do to sweeten the pot for at least a half dozen Republicans?

Fifth, Barack Obama and John McCain should now join up with President Bush and the Congressional leadership to give this bill a much more vigorous push. After his ill-fated intervention of last week, McCain turned surly today, blasting Obama - unfairly - for the defeat in the House. That is ridiculous. But it is true that Obama could be a lot more forceful than he has been in working behind the scenes to round up votes. Both men need to show much more leadership here. President Bush obviously has so little clout that he can't get this done. Obama and McCain should step up to help him - and good grief, avoid trying to claim credit or elbowing the other guy in the eye.

This is big time stuff. Washington isn't playing with matches here; it is playing with dynamite. For the sake of the country - and for our standing as a world power - we need LEADERSHIP!


Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Barack Obama • Economy • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (264 Responses)
  1. Russ

    Why don't we just lend these companies $700 billion, with a low "teaser" rate that jumps after a couple of years?

    September 29, 2008 at 9:07 pm |
  2. Adam

    Thank God for level headed Democrats and Republicans. This bailout was just that a bailout to those who made bad decisions. This bill had too many special interest groups involved and was only put forth to scare us even more. You don't want a run on the bank then you better quit scaring the crap out of people. I just watched to shows one on CNBC another on CNN and that is what they did. They scared the people then said we can't afford a run on the bank. Well what the heck do you think some people are going to do tomorrow. They think the they are going to lose their money and are going to take it. DON"T DO THIS!! Also the trillion dollars supposedly;y lost on Wall Street wasn't lost. People pulled their money and are going to reinvest in more secure things. So I guess it was a loss for some corporate CEO, but there are more secure things to invest in and people are liquefying their money so they have options. So please quit trying to scare people. Times are hard but you know what we are going to survive. America will survive!

    September 29, 2008 at 9:07 pm |
  3. Rob K. Charlotte, NC

    David Gergen was right on with this one. One thing I would add is that the politicians, Bush and Paulson did a horrible job explaining it.

    They do need to put a sweetener in regard to adjusting foreclosure rates. The inability for judges to adjust rates to market rates is indeed criminial.

    The easy thing to do is to reject the bill but the proper, leadership tactic is to swallow a pill that will put a floor in the credit markets. The dow dropping doesn't mean a thing except you lost 7% of your 401K. That is a full year of savings for those that have saved for 12 years or more.

    I think many people here are eager to bite off their nose to spite their face. When this hits main street many of you will be crying mercy and regard this as one of the greatest missed opportunities in our time.

    At that point $700 Billion will be too little. It will be in the trillions.

    September 29, 2008 at 9:07 pm |
  4. chris/ la pine oregon

    Anderson, this is absolutely disgraceful, that the top officials of this (REP) administration, and top govonment officials such as seceratery Paulson couldn't see this coming. just the idea of this propsed bail out plan, funded by the hard working taxpayers of this great nation, is completely irresponsable and makes me want to hurl.

    This bail out failure feels like a defeat and a victory for the american people. how bitter-sweet. now the question is what can we do now. with all of the information at hand i am interested to see the next propesed such rescue plan. what i know is this, our country does need some sort of financial solution, but i am not confident that any of the politicians REP/or DEM have any better ideas than average joe. i think there are at least a handful of people i can think of that would not be politically motivated that could handle running this country.

    i say lay off the poltics just a bit and sit down with our counterparts and really hash out this entire situation. there are more intelligent people and anylists out there that could come up with better solutions than are bing propsed in wasington.

    September 29, 2008 at 9:07 pm |
  5. Laura

    Is anyone else wondering what we're not being told? In business we're never told the enormity of the problem, becasue the higher ups don't want us to panic – it's irritating. I can't shake the feeling that there is much more to this than we're being told.

    On the one hand I agree with the sentiment we can handle the pain of what will happen with no bailout. On the other hand what if the pain is something we can't even begin to consider...like another country calling in what we owe. A group of countries combining resources and their hatred of America waiting for us to get weaker and weaker and the next thing we know...

    The Bush administration is like the little dog that cried wolf – with all the fear tactics of the past 8 years it's impossible to figure out if this is more of the same. My fear is, what if this time it's real and the "pain" is much worse than anything we can imagine.

