A More Balanced Approach to Our Economic Crisis?

OK, so how can it be that, as far as I can tell, very little attention has been paid to the inaccuracy of McCain’s claim, during the town hall debate, of a ‘new’ proposal for refinancing homeowners’ mortgages at reduced home values? I think I hear a giant echo in the room. This plan is actually already in the recently passed Bailout Bill (H.R. 1424 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008). Even the Obama campaign has apparently come out against McMastercharger’s (taking credit for other people’s work) estimated $300B proposal. Well guess what, guys? YOU ALREADY VOTED FOR THIS, DONE DEAL!! Goes to show how panicking yourself into something without sufficient deliberation will have you dazed & confused.
It’s there, plain as day, in section 110 of H.R.1424. Even this section refers to pre-existing legislation, the HOPE for Homeowners Program 21 under section 257 of the National Housing Act. I suppose if a section-by-section analysis had been done, and well-publicized, we’d all know which part of this law we’d want to push our government to start moving on.

So if the price tag is $300B for this provision, that’s almost half of the Bill’s estimated total $700B cost. Put more simply: Main Street gets $300B, Wall Street, $400B. Couldn’t publicizing this fact calm many among the American public who are railing against greedy Wall Street CEOs? Another indicator that what we really need is to do is PAUSE & TAKE A BREATH.

Personally, I’d prefer a plan that invests one-third each in Main Street, Wall Street and bottom-up job creation, the last being primarily in the form of infrastructure programs (highway, bridge & road repair & construction), Small Business Administration Loans & Green Industry investment incentives. Although EESA2008 doesn’t appear to allow for these last two put-people-to-work initiatives, I suspect it could be amended. I believe this strategy would produce good results both long & short-term, a reasonable mix of rescue and stimulus. What do you think?


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