Conservative Republicans Say They’re Standing Up for Taxpayers
But reports in two mainstream newspapers on Friday suggest that House Republicans, in refusing to go along with a $700-billion taxpayer infusion for Wall Street, are more in sync with the American public than Democrats and the Bush administration are.
“Many voice anger over $700B outlay,” The Boston Globe reported on Friday.
The article says, "From Boston to Southern California, many Americans are questioning the government's plan to spend $700 billion to rescue ailing Wall Street investment firms."
The Globe reports on "a series of hastily arranged demonstrations" that took place Thursday to protest the plan, and it notes that some U.S. lawmakers admit to being "flooded with calls and e-mails from constituents expressing concern. And public opinion polls showed widespread opposition."
The Washington Post on Friday reported that economists without ties to Wall Street “question the basis” of Treasury Secretary Paulson’s plan.
"Wall Street economists have mostly endorsed Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.'s plan, or a variation thereof," the article says.
"But almost 200 academic economists -- who aren't paid by the institutions that could directly benefit from the plan but who also may not have recent practical experience in the markets -- have signed a petition organized by a University of Chicago professor objecting to the plan on the grounds that it could create perverse incentives, that it is too vague and that its long-run effects are unclear." No deal
Thursday’s White House meeting -- intended to be a bipartisan meeting of the minds -- "devolved into a contentious shouting match," the Associated Press reported.
Democrats were said to be furious when House Republicans opposed to the $700-billion Wall Street rescue package presented a completely different plan – one that would better protect American taxpayers, they said.
Instead of the government buying the distressed securities, the new plan would have banks, financial firms and other investors holding bad loans pay the Treasury to insure them, the Associated Press reported.
But Democrats object to GOP calls for tax cuts and certain insurance provisions.
Sen. John McCain, having put himself squarely in the role of deal-maker, has not committed himself to either plan, although he has insisted on five key points, including oversight, return on taxpayer funds, transparency, no earmarks, and limits on executive compensation.
AP reported that at one point in Thursday’s White House meeting, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, “angrily demanded to know what plan McCain favored.” Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama also asked to hear from McCain.
According to a Republican who was there, "all he (McCain) said was, 'I support the principles that House Republicans are fighting for.'"