Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Bush, Lawmakers Are Close to Deal on Stimulus Package
By Peter Baker and Jonathan Weisman Washington Post Staff Writers Wednesday, January 23, 2008; A01
President Bush and congressional leaders moved closer to agreeing on a compromise economic rescue package yesterday, fending off fresh protests from both the right and the left as they rushed to respond to a cascading series of economic troubles and to head off a potential recession.
As markets roiled from a sharp sell-off around the world and the Federal Reserve cut interest rates at home, Bush met with House and Senate leaders to work out a package of tax breaks for consumers and businesses. In an important concession to Democrats, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. signaled that he is open to including breaks even for those who pay little to no income taxes.
. . . Individuals would get rebates of as much as $800, and married couples as much as $1,600.
Any port in a storm, anything to keep the spending going, any frantic distraction to cover the crimes behind the meltdown.
We are left to witness complicit government at its most criminal.
With Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner at the controls, it's hard to see how Congress will avoid the coming crash and yet never is heard a discouraging word and the deer and the antelope play.
If Congress wants to do something useful and credible, the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations ought to be convening hearings, issuing subpoenas and demanding answers from the financial community. Mel Watt of North Carolina is the chairman and his e-mail address is
Over in the Senate, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Financial Institutions is the place to start and Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota is the chairman, if you can wake him up long enough to pay attention. His e-mail is
Newspapers like The Washington Post used to jump into investigative reporting mode when banks were robbed, but they seem too distracted by their tepid coverage of primary politics to care.
NO ONE in the newspapering game has their nose to the ground on this and the pitiable cry for 'bailouts' covers the more stringent need for 'bail-bonds' across the investment banks, mortgage lenders, bond rating entities and hedge funds.

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Washington at Work, check out

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