With that ...
How embarrassed these two must be.
The massive federal scheme ($700 billion and apparently growing) to have taxpayers buy up bad mortgages that is currently being cobbled together by the Bush administration and a bipartisan coalition on Capitol Hill is a terrible idea. It constitutes a large transfer of wealth from the American taxpayer in an effort to revive failed private-sector businesses that should be permitted to fail - something that is essential if a free-market capitalist system is to survive and prosper in the future.I highlighted Senator Dodd's name because he - along with Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts - caused this colossal mess in the first place. Now he (and Frank) are working to make the problem even worse.
If anything, the $700 billion figure currently being quoted by the press significantly understates what this legislative monstrosity is going to cost taxpayers. Patrice Hill of The Washington Times reported that over the weekend, Mr. Paulson's Treasury Department dramatically expanded the bailout plan to include buying car loans, student loans, credit-card debt and other "troubled" assets held by banks. The changes - which were included in draft language opening the bailout program to foreign banks with extensive loan operations in this country - have the potential to add tens of billions of dollars to the cost of the bailout program. In his Monday counterproposal, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd included such consumer loans in addition to mortgages. [emphasis mine]
Va. coffers could need $2.9 billionLocal governments are complaining of shortfalls in tax revenue as well. Where does it end?
By Michael Sluss, The Roanoke Times
Richmond -- Gov. Tim Kaine's administration said Tuesday that Virginia could face a budget shortfall as great as $2.9 billion over the next 21 months, a scenario much worse than many lawmakers expected just a month ago.
The latest revenue projections were delivered in a report prepared for Tuesday's closed-door meeting of the Governor's Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates -- a panel of finance officials, senior legislators and business executives. The report, prepared by the Department of Taxation, projected a revenue shortfall ranging from $2 billion to $2.9 billion, depending on economic activity. (link)
Democrats to let offshore drilling ban expireYou guys rock!
By Andrew Taylor, Associated Press Writer
Washington - Democrats have decided to allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week, conceding defeat in an months-long battle with the White House and Republicans set off by $4 a gallon gasoline prices this summer.
Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., told reporters Tuesday that a provision continuing the moratorium will be dropped this year from a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running after Congress recesses for the election. Republicans have made lifting the ban a key campaign issue after gasoline prices spiked this summer and public opinion turned in favor of more drilling. (link)