Vote Nov. 4 on bailout

As we saw with Monday’s huge stock market drop, the bailout obviously

wasn’t a quick fix. The experts told us we didn’t understand this mess

and they knew how to fix it. These are the same experts who

discredited themselves by telling us so recently that our financial

markets and institutions were sound, by fueling a massive credit

expansion, and by abusing Freddy and Fannie to achieve politically

motivated goals at the expense of financial stability. These causes

went on for over a decade and spanned political parties and


The effects of this legislation are irreversible – once Treasury buys

these securities, the ripple effects on our markets occur immediately.

Even if the legislation is repealed its effects will be with us for

years if not decades as Treasury holds or sells the toxic junk debt it

purchased at a premium with our tax dollars. The government should

back our financial institutions, but it should not cherry pick winners

and losers on the market. When the government exploits the market with

our tax dollars it is not only an obvious moral hazard but a dangerous

abuse of power.

As voters it should infuriate us that this was rammed through with no

debate. Professional economists all over our country – on both sides

of this issue – were never invited to testify. We may not always agree

with our representatives but the very least we can expect of them is

to hold hearings with testimony from all sides before passing the

biggest government intervention in most of our lifetimes. This is

especially true when the intervention was crafted and pushed by the

very “experts” who not only failed to prevent this crisis, but shared

a role in creating it. But no such fact check was made, no

professional second opinions were heard, and in failing this Congress

failed in a duty that transcends political parties, the duty to do

what is best for our country and to us, the people they represent and

who will be paying for this.

According to the Congressional roll calls, Representative Larsen and

Senator Murray voted for this bailout while Senator Cantwell voted

against it. The election is only a few short weeks away. As voters it

is our responsibility to hold our government and its representatives

accountable for their actions and to the law.


Michael Clements

Orcas Island