John McCain got frustrated with the “Christmas tree” effect already starting in Congress in their efforts to address the fiscal crisis. He threatened to do what we had told him to do – suspend his campaign long enough to return to Washington and fix the problem.
But he delayed, until Congress started adding pork and special interests into the bill, so that the costs became really fuzzy. He announced Wednesday he was going to quit the campaigning long enough to go fix the problem, create a bipartisan solution, and if it meant missing the debate, so be it.
It’s like dad announcing “don’t make me come down there, cause you won’t like what I’m gonna do if I have to come.”
They went from deadlock yesterday to agreement today. It wasn’t Bush’s lackluster speech, because there wasn’t a report this morning of a solution. Agreement didn’t come until after McCain spoke at Clinton Forum, outlining 5 common sense demands for the solution: accountability and transparency, ownership instead of bailout (repayment to taxpayers instead of treasury general fund), and no extra trinkets.
Here’s what he said:
First, there must be greater accountability included in the bill. I have suggested a bipartisan board to provide oversight for the rescue. We will not solve a problem caused by poor oversight with a plan that has no oversight. Never before in the history of our nation has so much power and money been concentrated in the hands of one person, and there must be protections and oversight in place.
Second, as a part of that oversight, there must be a path for taxpayers to recover the money that is put into this fund. When we’re talking about 700 billion taxpayer dollars, that money cannot simply go into a black hole of bad debt with no means of recovering any of the funds.
Third, there must be complete transparency in the review of this legislation and in the implementation of any legislation. This cannot be thrown together behind closed doors. The American people have the right to know which businesses will be helped, what that selection will be based on and how much that help will cost. All the details should all be made available online and elsewhere for open public scrutiny.
Fourth, it is completely unacceptable for any kind of earmarks to be included in this bill. It would be outrageous for legislators and lobbyists to pack this rescue plan with even more taxpayer money for favored companies. And frankly, members of Congress who would attempt such a thing are scarcely better than the most reckless operators on Wall Street.
Fifth and finally, no Wall Street executives should profit from taxpayer dollars. Let me put it this way: I would rather build a bridge to nowhere — and put it square in the middle of Sedona, Arizona — than take money from teachers and farmers and small business owners to line the pockets of the Wall Street crowd that got us here in the first place. And I can assure you: if I have anything to say about the matter, it’s not going to happen.
It’s not a done deal yet. I’d say they’d better get to work. If Mom would say wait until dad gets home, I’d want to get my stuff done before he showed up. Congress is still quibbling. I say they’d better get to work.
(Thanks to grist.org for capturing and posting the text of the speech!)