Bailout Analysis: Mayo on a Shit Sandwich

Overpaying for $700 billion of possibly bad assets in order to re-capitalize banks is a desperation move. There are other desperation moves that probably make more sense. But, given the choice between a bailout and frozen credit markets, I'll take the bailout, reluctantly.

That said, there are good reasons to be against this bill. It could use better oversight, the final bill was larded with pork, and the equity provisions were pretty vague. So I understand Eric Massa's opposition to the bill, even if I don't agree with him.

What I don't understand is how Randy Kuhl thinks that this bill is "drastic improvement" over Monday's plan. In terms of the bailout provisions themselves, as far as I can tell, they're more-or-less identical to Monday's plan. The FDIC increase and AMT reduction are nice to have, but there's nothing new that prevents taxpayers from "picking up the tab" of $700 billion, as Kuhl claims.

Because this shit sandwich of a bill just had a little pork and taxcut mayo added, Kuhl's explanation doesn't cut it. It looks, instead, like he wanted to have it both ways. His phone lines were jammed with angry constituents last week, so he voted against Monday's bill. By Friday, it was pretty clear that small and mid-size businessmen in the 29th supported the bill, and that the credit markets were actually in crisis. So Kuhl changed his vote, apparently to appease the latter group and to avoid responsibility for a financial meltdown.

Kuhl's vote will probably end up being seen as a necessary evil. He didn't need to insult our intelligence with this "drastic improvement" spin.


From Spinal Tap:

Marty: The review you had on 'Shark Sandwich'...which was merely a two word review - just said "shit sandwich." Umm....
Derek: Where'd they print that, where'd they print that?
David: Where did that appear?
Nigel: That's not real, is it?
Derek: You can't print that.