The Reid-McConnell Bailout Bribe

-By Frank Salvato

Let me see if I have this right. We the People express our overwhelming disdain for a government manufactured, taxpayer-funded bailout of semi-coerced greed merchants on Wall Street and the Senate’s answer is to leave the offending legislation intact and entice weak politicians into voting for the package by adding sweetheart tax legislation to it. Can this possibly – in the most incredible of circumstances – be correct?

Just as I finished setting up my new television I found myself clearing away the debris and dust from a bazooka shot that destroyed it. You see, I felt the destruction needed to be that much more definitive as the cause for the need to do so was that much more offensive.

It is one thing to watch a political charlatan like Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) lie through his teeth about his role in constructing the financial catastrophe in which we are now mired; that warrants an “Elvis Episode.” But when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and – incredulously – Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stand before the nation, on national television, and congratulate themselves for: a) working together in a bi-partisan manner, and b) working in a bi-partisan manner to achieve something an overwhelming majority of their bosses (the electorate) oppose, well, that calls for a response ala Gen. George S. Patton; therefore the bazooka.

Seriously, the Senate’s passing of the Wall Street bailout bill, in its proposed form, is indefensible. It is clear beyond any reasonable doubt that the constituents of each and every one of the senators voting on the Wall Street bailout bill are opposed to spending taxpayer dollars to rectify the actions of the opportunistic and the irresponsible. It is for this simple reason an overwhelming majority of the nation cheered when the House voted down the very same bailout package last week. In instituting “legislative bribery” by adding coveted tax legislation to the exact same bailout package the senate effectively told the American public to go screw themselves…then they congratulated themselves for doing so.

In my last article, Give Us Our Money Back. We’ll Fix It!, I explained who was responsible for this financial quagmire and highlighted the fact that the American public will only tolerate a taxpayer-based solution if the solution is to empower the taxpayer to solve the problem. The culprits remain the same, as does the solution; crafting legislation that would approach this crisis of governmental and organizational malfeasance by affording taxpayer monies to the taxpayers so they can lift themselves out of this financial crisis by paying their own bills. By approaching the crisis in this manner:

  • Liquid assets (tax dollars) would be made available to troubled banks and institutions through avenues emanating from the people instead of the government via the loan holder’s mortgage payments.
  • The threat of immediate foreclosure would be eliminated because the taxpayer/loan holder would be able to use his own money (tax dollars) to satisfy any outstanding debt.
  • The threat of institutional collapse in the financial market would be eliminated because of the infusion of capital through the normal channels: consumer to market, not taxpayer to government to market.

Make no mistake; I understand the need for immediate action on the part of government to rectify this financial downturn. The stakes are too high, not only for our country but for markets around the world. But the American people – by an overwhelming number – understand the danger of affecting a solution for this crisis by empowering government, the very entity that created and enabled this financial mess from the beginning. Yes, government has a role in creating the solution, in fact, several actions must be taken and as soon as possible:

  1. The government must institute a system that will allow loan holders (taxpayers) access to the same taxpayer-based liquidity the government wanted to afford the Wall Street financial institutions targeted in this bailout so they can begin the necessary infusion of liquidity into the market.
  2. The government must institute immediate and mandatory oversight reforms for Wall Street and all lending institutions so that sound business practice outweighs forced social engineering where financial matters are concerned.
  3. Congress must repeal the Community Reinvestment Act immediately.
  4. A Justice Department investigation – with full congressional oversight – must be initiated in an effort to prosecute each and every individual who “gamed the system” for personal or political gain.

Now that the senate has literally sold the American taxpayer down the river in deference to suckling at the teat of Wall Street, it will be up to the same 95 Democrats and 133 Republicans of the House to withstand the pressures and threats placed on them by fellow congressmen and House leaders. It will be up to these 228 individuals to place good government before politics, to maintain their intellectual integrity and their oaths of office so that the will of the people – whom they represent – can be done. Truthfully, they are our last hope.

Do we need to bolster the US financial markets during this time of crisis? You bet. I have no argument with the need. I have a problem with our government – culpable in the genesis of this crisis – taking our tax dollars and simply giving it to those whose financial irresponsibility led us to this point. Let the people use their own money to affect the solution. Capitalism in an ownership society is the proper course of action, not Socialism.

Martin Masse of the National Post may have said it best:

“In his Communist Manifesto, published in 1848, Karl Marx proposed 10 measures to be implemented after the proletariat takes power, with the aim of centralizing all instruments of production in the hands of the state. Proposal Number Five was to bring about the ‘…centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.’ If he were to rise from the dead today, Marx might be delighted to discover that most economists and financial commentators, including many who claim to favor the free market, agree with him.”

God save the United States Senate.
Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal . He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, as well as an occasional guest on numerous radio shows coast to coast. He recently partnered in producing the first-ever symposium on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism in Washington, DC. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. He can be contacted at

Copyright Publius Forum 2001