    September 29, 2008 at 9:05 pm |
  6. Jason

    There is one big explanation for the failure of the vote today. If you cross reference the list of the most notable competitive (not safe) 2008 House Races (78 Districts – see 2008 House Races on Wikipedia) with the incumbents vote today and you see an obvious pattern. Overwhelmingly, the incumbents who are in a fight for their seat and have to answer to the public opinion in Nov voted "No" some almost 3 to 1. (21 Yes to 57 No). Digging Deeper – The Republicans were much more likely to vote "No" in their reelection bid ~ 7 to 1 against while Democrats were about split. What this means that fear of red to blue in the coming election has incumbents running for cover and not voting with their party leaderships orders.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:58 pm |
  7. TriciaB

    I am ashamed of my country today. I understand why average americans oppose a bailout of the financial sector. I am loathe to hand over any of my hard earned overtaxed money to them. However, I am also aware that their failure will destroy this already faltering economy. Without the ability to obtain credit, small and large businesses alike will fail. And when they take the measures necessary to stop the flow of blood, they won't fire the CEOs, they are coming for us. As to whether the govt would pay for our mistakes, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING ! Blame every home owner who overextended themselves instead of buying homes they could actually afford. Or better yet, blame the people who used the equity in their homes like an ATM. I know there were lenders who were dishonest. But, as a realtor, I can tell you that regardless of advice to the contrary, MANY home buyers decided they knew what was best and chose the adjustable rate mortgages to save money up front. I agree that there needs to be oversight , and limits on executive profiteeiring etc. Do what you have to do....BUT DO SOMETHING!!! Stop playing politics with our homes, our jobs and our lives.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:57 pm |
  8. Jack

    In about 10 days, millions of Americans will open their quarter ending September statements (401's, Roths, IRA's etc.) and go into complete shock at the loss of value they have incurred this year, but especially this quarter, ending September. Today's vote against the plan wiped out 1.4 trillion + alone.

    For me, and perhaps the other millions of Americans who have lost trillions this year, its time to think about how to vote in about 35 days. For the first time ever for me, its time to "Throw The Bums Out"...all of them. They cannot perform in their role to represent American voters.

    If the current political leadership performance was in private industry, they would have all be fired by now. Hence my recommendation in about 35 days its time to "Throw The Bums Out"....all of them.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:49 pm |
  9. Theresa

    I am a single woman who has worked all my life and I was able to buy a very small house 8 years ago. I did my homework, got a loan and I pay my bill every month - why should I bail out people who bought large homes without the jobs to pay for them. Its not as if they will be out on the street – they just have to move someplace smaller that fits their means - which is what they should have done to begin with. Sure I want my "dream home" also - but unless I win the Lotto I will remain very happy in my small home. Now because of others greed my savings is in trouble. Looks like we will all pay for it one way or the other.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  10. Lori

    Unbelievable! You really don't understand that it is your credit cards that will be cut-off. That it is your boss's credit that will be cut, and that nobody will buy your goods and services any more because they don't have any credit, and he'll have to fire YOU! You will not be able to afford groceries; you will lose your home, you will lose your car; because you, like all americans rely on credit both directly (in the form of home and car loans), and indirectly, in the form of credit taken by your enployer, and credit used by consumers to buy the goods and services you work to provide. IDIOTS!

    And to the chicky who asked why Nancy Pelosi didn't make the dems alone fall on the sword - because the bill needed to be BIPARTISAN. It was a REPUBLICAN president who called for this legislation. To fix a Republican created problem. Don't be confused by the fact that Democracts have stepped up and shown some real leadership in hammering out legislation; it was The Dems swallowed hard, put country first, and contributed more than their fair share to the bill. GET REAL - IDIOTS!

    September 29, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  11. kathy in CT

    I cannot believe what I am reading!

    Having been told that if this bill does not pass, JOBS will be the first thing to go, followed by car loans, affordable mortgages, college loans . . . . . . .

    And the people who will LOSE the jobs and their homes are standing and CHEERING????????????

    My God, have you all lost your only minds? The really RICH people are not going to suffer. They have funds stashed away.

    Who WILL suffer is US - the working, middle class.

    And you all say great, right on, hooray???????????

    Someone posted "finally AMericans are being heard" - well that's not quite right. Americans were heard in 2000 and 2004 and Americans picked George Bush, who helped create this mess.

    So I guess I shouldn't be surprised people dumb enough to do that now say hey, let the market crash, let my employer have no access to credit, let me lose my job and then my house - because we're angry and so we are acting out.

