Becker Blog

The world according to Brian Becker

GOP: Party First

Posted by Brian Becker on September 26, 2008

Time to throw out all the “Country First” banners. Today’s antics on capitol hill proves that when it comes to saving the American economy or protecting their party ideology, Republicans choose the latter.

However you feel about the huge government bailout, everyone knows that we cannot afford to do nothing. Early in the day, it appeared that Democrats and Republicans would be able to come together and support a bill that they have been negotiating on for the past week. The bill that was going to be proposed included many of the protections that everyone wanted. Caps on executive compensation, equity stakes in the companies that participate, congressional oversight, and it was approving $350 billion for now instead of the proposed $700 billion. With these provisions it seems very likely that we would ultimately get our money back and possibly profit in the long term.

Then Mighty Mouse McCain air drops into the capitol and it all falls apart. House Republicans and some in the Senate are now waiting for John McCain’s lead to decide what to do, but McCain remains indecisive. No leadership! Its even been reported that some in the Republican caucus are prepared to let the market crash to protect their free market ideals.

A group of House Republicans have drafted a counter proposal that eliminates dividend payments to stockholders in the troubled companies and completely removes capital gains taxes for two years. It also calls for even less regulation on the banking industry. Neither Paulson or Bernanke think this plan has any merit. To me, this plan put forth by the Republicans is trying to fix the problem by using the exact same tactics that got us into it, and that is just absurd.

Furthermore, if you still don’t think this problem is a real threat, late tonight, the largest bank in the world, Washington Mutual, collapsed. The F.D.I.C. came in, seized the company, and proceeded to sell its assets to JPMorgan Chase. What should be infuriating is that WaMu’s CEO, who has been on the job for less than three weeks, is still going to get his golden parachute ($11.6 million), and gets to keep his signing bonus ($7.5 million). Had the bill been passed this afternoon, that CEO wouldn’t get jack, and he certainly does not deserve it.

So, who’s next? This is not the end of the failures, yet Republicans would rather have the entire system collapse and fall into another Great Depression than try to save the economy. GOP: Party First, not country first.

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