Thanks for the clarification of the percentage of funds to be to "affordable housing" although why ACORN should receive any funds is a mystery to me. Aren't they still being investigated for voter fraud in Ohio?
Can't speak to the Ohio situation. I believe they do good work elsewhere. I'm not going to say all corporations are bad based on Enron. And again, the connection between ACORN and the Housing Trust Fund is not clear to me. Perhaps they are one among many organizations that are involved with affordable housing. I doubt any of the funds go directly to the organizations, but I could be wrong.
So I guess all the hoopla about this Congress being a leadership Congress is crap. No open debate, no document review, closed door back room meetings, public lies... Just 9 days ago Reid said "no one knows what to do" but now he knows exactly what to do only he can't make anything public. Why do you believe anything this bunch says? It is the foxes guarding the chicken coop.
There's simply no time for extended hearings. As I wrote above, the markets are on the verge of collapse. Joe Nocera writes
in today's NY Times: "If the country had more time, I would argue that we put ideas like that [one put forward by Andrew Feldstein of Blue Mountain Capital Management] into the sunlight and see if they flower. But we don't have any more time. Nine days ago, the financial markets were staring into the abyss; the only thing that pulled them back was the news that the Treasury and the Federal Reserve had come up with a bailout plan. And the only thing that kept them from falling back is the expectation that the plan will be approved quickly."
"Leadership" is a two way street. We can't expect our elected representatives to exhibit "leadership" by voting against their constituents' wishes because then they'll just be voted out of office. The system is designed so that we, the voters, are ultimately the ones accountable, and we can't expect our representatives to make hard decisions unless we're willing to make hard decisions. And today, too many of us seem to expect our representatives to work miracles and threaten to vote them out when they can't meet our unrealistic expectations. That kind of politics is unsustainable.
And I don't think it's foxes guarding the hen house at all. Lots of these people in Congress could be making a lot more money elsewhere. Most of them have no personal stake in the terms of the bailout. I think most of them are doing the best they can in a difficult situation. I don't think Reid says he knows exactly what to do. And anyone who has been involved in negotiations knows that making intermediate stages public can blow up a deal.
I just don't see the picture of those serving in Congress rubbing their hands together and talking with each other about "how can we screw the taxpayers today?" Some of them have honest differences of opinion, and some are sometimes too blinded by ideology. It's easy to assume the worst, but I see little to back it up.
And if we're concerned about the influence of big money on politics, then the solution (as I've said before) is to support candidates and organizations that push for public campaign financing of elections. I've talked to numerous people in Congress and have heard a lot of support for it; perhaps with more discussion and more public support, it will eventually happen.