    Who would you people believe if s/he said "this will kill YOU first?" Who do you trust? Obama has said it. McCain has said it. Bush has said it. Who do you want - Billy Graham? The Pope? Mickey Mantle? Tom Hanks? Miss America? OPRAH?

    September 29, 2008 at 8:47 pm |
  12. robert in raleigh

    If glen beck is right we are headed for a great depression... what does that mean to the people that voted it down.... I guess nothing they must have their money under the mattress

    September 29, 2008 at 8:46 pm |
  13. Lex in Atlanta

    Rep. Bhoener and Eric Canton should be ashamed, they whine that they didn't like the speach of Pelosi and thats why it failed. Of all the immature things to blame this on. if you are gonna vote against it because you are scared of not getting reelected then man up and say so. Don't blame a speech on your failure, your feelings are not as important as what the country needs! How childish can you be?

    September 29, 2008 at 8:45 pm |
  14. Loretta Billingsley

    It's not Nancy Pelosi's fault...she probably knew before she walked into our government's hallowed halls that the Republicans were short on votes. So she took the opportunity to bash Bush. Not the high road, in my opinion, but she couldn't waste an opportunity.

    It is sad to know that the American people would allow their representatives to toss over 1 trillion of lost investments and retirement accounts in one day just to prove a point.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:44 pm |
  15. inuk of the north

    With all respect to Gergen whose opinions are usually earnest and insightful, this one's off the mark.

    David, can you name one multi-millionaire (like yourself) or billionaire who wasn't involved in writing this 'rescue' plan? Pelosi, Reid, Bush, Bernanke, Paulsen, etc – name one.

    The ones with the most to lose are pillaging the public treasury. Look no further for evidence that everyone in Washington is to closely linked to corporate, financial and banking interests as well as the lobbyists and CEOs who represent them.

    We are deeply resentful of propping up an idea that will cost each family $10,000.

    The disrespect shown the public in this matter has been manifest. Each time we ask for an explanation of this 'crisis', our elected representatives claim it's just toooooooo complicated to explain and everybody ends up parroting the party line i.e. payrolls, mortgages, yada, yada.

    The funniest line from Paulsen was the gov't might MAKE A PROFIT in this process. Huh? Is that guy on drugs? Seriously.

    What happens when large corporate entities start lining up at the public trough for the same bailout? GM, Ford, etc. They'll make the same case for a bailout. This 'rescue' will create a nation of corporate beggars. How embarassing!

    The majority of Americans, to their credit, are prepared to weather some hardships to settle this market down without trillion dollar bailouts.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:44 pm |
  16. David S Pittsburgh

    I swear the I.Q. in this country has plummeted along with President Bush's approval rating. People are angry about Wall Street excesses and abuses ; however, that does not make it right for us, as Americans, to turn our backs on OUR financial crisis. The vast majority of the finacial experts backed this plan for a reason. I don't know about any of you out there, but we need to listen to the experts here.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:44 pm |
  17. Michael Roarke

    David, I have always admired you and was a big fan of Gergen & Shields, but I cannot disagree with you more. No amount of bailout can help now. The day of reckoning is here for all of our profligate spending and borrowing. I think Main St. is ready to face the truth a lot more readily than Wall St or Pennsylvania Ave. I am sorry you are scared. I am scared too. But at the end of the day, I believe in myself, I believe in America and I know we will survive this self inflicted catastrophe. Hang in there.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:44 pm |
  18. Karen

    Nancy Pelosi showed a total lack of leadership. The entire nation lost today largely due to her actions. If Senator Obama is elected President, I hope he will do whatever is necessary to have her removed as Speaker of the House. If he truly wants reform, he must see that she is removed.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:43 pm |
  19. Cynthia Sechrest

    While I am a confirmed liberal from Massachusetts, I am now visiting my Mom in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC and VA, decidedly a red area of the US. While at lunch at a remote area in NC, Shatley Springs, I had the priviledge of meeting real Americans who understand the mess the economy is in and understand the reason that our current Congress had to pass a bill to help rescue our economy. While they are not happy about their money being used to rescue the economy, they understand action needs to be taken to rescue our economy and that the "little people" in business will be the ultimate losers if Congress did not act. They were shocked and surprised when I told them that Congress had voted "no" to the bill. ( We were in a remote area with intermittent cell phone coverage).

