If you've been following my Twitter feed, I've spent a little time eyeballing the Bailout bill.
And it's not perfect. I'm still not seeing any hard regulations, but this bill isn't about that. But compared to that piece of crap Paulson brought in a week ago, this is a pretty decent bill. It has provisions to make sure taxpayers get their money back (by laying fines on companies after 5 years if we haven't seen a profit). It cuts out golden parachutes for executives who drive their companies into the ground. It has oversight (and, in an amusing note, I noticed it states very clearly that the Judiciary branch has the ability to review cases about Treasury actions, something Paulson wanted to avoid).
There's still the underlying problem of what went wrong: security credit swaps and a derivatives market that's gotten out of hand. I'm not an economist, and I have just enough knowledge through my own reading and listening to NPR that tells me they are some bad mojo. (Check out the show The Giant Pool of Money for more info.)
This bill is the start. It will help the problem now - but people have to stay angry. We've been hurt bad. By a war that's wasted money and American lives in Iraq. With an administration bound to show that government was the problem - and then used Katrina to prove it. A philosophy that says "Just let the rich do what they want, and they're droppings will make us all happy and wealthy!"
We need a return to the regulation systems that we put in after the Great Depression, that lets business compete, but not get so powerful that we can't control it. We shouldn't lose focus now just because we might avert a crisis - and there's no guarantee that we're out of the woods.
It's going to be a rough 3-4 years, folks. I think we're going to get through it all right - but we have to be ready to make some changes in our market system to restore control while allowing it room to grow and prosper.
Time to take back our government people. Before it happens again.