[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/03/bailout.jackson..jpg caption="The House of Representatives has passed historic legislation to bail out the troubled financial industry. "]
Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr.
To borrow the title of a classic modern novel, "Things Fall Apart." In just decades, Americans have gone from Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal to George W. Bush's Rash Deal.
During the last few days, my office has been flooded with phone calls from citizens throughout the country, expressing outrage and indignation.
To many, there's something awry, perhaps even unseemly, about this hasty plan. It requires the government - which is running up huge deficits and record-breaking debt - to borrow and spend the funds of ordinary Americans - who are falling further behind and into poverty - to rescue superrich bankers and barons - whose obscene excess and avarice have helped to create the financial mess.
It's Robin Hood in reverse, taking from the needy to give to the greedy.
In one colorful description, the Bush administration's unprecedented $700 billion bailout plan was characterized as "cash for trash." It takes private industries' troubled assets off their books and dumps them into the public's lap, further privatizing profits and socializing losses. In doing so, the plan's proponents argued, cash and credit would once again flow, with benefits trickling down and the economy turning up.
But, from the outset, the proposal was seriously flawed.
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