    Today the stock market lost almost twice the amount of the proposed bill and that presumes that all will be lost in the proposed $700 billion dollar bill (doubtful). So everyone's retirement plan, IRA, and other asset investment has lost nearly twice as much as the $700 billion dollar bill in ONE DAY. Why are there not enough courageous people in the house to answer to this? We need new intelligent people to lead us, not those who have insufficient intelligence to lead and are only worried about their jobs, not the jobs of the working Americans.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:43 pm |
  20. JR

    Anderson why don't we just take away all of the GOLDEN PARACHUTE MONEY form ALL THE CEO's and use that money that they have hidden away in foreign bank accounts to pay off this mess and pay down the debt. Clearly their collective greed caused this mess and clearly they each expect someone else to do the trickle down, so lets just do it for them. TAKE THE GOLDEN PARACHUTE MONEY that is expected to be about 3 trillion dollars. They will still be multi millionaires. Just take what they have horded away. Fix the greed with common sense. That is what they should do on Thursday, take and eliminate all Golden Parachute Funds. Problem solved.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:42 pm |
  21. Alex Easley

    So if the Republicans do want to give our economy the $700 billion the failing companies need to ease this demise of our systems and the millions of us middle class nobodies who have nothing but there entire savings and jobs on the line; WHY IS THE NOT TO JUST DIRECT THE $700 billion straight to the American peoples wallets, LET US SPEND THE MONEY, or SAVE the MONEY with these business, there demand will rise, this will create and secure our jobs, we will all live with more means and the system works. WHY DON'T THEY BAIL OUT WHO REALLY IS THE VICTIMS of these whole mess and whose really have to deal with the real effect. BAIL US OUT and will take care of the market and companies who deserve to survive. Weren't we the ones the NAYS where voting to protect?

    September 29, 2008 at 8:42 pm |
  22. Marvin Schepers

    I don't believe this bailout would help as much as anyone said it would. What they are trying to do is give the banks more money so they can loan it to more people that can not pay it back.
    My idea would never get passed because it is not politically correct. But I am going to tell you what it is anyway. I do not know how many taxpayers there are in this country. Let's use 200,000,000 for easy figuring. Give every taxpayer in the country $100,000 and put the stipulation on it that they have to use it to pay debt if they have any. If they use it for anything else they have to pay it back. If my math is right this would cost the taxpayers $200 billion instead of $700 billion.
    But this will never get passed because there are too many lobbyists against it. All I have is a high school education. So if I can come up with something like this maybe someone else who is not greedy like so many of our politicians and has more than a high school education can come up with something even better.
    P. S.
    As you can tell I almost failed English.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:42 pm |
  23. john

    McCain came back to Washington and what happened? Barney and Chris as in Frank and Dodd rushed out to announce the bill as a done deal, both a lie and an act designed specifically to embarrass McCain and undercut any perception of impact. Reid announced earlier in that same week that McCain had to be there to make this happen, look what it cost him to have the courage to show up for work while Obama stayed on the campaign trail. The Democrats own this, lock stock and barrel, they had the chance to work with the Republicans and they put party ahead of country.
    And look at the bill that Barney and Chris flouted as a done deal..it read like the Barney that wrote it was the purple dinosaur. We have a few million unsold homes already on the market and going no where and Barney puts in a provision to skim 20% off any revenue that comes in on the back end and earmark for more housing for people that can’t afford homes..great, we have more homes than the market can possibly absoarb and Barney wants use taxpayer funds to build more..

    September 29, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  24. James Dooley

    Would it help the available credit if everyone reviewed their credit report and closed out any accounts that they are no longer using? I would think that in large enough numbers it may have a positive impact.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  25. stevo

    Dear Anderson,

    This is surely THE DUMBEST DAY in American politics in 54 years! Do any of the House Republicans, my party, by the way, realize that the country may fold financially tomorrow? I think the lot of them should be recalled. After today, we should apologize to Nero!

    Yer ole buddy,
    Stevo

    September 29, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  26. Jim

    I for one Have no Job allready, Can't loose that
    No home to loose as Mom sold our home in 1983 & I could not buy one today even if I wanted to. I stay with a friend in a shack but His Shack was PAID for back in 1954 & he had a wife & raised 3 kids here.
    I have $10.62 in my bank just to keep it open & cash any checks.
    No Credit Never have had or will have or use a credit card.
    No stocks,401K,Porfolio.
    They want to bail some one out- let the Government send ME $20,000.
    I can pay off 1 debt,Pay bills ahead for 4 years & still have money left over for food,gas,clothes. & i'll be happy to provide reciepts & be more accountable than they have been with MY tax money for the last 22 years.
    As Far as I'm concerned the Banks can go to HELL- I don't need them
    They screwed me long ago & now what goes around comes back around.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  27. Dee

    The bailout plan was doomed to fail as it was headed by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, who I believe had enormous responsibility in the failure of Fannie and Freddie which is the root of the turmoil in the banking and finance sector.

