September 23, 2008

Democrats: the Party of Fiscal Prudence and Political Streamlining

Hatched by Dafydd

Democrats bolster their already sky-high reputation for fiscal responsibility

The Democrats are skeptical, even suspicious. They're not going "simply hand over a 700-billion-dollar blank check to Wall Street and hope for a better outcome," as Squeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Haight-Ashbury, 93%) said, referring to the rescue plan proposed by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke:

Lawmakers said brisk talks toward a deal by week's end included an agreement that the US Treasury could acquire some equity from banks in exchange for bailing out bad debts, and an accord on an oversight plan.

But as markets plunged amid impatience and uncertainty with the process, some senior politicians warned they would not be hurried into agreeing to the biggest US bailout since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

No pig in a poke for them!

Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Chris Dodd (D-CT, 93%), has already pronounced the Paulson-Bernanke rescue plan D.O.A.:

Getting the action right is key, Dodd said: "There is no second act to this." He later spoke disparagingly of the administration's proposal. "What they have sent us is not acceptable," he told reporters.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY, 95%) is well known for his prudence in spending taxpayer money. He believes the price tag of $700 billion -- he means spending authority, of course, since much of that money will be made back when the resolution corporation auctions off the newly revalued assets it acquired at discounted prices -- is simply too high; he wants to save the government money:

Paulson, seated next to Bernanke at the Senate hearing, objected strongly when Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., asked if $150 billion might be enough to get the program started, with a promise of more to come.

In fact, they're so concerned about spending so much money without adequate debate, discussion, and without the American people being able to see exactly what we're getting, that they're willing to debate until the cows come home to roost, rather than rush into some massive spending authorization. After all, they haven't even seen the full plan on paper yet!

It should be clear by now that the Democrats are the party which can be trusted to be good stewards of the people's money, spending hawks, and champions of spending transparency.

Democrats: Politics you needn't worry your pretty little head about

In a completely unrelated story that we're including in this post only because of space limitations, efficiency-minded Democrats in Congress are attempting to push through a $488 billion omnibus spending bill:

Congress is scrambling to pass the Pentagon budget, aid for flood and hurricane victims and $25 billion in loans for Detroit automakers in a late-session burst of activity that's flying under the radar compared with efforts to bail out Wall Street.

Funding for veterans health care and homeland security programs is also in the mix as Democratic leaders ponder what other items should catch a ride on must-do legislation to keep the government running beyond the Oct. 1 start of the 2009 budget year.

A stopgap bill must pass to avoid a government shutdown, so Democrats are viewing it as a locomotive to pull past a skeptical White House measures such as the automaker loan and a doubling of home heating subsidies for the poor.

Enough blah-blah... the people want action, action, action!

In an effort to speed up the process (and not allow the opposition to confuse matters by participating in the discussion), they are crafting the bill entirely within the Democratic caucus, bypassing the contrarian Republicans and not letting them amend the bill -- or read it -- before the final vote. For even more streamlining, Democrats have eschewed informing Americans of each and every piddling detail, so as not to bore or confuse them:

Details of the emerging legislation remain secret, but its outlines have come out in interviews with aides to both the House and Senate Appropriations committees, as well as aides to top House and Senate leaders.

The legislation is coming together in a remarkably secretive process in which decisions are concentrated in the hands of just a few lawmakers such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis.

To better service their constituents -- the people, not the powerful -- they have helpfully included many billions of dollars of congressionally directed spending, which they have inserted after strong, bicameral debate in joint conference between the House Democrats on the one hand and the Senate Democrats on the other:

The unusual process means thousands of lawmakers' pet projects of the very sort blasted by GOP presidential nominee John McCain on the campaign trail would escape scrutiny, including up to $5 billion worth of such "earmarks" in the defense budget alone.

It should be clear by now that the Democrats are the party that can govern swiftly and unobtrusively, unencumbered by odious and divisive Republican demands for "democracy"... and the party that can keep a secret!

The Democratic caucus: A little something for everybody.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 23, 2008, at the time of 6:07 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Terry Gain

Not to worry. They're just holding out for Gorelick quality bonuses for approving the plan.

The above hissed in response by: Terry Gain [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 23, 2008 7:53 PM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

Don't worry, Chris Dodd is just a bit short right now, and is fishing for a nice refi or fee. You know. Nice and untraceable, unlike all that FNMA and FMAC money.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 23, 2008 8:05 PM

The following hissed in response by: Pam

Well, Dafydd, how's McCain's response been? I think he's found his sea legs, but no doubt Obama has gained because of the crisis. I really value you're insight; you've been more right, than wrong.

The above hissed in response by: Pam [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 24, 2008 6:58 AM

The following hissed in response by: David M

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 09/24/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

The above hissed in response by: David M [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 24, 2008 1:28 PM

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