Friday, October 3, 2008


To an electorate hungry for change, the current consensus in Washington is odious. The sitting President, both would-be successors, the Speaker of the House, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, House Minority Leader all agree on the single most important piece of legislation to cross the Capitol in decades.

A venerable professor in my department calls the $700 billion bailout "the worst Federal decision of my lifetime". Not a single Economics professor here is in favor. Four hundred economists wrote an open letter to Congress asking for patience and delay, at a minimum.

And yet, and yet: not a single of these unpopular "leaders", not one of the hungry presidential candidates, can muster the courage to stand with the American people and the economists against the financial interests? At a minimum, someone could say, "This is too rapid. We need time to digest and discuss the biggest investment of U.S. income since World War II." That would at least buy time for reality to set in!

Instead, the Senate sneakily initiated a taxation bill (this is unconstitutional), and loaded it with 400 pages of pork and tax giveaways to Congressmen's pet interests. The result may be a bill still worse than the first one passing a bribed and corrupt House.

Is there a challenge out to see which party or branch of government can become less popular? Will someone sue to force the Supreme Court to take a stand on Senate-initiated taxation?

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