    Additionally, it was quite apparent from the beginning that Senator Reid and Pelosi only had one thing in mind...to get Obama elected,,the country and it's prosperity was never in their hearts.

    The bill should be renegotiated with people who have credibility, integrity and love of America, simple!!

    Please no Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Barney or Schumer.

    Dee

    September 29, 2008 at 8:40 pm |
  28. Marvin Resnikoff

    $700 billion put into infrastructure like hi-speed rail, roads and bridges would do far more for our economy than buying worthless paper. We will shortly need a major WPA project.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:39 pm |
  29. Derrick G

    All of you folks that have drawn a spending line in the sand should have picked your battle a long time ago (Iraq). Voting down this 700B 'bailout' is like moving a dollar to pick up a dime ....... over a 1000B in market cap evaporated today. If this great levered world – that the USA proudly championed – ever fully unwinds, you will all come to know first hand why your grandparents were so fearfull of debt.

    This is no joke. No person or country is an island in this game. Retirement – gone. Education – gone. Health care – gone. Your 700B savings will evaporate into thin air as the next great depression unfolds, but at least in true american style you will be able to sit on your porch and tell your struggling family how you saved their future the day you called your congressman and insisted that he vote down that damn Wallstreet Bailout.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:39 pm |
  30. Jim Frank

    The republicans are not listening. They are avoiding supporting a toxic commodity, their president. If they support the bill, they're doomed in November.

    95 democrats voted it down, but why would they support Bush and this proposals?

    This whole bailout is politically dangerous. At least those who voted for it were likely voting based on principles.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:39 pm |
  31. Adam Keyes

    Prior to today everyone was sounding the alarm like its 'armageddon' if this bailout package was not passed. Today, we were being told to stay 'calm' and telling us that it's not 'armageddon' so we shouldn't panic. Come again? A loss of $1.2T is not negligible but those represent overvaluations anyway. Besides, that amount pales in comparison to the $182T in derivatives that remain at enormous risk of collapse; $90T of which are held by JPMorgan Chase.

    It needs to be said (and restated it seems until Wall Street and the media listens) - the American public, is not against providing assistance to anyone, even to Wall Street; we know that something needs to be done. What we are vehemently against are wrong-headed quasi-solutions being presented before us. H.R. 3997 is NOT what is being advertised by those who voted for it. It's not about LEADERSHIP; time-and-again ALL our supposed leaders have failed us! What we need is a REAL PLAN, a REAL SOLUTION.

    Wall Street is suffering from a case of hyperventilation caused by stress (not a heart attack as some in the media has suggested) because these toxic assets can’t be taken off their books. Main Street knows the full scale of the reality that is the future before us and we are more than willing to feel its effects (e.g., tighter credit standards; etc.). However, Main Street just cannot and does not want to shoulder the burden of Wall Street (and its excesses) in addition to all the hardship/pain of our own excesses that we know will be coming regardless of any measures the US Government claims it do to solve it.

    Rather than protecting imprudent institutions and speculators, Congress should protect prudent individuals and savers by strengthening existing safety nets, including the FDIC for bank deposits, SIPC for brokerage accounts and state guarantee associations that cover insurance policies.

    US Congress - House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans (including the President wanna bes) better listen up! NOT THIS BAILOUT!!! THERE IS A BETTER WAY!!!

    "THIS BAILOUT = INCUMBENTS OUT!"

    September 29, 2008 at 8:38 pm |
  32. Louis

    This bill is like radiation therapy or chemotherapy: no one WANTS to get radiation or chemotherapy, but when you have got cancer, an aspirin won't do. If the failure of several major banks in one month doesn't convince you that this is serious, serious stuff, nothing will. We're not talking about a slowdown, we're talking about possible Great Depression era suffering - for years. That would be far more expensive than this rescue plan.

    And people are voting against it because they're afraid they won't get re-elected???

