Treasury’s Financial-Bailout Proposal to Congress – Real Time Economics – WSJ
The bailout bill can be read here in its entirety. I still can’t believe it was written with the kind of language that absolves EVERYBODY of EVERYTHING. Unbelievable. Who would have ever believed that a bill authorizing the US Federal government to spend $700,000,000,000 can be read in less than two minutes? Since it is short, it’s possible to actually study the bill’s key points:
“The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including, without limitation: (1) appointing such employees as may be required to carry out the authorities in this Act and defining their duties; (2) entering into contracts, including contracts for services authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, without regard to any other provision of law regarding public contracts; (3) designating financial institutions as financial agents of the Government, and they shall perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them;”
What does this mean? It means the Secretary of the Treasury is given the authorization to spend this money however he wants. This, without having to waste time on any bidding process, or worry about some of the contracts going to any minority-owned business, or any of that other stuff.
Given the Bush administration’s record, this bill is to be no more and no less than a massive payout to all his cronies and friends. This has to be the most obvious act of kleptocracy in the history of mankind. Next to the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia, the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines, Milosevic in Yugoslavia, and the Estrada and Arroyo administrations in the Philippines. Again: This has to be the most obvious act of kleptocracy in the history of mankind.
But, surely, you ask, there is to be some accountability, oversight, or court supervision? You know, this is still a democracy, and the system runs on a checks and balances mechanism…right?
What are you – nuts?! This is the Bush administration. Haven’t they mastered the art of painting over all of the transparency in the Federal government, blocking out the daylight, squeezing out every kind of accountability the public can even muster!
“Sec. 8. Review. Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”
The bill reminds you that this is a crisis, see? There is no time to worry about all that “accountability” and “oversight” – it just slows things down. Never mind that it was lack of oversight in the first place which caused the problem!
Oh, but wait. It says here in Section 4 that the Secretary has to report to Congress.
*makes wanking hand motions*
This is assuming that the Secretary will even bother to show up at all!
I came from another kleptocracy, the Philippines, where congressional subpoenas have been rendered utterly worthless, since the opposition parties always refuse to enforce them at all. Under a democratic multi-party system, the opposition are always making some noise about wanting to add oversight measures to certain bills. (See. This is the problem with a Presidential system. But in a Parliament, the people who write the laws implement the laws themselves, and it is less corrupt. Study this document, if you will.)
Keep in mind that the US is a kleptocracy in the making (and they’ve got it made), here’s what I predict will happen: the opposition (the Democrats) will agree to have these proposals as amendments, independently, rather than as part of the bill. These amendments will all be voted down one way or another (“filibustered”), and then later on, Congress will eventually pass this joke of a bill, so the Bush admin can create a shadow government, which will buy out the mortgages of a significant number of households in the US.
It’s not rocket science here. Any thinking American can predict (if they read the bill) that this is going to happen. Hasn’t this already happened with the appropriations with the war in Iraq, the telecom immunity, etc, etc?
And you know what the sad thing about this is? It’s not really that Bush&Co. has come up with the idea. It’s that the so-called Democrat-led Congress will be implementing this bill as a law.