Monday, September 29, 2008

Comment: Unpopular bailout may be Bush's last corporate payout

Most polls show that the administration's financial bailout plan is disliked by the vast majority of voters. Still, Congress may still pass what could be the mother of all George W. Bush's payouts to corporate America in the waning days of his admistration.

A Rasmussen poll showed that only seven percent of Americans actually support the bailout plan. Yet, lawmakers have raced to pass legislation that originally would have allowed the Treasury to spend money without any oversight. This detail apparently has been changed, but without any bump in support from the public.

Although the administration has claimed the plan will ultimately cost less than the current $700 billion price tag, some legislators have disputed the eventual costs. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) said the final payout could amount to $1.7 trillion.

The Bush terms have been nothing less than wonderful for the corporate elite. The president cut taxes deeply for corporations and many Bush-linked businesses have fared very well after landing no-bid contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The administration has doubled the national debt with much of the money flowing into the military-industrial complex. We have already seen about $1 trillion spent on shoring failing financial companies including $300 billion in loans to Wall Street firms, $200 billion for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and $85 billion for AIG.

Neither presidential candidate is willing to throw strong support behind the bailout in fear of angering voters with slightly more than a month before the election. Many believe that both will probably miss the Senate vote to approve the plan.

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