Monday, September 29, 2008

So Why Not Try a Good Bill Now?

As I quoted this morning, folks who understood this mess were divided on whether this was just terrible or bad but barely good enough to pass. Since it failed, however, the thing to do is obvious -- so obvious that everyone's suggesting it:
Bring Congress Back into Session After the Election... and go for the Swedish plan: nationalize the insolvent large financial institutions: dare Bush to veto that after the election.

- Brad DeLong

For reasons I’ve already explained, I don’t think the Dem leadership was in a position to craft a bill that would have achieved overwhelming Democratic support, so make or break was whether enough GOPers would sign on. They didn’t. I assume Pelosi calls a new vote; but if it fails, then what? I guess write a bill that is actually, you know, a good plan, and try to pass it — though politically it might not make sense to try until after the election.

-- Paul Krugman

Given that the House GOP didn’t deliver the 80 (or whatever) votes that Democrats were making substantive concessions in order to achieve, now I really don’t see why the Democratic leadership doesn’t tear this thing up and start writing a progressive bill.

-- Matt Yglesias
Sounds good to me.

Update: A question from ignorance:

There may well be a good answer to the following question. But I'd like to hear it. It seems that the main problem that caused the bailout bill to fail was a populist feeling against it, that swamped the feeling of the bipartisan political leadership that something needed to be done. So why not go about this by bailing out the homeowners directly (in some fashion -- I have no idea how this would work), as has been suggested? Giving billions of dollars so people can stay in their homes strikes me as far more defensible against populist demagoguery than giving billions of dollars to wall street to buy off their bad investments. So why not try it from that angle? Let people vote for a package they can defend to their constituents?

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