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Erosion of trust in leadership doomed Wall Street bailout

Failure of Wall Street bailout

Trust in our leaders is too far gone No, stupid, this time it's not just the economy. Failure to pass a rescue plan for our nation's economic system makes clear it's the leadership!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her high command failed miserably to persuade more than 90 House Democrats to vote for the bill they had come up with to solve the current financial crisis. Lame duck President Bush and Republican congressional leaders mustered barely one-third of their party's House votes for the bill, which they had helped devise and called vital for our economic survival.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama didn't care enough to take a meaningful part in developing and selling this legislation and, although GOP presidential hopeful John McCain interrupted his campaign to help, he proved unable to exert sufficient influence on the Republican side to put it over.

The House rescue bill that principal leaders of both parties had endorsed was defeated by the American public's expression of disapproval in assorted polls and media reports and constituents' negative calls to their congressional representatives.

We, the people, have rebuffed our collective, elected leadership's informed thinking on how best to keep the national economy from collapsing. And why? Because we have no confidence in either the already elected or the proposed next leaders of this country.

Won't somebody stand up before it's too late and supply the brand of leadership which alone can save the country from disaster?

Jeff Corydon, Tampa We need to keep our economic system afloat

In 2005 I remember driving through Wesley Chapel and Cory Lakes and wondering: "Who is buying all these houses?" After all, our chamber bragged about bringing in thousands of call center jobs earning $10 hour. How could these people afford the average $250,000 house?

Of course, I knew there was nothing to be done. The feeding frenzy was on. But it didn't take an economics wizard to know where it was all headed.

Now the MTV generation wants to hang the evildoers without understanding the economic repercussions. This is the type of decision that an informed Congress needs to have the moral courage to take the lead on. Sadly, the general public does not understand the economic repercussions, and the leadership has done a bad job of explaining them.

Fixing/enforcing the financial system is necessary, and keeping these major institutions afloat is the only way to save most of our jobs and businesses.

Lauren Shiner, Tampa

Hold the line

It's time for all of us to take a deep breath, cool down and take whatever time necessary to really think through the longer-term implications of the proposed banking rescue plan.

The fact is that there are superior free-market alternatives to the plan defeated Monday in the U.S. Congress. We should not be asked to stand idly by as profit and upside potential are privatized and vested in those same executives who created the mess, while losses and downside risk are socialized by hanging them all on the U.S. taxpayer.

Watch closely, and you will see that those beating the drum of urgency and crisis the loudest are those most likely gored by the current turbulence, namely banking insiders and their cronies, as well as financial services "enablers," notably the talking heads on the 24-hour business networks. Hold the line!

Dave Hunter, Lutz

GOP road to ruin

Enough. I am disgusted by the self-serving behavior of politicians in general and, specifically, of the fiscal extremists in the House of Representatives. These "gutless wonders" are apparently willing to sacrifice the nation's interests to protect their personal political fortunes.

It's also ironic that many of them belong to the same party whose stance on market deregulation has led us down this "primrose path."

I am an old Reagan Republican, and it pains me to have to say that it will be a cold day in hell before I, or any of the voters in my family, will support the Republican agenda.

I can only pray that those in Congress who truly care about this country can help us avoid financial ruination.

David L. Booker, Dade City

Let them fail

I'd like to thank Rep. Kathy Castor for voting no on the Wall Street bailout plan.

I believe the economy needs a stabilization plan, but I don't believe we need to include a Wall Street bailout in it. I believe this bailout should directly support the middle class. The $700-billion doesn't need to be funneled through Wall Street.

I believe that the companies who made such horrible business decisions, to the extent that the results are affecting the global economy, should be allowed to fail. If the American citizens who took out unrealistic mortgages are going to be allowed to fail, then the businesses that made unrealistic investments should too. These companies have been living by the deregulation sword, and they should die by it as well. It is ludicrous to think that the people responsible for this disaster are the same people who can solve it.

I think the bailout fund could be put to better use. It could fund a health care system so that people aren't going bankrupt, and thereby defaulting on mortgages, to pay medical expenses. It could fund incentives for alternative energy companies that create new, green jobs. It could fund infrastructure rebuilding to create new jobs. Heck, it could even reimburse my 401(k)!

Any of these suggestions would do more for the middle class and stimulate the economy better than the plan offered by President Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Lori Hall, Tampa

Civics lesson

This past week, my wife and I thought we would teach our children the political process. Instead of harping with each other on the bailout plan, we contacted our local representative and asked that he cast his vote in favor of the plan. The staff at Rep. Gus Bilirakis' office were very kind and assured us he would get our message.

I explained to our children that due to "not getting it" Rep. Bilirakis chose to vote against the bailout plan. We now have the opportunity to show our children what happens when you disagree with your representation.

We'll teach that lesson on Nov. 4. I ask for those of you who feel as passionate to do the same.

Randy Bonham, Tampa

Erosion of trust in leadership doomed Wall Street bailout 09/30/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 3, 2008 6:36pm]
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