Fixing a Broken Economy
Traders of the New York Stock Exchange buried their dismayed faces into shaky palms on Monday after House members defeated Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's $700 billion plan for rescuing Wall Street. The Bush administration's reckless economic policies have resulted in turmoil and taking a nose-dive with little time left in office.
With big investment firms already crumbling under pressure, the bill's overthrow sent stocks plummeting to a record-breaking low. The Dow Jones industrials dropped 778 points in one day - an unsurpassed dive for the index that froze up the credit markets and had investors reeling in alarm. The consequences of Monday's decision will become more apparent as the days and weeks unfold, but a paper loss of $1.2 trillion has already sent a shockwave through Wall Street. "Financial crisis" is an understatement for the state of our nation's economy as it veers toward a disaster like the Great Depression.
Secretary Paulson's desperate proposal would have used taxpayer money to buy off bad stocks and resell them back to private investors in order to prevent market ruin. The bailout was imperative, but the pitch lacked accountability for oversight. It begged a lot of questions, many of which were left unanswered as legislature rushed to forward its approval and President Bush urged not to "insist on provisions that would undermine [its] effectiveness." Whether out of respect for their president or the shock value of gambling in the nation's casino, petty Republican politics determined the House verdict, rejecting the only potential bailout plan in a "nay" vote.
Members of the House are eagerly pointing fingers to explain the shocking defeat, with Republican logic branching out to claim that a scathing anti-Bush speech by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi poisoned the well and led many of the party's members to flip their vote against the bill, despite the president's adamant plea for its endorsement.
Greedy corporate executives are falling to pieces after taking advantage of his "anything goes" policies, and they're taking the economy down with them. Conveniently enough, president of eight years will be out of office by then, handing the big decisions over to the new Commander in Chief.
It's evident that the nation is in a state emergency when Republican and Democratic parties can find common ground. What neither contender can deny is that regardless of how it got there, the U.S. economy is "completely out of control," as Sen. McCain said. "The first thing we have to do is get spending under control in Washington."
Although the bailout bill was rejected this week and holidays have suspended any new propositions to limbo, an urgent solution is still vital if the economy is to recuperate from this disaster.
The ship hasn't sunk yet; all it needs is a few patched holes in order to secure a stand and await a sunny day. Let's just hope that when the sun finally decides to shine, it doesn't monopolize brightness over Wall Street and leave Main Street in gloom.