    If John Kennedy was alive today he'd write a new book called "Profiles in Cowardice"

    September 29, 2008 at 8:36 pm |
  33. John

    I thought we won the Cold War. The beauty of our system is that you choose how to make or lose your money. Banks that recklessly loaned money to people who couldn't pay it back deserve to go out of business. People who can't pay their mortgages don't deserve houses. Sorry.
    I didn't pay much attention in economics, but I do know that if I want to destroy a country's economy I would flood it with its own currency.
    I am glad this bill was killed and I hope it stays dead. Let the economy recover on its own.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:35 pm |
  34. Enrique

    Mrs Suze Orman:
    I understand and I respect your opinion but if you see the big mayority of this country do not want the bailout and also you need to respect that.
    Is this a Democracy or not?
    Actually I was expecting 0 yes from the Democrats.
    Respectfully

    September 29, 2008 at 8:34 pm |
  35. mike - moreland, ga

    my gawd david, how much money does this administration need to spend to "stimulate" the economy?

    September 29, 2008 at 8:34 pm |
  36. Mark Partin

    It's great news that Congress did something right for a change. Government should stay out of the free market and let it work. Let the guys who gambled and lost walk away with their tails between their legs. They deserve to lose everything. Now they can face their former employees in court and explain to them why they gambled away their employment as well.

    Just watch all of the fiscally responsible companies step up to the plate and snatch up what's left of the house of cards. America will be a stronger country once all the dust settles and the men and women at the top of the corporate ladder realize that their greed was the cause of the mess. They caused the hyper-valuation of all of these worthless "assets" and they had no where to go but down once people came out of their greed frenzy haze that pushed the "values" through the roof.

    Let the free market work, I say. Yes, Americans on the street will suffer some because of all of these failures, but the biggest losers will be the rich money shufflers on Wall Street and in Washington. Those are the people that have been screaming bloody murder. Why is that? Because THEY are going to lose a ton of money. They don't care what happens to the average American. They care that they are facing personal economic collapse. That's where the financial armagedon is occurring, and they are whining like crybabies about it. No one bailed me out when I lost money in the market. I'm not willing to bail them out either. Buck up and write it off on your taxes as a loss just like everyday citizens do.

    Thank goodness for the fiscally conservative Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate. THAT is leadership that we need to keep around up there. The ones that aren't willing to steal from the taxpayers to bail out their buddies.

    Mark in Kansas, where people go to work for a living every day.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:33 pm |
  37. Joyce

    Carol, my sentiments exactly!!!

    September 29, 2008 at 8:23 pm |
  38. Jim

    I think the politicians are behaving like school children while most of the population don't truly appreciate the rammifications if the financial sector continues to unwind: shrinking jobs, increased taxes bourne by those left in jobs ....

    September 29, 2008 at 8:22 pm |
  39. Joyce Smith

    THANK GOD THE BAILOUT FAILED. The American people did not want this bailout of crooks. Every CEO , AND BOARDMEMBERS OF FAILED CORPS SHOULD BE JAILED AND EVERY THING THEY HAVE
    TAKEN FROM THEM. GREAT DAY IN AMERICA.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:20 pm |
  40. Carol

    I'm still in shock about what happened today. I honestly don't know what to believe. Thankfully, I had parents who grew up during the Great Depression, and they have "taught" me how to respond during times of economic crisis.

    But, zoom to modern times. I am a single woman who owns her own home. I worked my butt off to get the down payment for my house, and I pay my fixed mortgage on time every month – and relish in the fact that I have less than 8 years before my house is paid for. I've played by the rules. I'll never get a bailout offer – yet those who got mortgages WAY beyond their means would bet bailed out by the government. Fat cats who "serve" as CEO's will earn millions, even if they drive their companies into the ground. Please tell me what is fair about this! Why should I give a darn about these ridiculously high-paid CEO's? I could care less about them!! Now, my 401K has fallen to record lows, and my retirement is in jeopardy. This is way beyond fair, and I feel like the little guy never ever will have a voice – even in America, which is supposed to be the land of the free.

    Take your stupid bill and you know what you can do with it! Stop screwing the honest hard-working citizens of the United States!

    September 29, 2008 at 8:18 pm |
  41. Presley

    I wish I could type and post something in depth and formative,
    But I have no idea W.T.H. is going on.
    And why instead of approving, a handful of idiots just let over a TRILLION DOLLARS go down the toilet?
    Was what happened today a better alternative?
    How much can Obama and McCain really do?
    What about Biden?
    Will Palin have a sound byte or place in any of this?
    Who's holding out and what is the benefit for them?
    Am I supposed to blindly place faith that my country's best interest is really the top priority for the hold outs?
    Are they forcing a complete melt down of Wall Street so they can start from scratch and/or appease certain interests?
    Where this is huge loss, somewhere there is a huge gain, who/where/what is benefiting/profiting the most right this moment?

    I have a headache now.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:18 pm |
  42. David M.

    NO to the bailout! NO NO NO
    Finally the people of this country are being heard! That is the miracle in this day!

    September 29, 2008 at 8:18 pm |
  43. Susie

    I absolutely cannot understand the bloggers and the reporters- there were 95 democrates that voted against this bill- and every reporter and anchor on your program blamed it soley on the republicans!! They didn't need one republican vote! If Nancy Peloci hadn't been such an idiot and insult the very people she was counting on, the bill would have passed. She should have spent more time being kind and talking her fellow Democrates into voting- its all her fault.

    Be honest and not so transparently democrate.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:18 pm |
  44. BRAD A., Edmond, OK

    Screw em. The banks have had over a year to get these bad loans off their books. If the market in general isn't willing to buy these loans, and they don't want to put a real value on these ridiculous loans they made, don't expect the tax payers to do it either. By the way, the real amount of the bad loans is probably more like 2-3 TRILLION, not 700 Billion...
    Any US citizen that thinks they are going to get a penny of this BAILOUT money back is a dreamer. By the way Suzy... it is a bailout, not an investment...

    September 29, 2008 at 8:17 pm |
  45. Tracy

    Once more, you people on Capitol Hill have made me ashamed and embarrassed to be an American... And I hate you for it.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:17 pm |
  46. Gwen Doxey

    Are you kidding me. For once our elected officials did the right thing and listened to their constiuents who are against this bail out package. It is wrong! It needs work! It has problems with such benefits to organizations like ACORN. How come very few news commentator and analysts are talking about this group and how it stands to benefit from this package. It's one of the big reasons we're in this problem and just one of the reasons I'm against it. I was shocked to hear of Mr. Obama's ties to it. How come it's taken so long for Americans like me to hear about this particular group.

    Mad in Washington State – Gwen

    September 29, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  47. Mike Carlson

    I sometimes agree with David Gergen, sometimes I don't. This is one time I definitely don't. How typical and foolish of a Washington insider. David, what you are getting is that the 95 Democrats and all those Republicans who voted "NO" on this bill are real Heroes to those of us out here who truly believed that this bill would pass despite the collective cry from US, the voters. We don't want a bail out. We don't want our tax money used in this fashion, and we want those truly responsible for this problem to bear the cost. Yes, we may suffer some as a result, but we're already suffering. We just want ethics, a moral compass, and frankly–real consequences for those who screwed everything up. We don't want insiders like David Gergen deciding what is best for us any more!!!!!!

    September 29, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  48. sheree r.

    If you really care about this country and want to know everything before you make a decision that will make a difference. Get the book "Obama Nation" and read it throughly. You will be doing the country a disservice if you don't at least make an attempt to inquire beyond what you read or hear in the news.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  49. Jennifer Martin

    Wow – how wonderful for the American people. Our House of Representatives actually represented the people! Would the government pay for my mistakes? That's what middle class people just like me are talking about. I would never believe our President or the people that work for him. They are using scare tactics on the American people. I would like to see some independent economists present their opinions to Congress so that an HONEST bill can be passed or none at all if un-nessasary.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:11 pm |
  50. Jim D

    I disagree 100%. Are you not hearing? Constituent opposition is running 10-1 to any bailout. I want to know why the vote was so close.

    Those that say "we're too stupid to understand" the problem is insulting. We know there will be pain. We also know we'll feel pain, whether there is a bailout or not.

    We've been given the choice of a stock market/credit meltdown and the consequences of dumping $700 billion on the world's monetary market, which will greatly increase oil prices.

    The failure of the bill did exactly as expected, the stock market fell, as did oil prices. And increasing oil prices are at the heart of this entire emergency.

    I could go on, but to a solution-how about a capital gains tax add on to remain in effect until all tax dollars are recouped. This would provide the proper incentives to dispose of these assets quickly, efficiently andat the best price. In addition, it provides the right incentive to Wall Street to self regulate. I know nobody likes taxes, but as my conservative friends say, if there must be a tax, it should be bourne by those that receive the benefit.

    September 29, 2008 at 8:09 pm |
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